Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sunday, January 30, 2022, Ross Trudeau


Hey folks! Glad to be back, although once again I've got very big shoes to fill. Frannie's really stepped up her game.

And speaking of steps, I read the wrong thing into the title and therefore struggled for quite a while with the theme. I was convinced the answers would take move up or down a row, or multiple rows, so I kept on looking for places where that might happen. It didn't help that I could tell that some of the answers had too many letters to fit into their row. It also took a while for me to find the "-" clues in some of the down answers which would have helped a bit, at least.

After trying ORCHEStraS at 46A: Sources of music in musicals (ORCHES[TRAP]ITS), and then working backwards from the end, I finally figured out the rebus. Interestingly enough, I went to two different musicals this week, one on Broadway (Hadestown) and one traveling Broadway tour in Schenectady (Come From Away), and neither of them used pits. In both cases, the orchestra/band was on stage. I liked both, but the second more than the first. After getting the rebus, I still missed the extra step, thinking that perhaps 14D: Circus apparatus would be "FLYING[TRAP]." Later on, I came back and filled in the left over EZE.

It's a lovely theme: in each case after the rebus "trap," there's a black square, then the remainder of the answer, creating five TRAPDOORS in the puzzle. Only CON[TRAP] TIONS (fitting given the theme of the puzzle) has the "trap" occurring within a single syllable. EX[TRAP] OINTS is apt (apt!) for this time of year. Crazy that Tom Brady retired this week. Thought he'd play into his 50s, the way he's been going.

Sargent MURAL in the BPL

Clues I enjoyed:

3D: Gets out of a grave situation? (RESURRECTS).

57D: Slice, for one (ORANGESODA).

91D: One being coddled, maybe (EGG) - hah!

Things I didn't love: SPICER (I mean, better this sort of clue than the former press secretary, but still).

Fun start to the week. See you tomorrow!

- Colum


  1. When I was much younger, still coming up in the crosswordin' world and doing the Sunday NYT xword with my mum (n.b. not together but in two separate grids), I would make a point of ignoring the theme phrase and not even attempting the long clues until the very end. Just to add spice to it! This served me well today - just went from top to bottom until it was obvious what the trickery was, and filled in the TRAPs as the very last step.

    Apparently the Brady retirement thing was a false alarm ... (??)

    My province is coming out of lockdown on Monday. Yippee! Fingers crossed the world doesn't end before the Tournament in April!!!

    1. Oh and re. Come From Away - I took my parents to see it in Toronto. At the end I wanted to jump up on stage and hug every one of them. And then make them do it all over again!