Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday, June 21 - John Sheehan

When I saw six clues in all caps, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. And I got it.


John Sheehan's Thursday puzzle is a winner in my book. I don't ask much, really. Anagrams, circles in the grid, anything out of the ordinary, and I'm a happy solver.

I think this took me about a half hour, but it's always exciting to finish a Thursday puzzle sans Google.

The six theme clues and answers are:

20A: PROSE (knotted ropes)

28A: TORSO (tangled roots)

37A: SAP (faux pas). My favorite. Not only is it a great word, it has an X.

39A: LEAD (bad deal)

45A: GENRES (tossed greens)

55A: BAIRNS (addled brains). This was the aha answer for me.

Once you got the theme, the answers fell pretty quickly. Unscramble the clue and come up with an adjective.

I was equally pleased with some of the fill and eXcited to see X appear two more times.

33D: Fifth-century invader of Britain (Saxon) and 42A: Car bar (axle).

11D: One of two A.L. teams (Sox) and 19A: Kiboshed (nixed).

The two anniversary clues were nice, sitting there side by side like a happy couple. 6D: Fifth-anniversary gift (wood) and 7D: 55th-anniversary gift (emerald).

Also liked the intersection of 46D: In position to inherit the throne, say (eldest) with 59A: Progeny (issue). That's a word I might not have done without a legal background.

Clever cluing at 59D: Measures of brightness (IQs), 66A: Well-known maker of two-by-fours (LEGO), 51A: Yarn producer? (liar), and 10D: You can see through it (iris).

A couple of answers I didn't much care for:

3D: Spasm (throe). It just looks funny in the singular.

49D: Ripe for a trial lawyer (suable). Not a word in my book, but I liked the theme so much, I'm willing to let it slide.

For some reason, the northwest corner eluded me for the longest time. I just couldn't think of anything for 1A: Smithereens (bits), and all I could think of for 14A: Source of misery was woes, rather than the correct ache. Once I got bits, then 1D: Support (back) came to me, and it all fell into place.

When I read the clue for 44A (Turn blue, e.g.), my first thought (morbid as it may be) was die, which I wrote in. That made 26D (Cornered) a complete mystery. What would end in ai? Then another aha moment! Dye (that's a better way to turn blue!) opened my eyes to see that at bay was the answer for 26D.

I can't make any sense of 5A: America's Cup, e.g. I'm certain that the downs are correct, but that gives me ewer. Can anyone explain that one?

I get to have another birthday tomorrow without getting any older. For some reason, my co-workers thought my birthday was the 21st. Bring on the cake!

And I hope to see you then.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

The trophy ,the world cup is a ewer (at least in crosswordese).

Anonymous said...

A ewer is a pitcher shaped jug - the winner of the America's Cup race receives one.

DONALD said...

To be more precise, a ewer atop a pedestal anchored to a engraved marble base. See photo here:

Linda G said...

Thanks for the help.

Is that the same word that was used recently to describe an urn that would be used for ashes? If so, nice trophy idea. Reduce, reuse, recycle ; )

janie said...

did the "die/dye" thang, too...



Anonymous said...

I see Amy did this in 4:19. Pfui. I'm with you -- 28 min. + no google = a good Thursday.
Didn't think that for quite a while, though. Lots of crosses but no AHA until I got all the way down to BAIRNS. Guess I should pay more attention to those things you like--circles, caps, etc.--the meta clues.
I kinda think PSST and ESSO = too many plurals. Also A FATE is so much a gimme that I didn't trust it--gotta be something trickier, given the rest of the twisty clues, right? Or is that the trap--reverse english sort of spin.
Nice puzz--good blog.

stucknkc said...

Greetings Linda, just found my way here from RP's place.

I think FAUX PAS borders on elegant, when considered within the context of the theme. Nice.

Best wishes, see you again soon.


Linda G said...

Welcome, KC...always nice to see someone new. Yes, FAUX PAS was excellent. I definitely enjoyed this one.

cornbread hell said...

being a random order solver and a cryptic crossword lover, i guessed the theme with only a few downs in a heartbeat.
faux pas was my first theme entry and remains my favorite.

i guessed *new* and *raw* before checking the downs to come up with *bad* deal.

though easy for a thursday, i liked this puzzle. a lot.