Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday, September 15, 2022, Ruth Bloomfield Margolin

Today's theme answers require some thinking outside the box. The theme answers extend above or below the grid. When they are at the top, the answer is paired with the word 'raise' (and occasionally, the indefinite article) so the answer makes sense. For example, the clue for 3D is "Make one's opposition known, literally." For the purposes of fitting the answer into the grid, one enters BJECTIONS, but for the purposes of making the answer fit the clue one adds the word 'raise' and the letter  'o' to get 'raise [O]BJECTIONS.' 

At the bottom of the grid, the same trick/step occurs, but now the word 'lower' is used in conjunction with the theme answers and the last letter from each falls below/outside the established grid. For example, at 52D, we have 'lower the' VOLUM[E].

I have to say that along with the theme answers, my expectations of being able to complete this grid raised and lowered as I progressed. Some sections went smoothly, while others, like the top middle ARIA, gave me a lot of trouble, at least until I figured out the trick - that section includes two theme answers. I'd never heard of ENOS Slaughter, so I had a lot of trouble even figuring out what the clue, "Slaughter in Cooperstown" might mean. I kept thinking it must be baseball slang for a rout. It didn't help that I've never heard of TERRI Clark. Here at HAFDTNYTCPFCA, we prefer Kelly Clark. :) 


In addition to contending with the theme, there was some trixy cluing that led this solver astray. At 16A: "Declaration after getting a hand" (IMIN), I got stuck on the 'applause' meaning of hand instead of the card kind. For "Pops, in a way" (UNCORKS), I was thinking of dads rather than bubbly, and I really didn't know what to think when I got to 31A. "Something a game may have, for short." It took me a while to come up with MVP, and if I hadn't known MAEVE Binchy, I might never have closed the circle. Fun fill included both OHSNAP and SOLASTYEAR.

That's the GOODNEWS. The less good news were the slightly lame EMAILER for "Computer correspondent" and "Word repeated in '__ or no __?'" (ICE) - is that a saying? I also thought the partial: "Ending with arbor" (EAL) was a NEGATIVE, but those TRE are a small price to pay for a what I TINK is a clever puzzle.


1 comment:

  1. You're a sweetie, Frannie o' mine! Oof, this was a hard one for me. I think maybe if I'd printed it out and solved on paper, I could've written the "missing" letters in the margins. Still, quite an interesting theme!