Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Tuesday, January 2, 2024, Jeffrey Marinovic

Hello one and all. Or maybe just one. Hard to tell when you're sending blog posts out into the ether...

Things have quieted in Albany, with the departure of all guests after the various holiday celebrations. I'm in the start of a two week vacation prior to starting a new job in New Jersey. So things feel a little unsettled at the moment. Moving is one of the greatest stressors in a life, they say. I'm trying to do this a bit at a time to make things less stressful. Hard to say if it's working.

Meanwhile, the Tuesday puzzle provides a bit of stress relief. Today's theme are pairs of two-word phrases composed of two pairs of antonyms. Thus STANDDOWN and SITUP are paired, likewise HITME and MISSYOU. It's a fun concept, with the 15-letter grid-spanner revealer at 38A: Some grammatical no-nos ... or a description of four pairs of answers in this puzzle? (DOUBLENEGATIVES). Although I'm not averse to using a double negative, myself.

What do you think of a clue like 34A: Place to find gold ... that's not yours? (MINE)? I'm amused by the concept. In a Tuesday grid, the second part is not necessary by any means. But it's a very clever secondary definition which could be taken as a declamatory statement, as in "That's not yours! It's mine!" The question mark is only necessary to alert the solver that it is a secondary definition.

Otherwise it's a pretty straightforward Tuesday. RIGAMAROLE is an excellent long down answer (longer than any of the theme answers!). 

- Colum

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