Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Wednesday, August 3, 2022, Daniel Bodily

Today's theme turned out to be a stumper for this solver. I completed the grid save for the square at the bottom of 40D and the start of 64A. I couldn't make the leap from the instruction in the revealer "answered by filling in the correct circle" to the answer, even though the two clues, "Hue such as pale mint or lilac" and "Leafy shelter from the sun" were intended to point me in the right direction. Unfortunately for me, in both cases, it seemed to me that the answers I had come up with (PASTEL_ and _TREE) were sufficient unto themselves as answers to the clues. But, as I see now, the circled letters at the bottom of the grid, A B C [D] E were meant to represent answer options for the test question posed by combining three theme entries INASCRABBLEGAME WHATTILEISWORTH TWOPOINTS? The idea was, apparently to [SHADE] in the letter D, to select it as the correct answer/letter that fit the description in the test question. I like to think I could have figured it out if I had been able to spend more time on it, but when one is on vacation with the extended family, time to oneself is hard to come by.

51D: SUR

I suppose the bulky theme entries that formed the question brought about certain grid constraints, one of which seems to have been ABIT of an increase in three-letter entries like ONT, THA, and HUP. There were some, though, that were enlivened by entertaining clues like "Pool accessory" (CUE), "Certain workshop worker" (ELF), and "Make a knight, e.g." (DUB). 

Other fun or tricky clues I enjoyed included "Character in 'Face/Off" (SLASH), "Live it up" (REVEL), and "Place for rounds of draft picks" (BREWPUB). The example REVIEW in 15D ("'This vacuum sucks! 5 stars'") was amusing. 



  1. I didn't get this one either. I barely even get it after your explanation, Frannie. Too subtle for me I'm afraid :(

  2. I got the rebus (strongly suggested by the clues at least for me) and figured it must have something to do with picking D out of A,B,C,D,E but I don't know, shade as a rebus answer somehow related to shading in a square? The wordplay blog suggests shading in the square (on paper) rather than putting in a rebus (as needed online) but that weakens the appropriateness of PASTEL[SHADE] and [SHADE]TREE. And I suppose "filling in" in the 16A clue is supposed to suggest shading rather than, say, marking an X or circling. I'm trying to formulate the most generous case here but I'm not sure any of it especially resonates.

    Enough of that. Probably my high point was the REVIEW at 15D although I did also enjoy the draft picks at the BREWPUB (didn't especially fall for it but it did take me a while to figure out how to say bar in 7 letters).