Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wednessday, March 1, 2023, Aaron M. Rosenberg

When I got to the first theme clue, "Hark! And hear of the vengeful ruler who took great pleasure in expelling disloyal subjects, for he was the ..." and saw that the answer was PERSONALBANKING, I was LES than amused, but by the time I got to the fourth theme clue, "Give heed! And listen to my tale of the mad tyrant who decreed that all toilets in his realm be installed the wrong way, for he was the ...." BACKWARDLOOKING, I had LEARNT to love them and LOL'd. Maybe it was repetition that made the laugh grow heartier, or maybe the clues just got funnier, but either way, or both, they won me over. The theme answers all having KING at the end helped speed the solve (9:49), but was a tiny bit unfortunate puzzling-wise. 


Two answers that roiled my solve a bit were AVANTPOP and Ted CHIANG, having never heard of either. I did look up avant-pop on the World Wide Web and it turns out I knew a number of the listed artists, but didn't know of the genre. I do take a science fiction book, so maybe I'll look into Mr. Chiang. 

Some princely C/APs elsewhere in the grid were "Came to" (AWOKE), "Letter opening" (MAILSLOT), "Apt recourse for a deal gone sour?" (LEMONLAW), and "Element of the Vegas strip?" (NEON) - ha! 

In LINE for best in fill are FOP, MONONYM, HONKS, and everybody's favorite, SNAFU

And as no king has ever outkinged Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil, it is perhaps apt that several French answers, (VICHY, MON, AMIE, PAPILLON) served to give the puzzle a certain je ne sais quoi



  1. My contribution to this forum today is to urge you, if you like sci-fi or speculative fiction at all, to give Mr. CHIANG a try. I think his stuff is brilliant, by and large. He wrote the short story the movie "Arrival" is based on. I was able to battle through the groaning at the punny theme answers and get this one done in 3:47. AVANTPOP was brand new to me...

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Philbo. I do like science fiction, and I did like “Arrival.” I will take a look at the books of Mr. CHIANG. Any specific title(s) to recommend?