CS 7:35 (J―paper)
Steve Dobis's New York Times crossword
So I Googled the term "ELOCUTION PHRASE" and got a minuscule 85 hits, including pages where those words were separated by a comma. Is this a familiar phrase to you? It's an [Exercise in pronunciation...like the first words of the answers to the starred clues]. Those first words make the phrase "How now, brown cow?" Now, the latter phrase was a theme entry in Nancy Salomon and Harvey Estes' 9/14/04 NYT puzzle, also a Tuesday, and the clue was [Traditional elocution exercise]. "Elocution phrase" feels much more clueish than answerish.
The other four theme answers are:
Favorite fill and clues:
What else is RUNNY besides undercooked eggs? Because that clue has eggs in it and EGGED is also in the grid, clued as [Prodded, with "on"]. Did you know that egg-the-verb comes from a Middle English word stemming from Old Norse, meaning "incite," whereas egg-the-noun follows the same language path but has a different root word? Wow. I never knew "egged on" had nothing to do etymologically with eggs.
Updated Tuesday morning:
Randall J. Hartman's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Have a C.O.W., Man!"―Janie's review
With this directive in mind, Randy has given us four three-word phrases; the first letter of each word in the phrase being C, O and then W. In this way, our bovine bounty includes:
This theme, if solid, is also somewhat stolid. The theme-fill is all perfectly fine by way of fulfulling the assignment, but to my eye/ear doesn't sparkle, and is beleaguered with negative connotations: weapons, war, casualties, worms. The cluing is very straight-forward and there's something less than fully satisfying about the concept. Perhaps if there were an actual tie-in―in the puzzle―to cows (and not simply the phrases that can be abbreviated "C. O. W.") it would have been more fun. Bottom line: enjoyment of a theme is a terrifically subjective experience.
This doesn't mean the puzzle isn't without its TREATS. SHALLOT, TWO PAIR and JACK WEBB are all appearing for the first time in a CS puzzle. And I also enjoyed seeing MASTODON in there. ACT NOW! DO IT! I like these two "up-and-at-'em" phrases, side-by-side in the grid, both clued as ["What are you waiting for?"].
We have a few real leaders in the mix, too: ALLAH, OBAMA, OBIWAN... ROB ROY, too, if you change the clue.
"PIMP [___ My Ride"] is a phrase I'd heard, but until I looked it up, had no idea of its origin. Ditto ECHO in the context of [Project Genesis model]. The former is an MTV auto makeover show; the latter an actual automobile. And here I was thinking "runway model" for some show called Project Genesis...
JASON of Friday the 13th fame is the [First name in slashers]―so this would not be Mr. Priestley, who factored into yesterday's puzzle. Thanks to (poster) Jangler for reminding me and constructor Patrick Blindauer of the "e" that belongs in the last name of 90210's Jason. Thank you, Patrick, for taking responsibility for the goof and for graciously apologizing twice. That was above and beyond. I didn't catch it either. Things happen. This does not signal the end of life as we know it and happily, in this scenario, no one dies!
Timothy Meaker's Los Angeles Times crossword
The theme is four B's:
PuzzleGirl and Rex and I had an e-mail roundtable last night about 25A. ["Mamma Mia!" trio?] clues EMS, the letters, but there are four M's in "Mamma Mia." Too bad the clue didn't say "quartet," because ABBA has 4 letters and seeing the 3-letter space would have been vexing for many a solver. But ABBA's elsewhere in the grid, 23D [Palindromic pop group].
I gotta run my son to day camp, so check out PuzzleGirl's L.A. Crossword Confidential post for more nitty-gritty in this puzzle.
June 29, 2009