Saturday, August 20, 2022

Saturday, August 20, 2022, Hemant Mehta

Pretty much a perfect Saturday - I got very, very little on my first pass through the clues, then I started clawing my way in, eventually got my FOOTING, smiled a lot along the way at how I had been tricked, then ended with a FWOE and had to run the alphabet on MORDRED (King Arthur's slayer). I had put in hAT for "Locale for a pin" (MAT) (muscle not millinery) and I did not know enough about old English folklore to see my error. So it goes.


So anyway, it's a solid stepped, "social interaction" triple-stack in the middle. DONTLIETOME (Demand for honesty) seemed straightforward, IUNDERSTAND ("No need to elaborate") was strong, and FORCEDSMILE (Expression in an uncomfortable situation) - with its surrounding entries being actual voiced expressions - was especially tricksy!

As I review the clues now, I realize that "It has a significant part in the Bible" (REDSEA) is much funnier than I realized when I filled it in. (One of the perks of writing reviews.) One that I did appreciate when I got it was "Plight of the 1%" (LOWBATTERY). That is a lovely C/AP.

I like the words AVERSE (Disinclined) and UPSHOT (Ultimate result), and BOWOUT (Leave gracefully) and GODYES ("Oh, hallelujah!") are colorful couplets.

My French knowledge worked against me today with "It's not what it looks like" (FOOLSGOLD), where I kept trying to shoehorn in trompe l'oeil. And over in the NW, I could only think of the French meanings for "Louche" - "cross-eyed" or "squinting." As it turns out, it is the "squinting" part that gave rise to the "underhanded" or "disreputable" meaning, because, IPRESUME, people who squint are up to no good. 

Overall, a lovely Turn this week. We got a rebus on Thursday, a gem on Friday, and a GENUINE stumper on Saturday. How'd you like it?

- Horace

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