Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday, December 7, 2023, Rebecca Goldstein

Is it possible that Ms. Goldstein's name inspired today's theme? I guess the answer to that question has to be yes. It is possible, but maybe not likely.

In fact, ALCHEMY and its aim to turn lead into gold has inspired four rebus squares, where in the across direction the answer uses the letters PB (for lead) and the down answers uses the letters AU (for gold). I figured out what was going on at the crossing of 49D and 56A (TE[AU]RN and PO[PB]OTTLES). There was only one choice for the across answer (I had most of the rest of it with crosses), and only one possibility for the down answer, so I was set. Mind you, most of the time caterers use urns for coffee, not tea.

It is very nice that all of the PB rebuses are across words, and all but one of the AU rebuses. CAFE[AU]LAIT is the one exception. My favorite pair is PUSHU[PB]RA and MAKE[AU]TURN. Is it just coincidence that NECKED is just above the intimate garment? I'd like to think that it isn't. The rebus squares are symmetrically placed, but they still came as surprises to me as I solved.

It's the rare puzzle that gives you two muppets in one grid, and today is one of those days, with OSCAR and Dr. BUNSEN Honeydew. 

After all of that, there are remarkably few surprising or clever clues for a Thursday. I suspect this has to do with the challenge level of the rebus theme. Make everything else easier than usual so the crosses make the rebus answers clearer.

Fun puzzle, looking forward to the rest of the Turn!

- Colum


  1. All but one of the AU rebuses are ... ? Did I miss something?

    This was a fun one. I liked the clue "Giraffe gatherings" because it got me thinking about all the fancy terms it might be... "summits" "heights" "elevations" ... but no, it's just HERDS.

    1. Across multiple words. My syntax was not as clear as it might have been.