Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Drew Schmenner

I am amused that the theme today uses AUTOTUNE as the revealer, a decidedly contemporary tool in pop singers' armamentarium. Although, with a little Googling, I find out that it first came out in 1997, and Cher's song "Believe" was its first widely popular use. Nonetheless, the actual "auto" tunes listed in the other theme answers are distinctively older, ranging in dates from 1966 to 1988.

I remember when FASTCAR came out, because it was popular in college. Tracy Chapman had busked in Cambridge, but I don't know if I had ever actually seen or heard her before her album came out. If I had to rank these four songs, it would go like this:

1. MUSTANGSALLY. It's just too iconic.

2. FASTCAR. Nostalgia wins.

3. MERCEDESBENZ. I mean, it's Janis Joplin, so a lot of points there. But I like others of hers better.

4. LOWRIDER. It's iconic, but I wouldn't typically choose to listen to it.

Looks like white wool

The fill is good, with UGLYTRUTHS and EMAILSCAMS anchoring the corners. I always enjoy a good textism (SRSLY), and MCJOB is another fine multi-consonant answer in the symmetrically opposed slot.

Mr. Schmenner appears to like the Scrabbly letters, because we get a K, and X, a Z, and a Q. Unsurprisingly, that makes the puzzle a pangram. I didn't feel like the answers were stretched beyond recognition to get there, so no complaints. Still, there's a fair amount of glue, with BAS, EST, ACL, and TMC. But it's a fun Wednesday, with a typically oddball theme.

- Colum

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