Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tuesday, April 16 2024, Adam Vincent

Today's theme is a clever one, to which many of us can undoubtedly relate.  There are four long answers near the periphery, each with a notable man's name:

  • Actor who played Oscar Wilde in "Wilde" : STEPHENFRY
  • Mouseketeer peer of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake : RYANGOSLING
  • Inventor who patented the first revolver : SAMUELCOLT
  • English essayist who wrote "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once" : CHARLESLAMB
These all have something in common, aside from being men's names: the surnames are all baby animals, and this is revealed by the central clue "Certain immature adult..." - MANBABY!  In fact, the theme clues provide an additional hint, not shown above, indicating the adult form of the animal in question.  I thought this extra help was unnecessary, although it did highlight the bonus fact that in three of the four answers, the adult name has a distinct male form (sorry, FISH, not today..).

Ask yourself, if you're a male solving this puzzle - am I a MANBABY?  The answer is probably "yes, sometimes" 😄

This was a pretty smooth solve for me, despite not knowing BARBACOA as a Chipotle beef option.  My favourite clue was definitely "Wild couples cruise?" (NOAHSARK - excellent!!). A couple of Across answers that stood out were the consecutive HDTV and SGTS - look Ma, no vowels!  "One under a birdie" didn't fool me for a second - it's EAGLE, not CHICK - thanks to my multi-hour bingeing of the Masters this past weekend.  KISSCAM ("What might catch X's at an O's game?") definitely deserves a shout-out as well.

I didn't love ALE hidden in "Drink aptly found in 'medieval era'".  Un peu de trop, methinks.  Besides, there's only one medieval drink in crossword-land, and that's MEAD of course.  

Gentle fun for a Tuesday!


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