Phrase in group photo caption / THU 6-23-16 / Radiohead frontman Thom / Speakeasy-goer / They're best left untouched generally
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Constructor: Megan Amram and David Kwong
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Formal expressions! — familiar expressions containing a word that can also be a shortened version of a common name have that word changed into the more formal version of the name, resulting in hilarious nonsense:
- ROBERT FOR APPLES (17A: Play a game on Halloween, formally?)
- PENELOPE PINCH (25A: Be exceedingly frugal, formally?)
- DOROTHY MATRIX (40A: Kind of printer, formally?)
- SYLVESTER AS A FOX (52A: Very cunning, formally?)
Renée Elise Goldsberry (born January 2, 1971) is an American actress, singer and songwriter. // She is currently performing on Broadway as Angelica Schuyler Church in Hamilton, a performance for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Goldsberry's other Broadway credits include Nettie in The Color Purple, Mimi in Rent, and Nala in The Lion King. Goldsberry has also portrayed many roles on television, perhaps best known for her recurring roles as a singer on Ally McBeal, as assistant Cook County State's Attorney Geneva Pine on The Good Wife, and her starring role as Evangeline Williamson on One Life to Live. (wikipedia)
• • •Megan paid me to say that this puzzle was good, but she didn't have to. I sincerely loved it. I mean, I'm keeping the money. I'm just saying it wasn't *necessary*.
This felt like more of a Wednesday than a Thursday, but that's about the only complaint I have. This was a lot of fun to solve, and the concept was absurd in just the right way. I legitimately LOL'd (or, formally, laughed out loud) at the first theme answer. My whole theory of wacky is: if you're going to go wacky, go completely insane or go home. That first themer makes me imagine a guy named Robert who is very pro-apples. He will put an apple in every pot. Vote Robert: For Apples. Then the second themer had my wife's name in it, so honestly the rest of the grid could've just been filled with EERO, I was sold.
I had one dumb mistake I had to track down when I went with the (to my ear) more appropriate AH YES at 21A: "Now I remember" instead of "OH YES," which reads more, uh, orgasmic. "Ah yes, I remember it well" is a lyric of some sort, right? By CAEN or CAAN or KERN or LOEWE or some such? OMG, look, crossword coincidence: it's from "GIGI"!
Didn't help that that initial vowel was crossing a Greek word, but honestly, POLIS > PALIS even if you know little to no Greek. Still, I can imagine someone ERRing there. At one point I wondered what WARS BARS were, but only briefly. WELD and MELD both work perfectly well for 36A: Fuse, but alas, there are no WARS BARS (yet). I made the usual G-for-J error at
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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