Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday, July 3, 2022, Tom McCoy


As promised, it's still Colum blogging today, making up for last Sunday's blunder. Horace, take the day off! 

On this lovely long weekend, our day of rest is not marred by the expectation of returning to work tomorrow. Instead we get to laze around, solving the NYT Sunday puzzle. 

Today, there's an explanation in the information button, stating that the clues for seven answers are confusing, and then supplying the clues for the actual entries in alphabetical order. I mean, I guess it was needed. But aren't theme clues always a little confusing until you figure out what's going on?

The way the theme works is by taking a two word phrase where the first word can be reinterpreted as a letter. The word is then replaced with a different word which starts with that letter, which makes a widely acceptable phrase. However, the clue in the puzzle is for the original phrase. Thus, 41A: Color of the Owl and Pussy-cat's boat, refers to "pea green," which is then expanded to PUTTINGGREEN (or "Where golfers practice short strokes").

The other original answers are:

  • Bee line (BOTTOMLINE)
  • Oh brother (OLDERBROTHER)
  • Eye contact (INCONTACT)
  • Sea horse (CHARLEYHORSE)
  • Gee thanks (GIVINGTHANKS)
  • Tea party (THIRDPARTY)
Wouldn't it have been cool if those letters had spelled something? But probably that's not possible.

Nick NOLTE and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours

Mr. McCoy has put in some very nice long fill, including LETSGETONWITHIT and WHATSYOURSECRET. And everybody loves GALLIVANTS, because it's a fun word.

There isn't a ton of clever clues, which is appropriate when the theme answers are confusing. But I did like 32A: Like cheese ... or some movies (GRATED, which can also be parsed as G-rated). Also, 7D: The yolk's on them (FRIEDEGGS).

Tomorrow Horace takes back over. Happy Fourth!

- Colum


  1. Woo-hoo, yay me, I got it! And I'd like to tell you that I got it without referring to the notes at all! I'd like to tell you that, but that would be an untruth. Anyway, what a blast -- loved it!

  2. Oh, and thanks for the week, Colum!

  3. I didn't refer to the notes, not out of principle but because I never remember to look (and the software doesn't draw attention to them). But I did get the theme after a while. I did sort of find myself looking for a revealer or something, so I guess the note was kind of artistically necessary in the absence of a revealer or title which hints more strongly or something.