Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, Lee Taylor

One thing we had plenty of while we were in the UK was 1A: Beverage that may come with a bag (TEA). We did not get to Stratford-Upon-AVON, although we passed the reconstructed Globe Theatre in Southwark, right next to the Tate Modern, which was far more interesting. In Edinburgh, we got to see a full bagpipe parade on the day of Charles III's coronation (it was part of a protest), and they were all wearing the same tartan, presumably as a CLAN identification.

But enough about me and how the puzzles are clearly celebrating my vacation. Today's theme is an odd rebus/cryptic crossword clue concept, where words or phrases are created from a word and the fully written out form of a number. Thus, 16A: Poets + 10 = Serves drinks (BARTENDS) is made up of the number 10 and "bards." The other answers are:

18D: Supervisor + 9 = Quality that makes a fish hard to eat (BONINESS) or "boss" + 9.

35A: Small amphibian + 7 = Story worth covering (NEWSEVENT) or "newt" + 7. 

28D: Annoyed + 2 = "Success!" (ITWORKED) or "irked" + 2.

58A: Phase + 1 = Ancient period (STONEAGE) or "stage" + 1.

I like that as I worked my way through the grid, it felt like the numbers were going down from 10 to 1. Are there other good examples? I don't suppose "bath reeds" are a thing...

Meanwhile, I liked each corner's triple stack of 7-letter answers. I do like an APRICOT jam, although cherry is my favorite Bonne Maman flavor. GEMINIS, ADAMANT, and ZIPFILE is the most fun set, even if the latter is a thing of the past with cloud sharing.

41D: Words written in marble (EPITAPH) reminds me of seeing Sir Arthur Sullivan's gravestone in St. Paul's Cathedral.

TATA! Didn't hear anyone say that either.

- Colum

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