Sunday, June 5, 2022

Sunday, June 5, 2022, Christina Iverson and Katie Hale

Happy Sunday to everyone! The first one in June, and it's a beaut around by us. We had a big party last night to celebrate Hope's completion of her MSW, and so lots of friends, lots of food, and lots of cleanup. That's okay, though: well worth it.

Today's puzzle feels like it was composed with me in mind (as I'm sure it was, right Ms. Iverson and Ms. Hale?). To start with, the literary theme ("Patrick! Why didn't you tell me your aunt was literate?") hits home. Our constructors take six standard phrases, and add a single syllable to the last word, which transforms it into the name of a well-known author. Clue wackily, and hilarity ensues, as we like to say.

I like all six examples, although my favorite has to be 117A: Donates some copies of "King Lear" to the Renaissance Festival? (GIVESAFAIRSHAKESPEARE), because the revised phrase changes the word "fair" from an adjective to a noun in a very pretty way. I am also fond of PLAYSTHEFIELDING, both because Tom Jones is such a great novel, and also because it was the major area of scholarship my father was involved in. I didn't immediately get 55A: TAKESALONGWALKER until I googled "The Flowers" and found out it's a short story. Hah!


With six theme answers, there's plenty of space in a 22x22 grid for some great fill. Of course, I immediately loved 73D: Very rarely (HARDLYEVER) for its echoes of H.M.S. Pinafore("I never say a big, big D." "What never?" "No, never." "What, never?" "Well, hardly ever!"). Also nice is SOMEPEOPLE, and INHALES.

I'm not convinced by WRONGO, but I like it paired with SOITIS, clued right next to each other in the down clues.

And finally, we have to nod to SAL of childhood literature fame. I will always remember "Ker-plink! Ker-plank! Ker-plunk" from that book. Robert McCloskey is best known for "Make Way for Ducklings," and you can find the statues of his ducks in the Boston Public Gardens. Funnily enough, if you walk a little further up the hill to the State House, you'll come across the bas-relief memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th regiment of Black soldiers, whose story is told in GLORY.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. I had a terrific time with this puzzle. The theme answers and clues cracked me up and I appreciated the fill as well, particularly, SOME PEOPLE, as you mentioned, and SALAD FORK. Super Sunday!