Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday, May 21, 2023, Robert Ryan


Hey, folks! It's Colum, back again for another week of reviews. Since I last posted, we went on an amazing vacation through Ireland and the United Kingdom, seeing Edinburgh, London, and Canterbury. Despite spending two weeks in the heart of cryptic crossword land, I didn't essay a single such puzzle. I know Philbo, who just gave us a fine week of reviews, loves these puzzles, and finishes them as quickly as he does the American type. I'm sure that if I worked at them, I'd get learn to appreciate them also.

But to today's puzzle: our theme is taking standard three word phrases of the format "[blank] in [blank]" and reinterpreting them so that the first two words form a gerund, dropping the G, as you do in much of America, but most notably in the south. Also, in upper class England in the 18th through the early 20th centuries, as captured in novels by P.G. Wodehouse, or Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey. In any case, here we get silly clues to capture the new meaning.

I love 23A: Bigamy, legally speakin'? (PARTNERINCRIME). Similarly, 102A: Statute regulatin' surrogacy? (MOTHERINLAW) is brilliant. The others weren't quite as humorous, although I chuckled at TALKINCIRCLES

I ran into trouble today because of a typo. I put in DeuL instead of DUEL, typing too quickly. Then I was stuck with 43A: Shade (HUE), looking at _EE. I chose L, thinking of the nautical term. Boy, that's an example of overthinking, instead of looking at the surroundings to make sure you haven't made a mistake. Easily enough fixed, but not until after finishing the entire grid and getting the sad message.

21A: Reading can be found on it (THAMES) seems very apt, as well as a fun hidden capital. Other answers which were clearly and directly referring to my vacation included 40A: Beefeater, e.g. (DRYGIN), 64A: Brussels administrative official, informally (EUROCRAT) - as we had to move from the E.U. into the U.K., and 5D: Grams in the U.K.? (NAN).

Other fun clues include 28A: Pirate fodder, once (BLANKCDS) - so un-nautical. I also liked 61D: Comprehensive report? (AHA). Such a great way to liven up a classic 3-letter answer.

Fun start to the week.

- Colum


  1. Welcome back Colum! Sounds like you had a wonderful time in the UK. When it's my turn to do these reviews again, I plan to drop in a bit of cryptic-talk, just for educational purposes :)

    I enjoyed today's puzzle, and because the theme was apparent very quickly, was able to race thru in 10:58 with no real problems anywhere. I liked the very misleading SKIS. YESANDNO reminded me of my university days, where a friend used to answer (seemingly) every question with that phrase. So annoying!

  2. Welcome back, Colum -- so glad the vacation was a success! I enjoyed the puzzle, too. I think my favorite answer is WAITIN' LINE, but they're all funny.