Earlier today on Twitter we read through the feed of an acquaintance upon whom we had (read: have) a bit of a crush, and who is also a self-identified social justice warrior. And despite said crush, her tweets mostly had us feeling exhausted and annoyed, thinking thinks like “PC Policing” and “shrill.”
Then we hopped over here to write Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues, a blog where *we* are the self-appointed PC Police. Then we LAUGHED at our own expense.
Laughing harder now: but if not for this blog, who will hold the puzzle accountable for references to rape and child murder? When the puzzle says that gay men can't be butch, who will step forward and say, “are you crazy??” When Ruth Bader Ginsburg's name is misspelled, who will say, “what!? That's so bad!!”
It is we! The shining sword in the dark night of the Internet!! Carefully curating our list of clues that equate a hymen with chastity!!
We may take heart, Dear Readers. This blog will likely self-destruct should we ever become truly shrill and unfun. We're literally only writing this blog to have fun.
To the Theme!Another code! Not so despair-inducing as The Playfair Square tho. The hot 26 of the Roman alphabet arranged in pairs around the perimeter such that a line drawn to connect a pair crosses the puzzle's center dot, thus forming a swapperoo code*. Ten clues in italics with answers entered in using the swapperoo code.
* technical term
As is polite, the italics clues were generally “fine.” Not too hard, not too easy. PTSD from Playfair nonwithstanding, a fast straight-ahead solve.
- 8A) In West African religion, be a sweet thing (6)
(West African religion = JUJU) + BE = JUJUBE
Contrary to common belief, Vodun [aka Voodoo —ed] is not related to juju, despite the linguistic and spiritual similarities. Juju has acquired some karmic attributes in more recent times: good juju can stem from almost any good deed; bad juju can be spread just as easily.Sweet V recently asserted that it's “joo-JOOB.” Emma says JOO-joob. Wikipedia says either pronunciation is fine for the candy but the fruit ends in b-like-in-cab. Learnings.
- 14A) Holds up on nonsense, otherwise turns back (4)
((nonsense = BS) + (otherwise = OR)) * reverse = ROBS
- 17A) Flowers one grows (6)
(one = I) + (grows = RISES) = IRISES
- 20A) The Reb yields openers because of that (7)
(THE REB + (yields openers = Y)) * anagram = THEREBY
tHE REB Yields = THEREBY
Wups yah so per Wise Tyler, this is no anagram, it's a hidden clue/word spanner. We saw what we wanted to see (anagrams everywhar). Entered in code as BIOAOTG
- 24A) One can take her cue from cheat (6)
HER CUE * anagram = EUCHRE
- 28A) Streak, running around Olympian, perhaps (6)
STREAK * anagram = SKATER
- 29A) Latin into bongo playing is hardly square (6)
((Latin = L) + BONGO) * anagram = OBLONG
Our memory from when we read Steppenwolf in 2009 proved faulty, and Pablo is a saxophonist, not a drummer. Wups. So we now present you with a photo of Jerry Edmonton, one of the drummers from Steppenwolf:
“oblong” reminds us of Bob Loblaw's Law Blog:
- 37A) Swiss city old fart comes from (7)
OLD FART * anagram = ALTDORF
- 38A) Country once linking Namibia, France (6)
Namibia France = BIAFRA
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south).Here's Jello Biafra looking lovely. Wikipedia tells us he indeed took his name from this same short-lived state.
After the federal and eastern governments failed to reconcile, on 26 May the Eastern region voted to secede from Nigeria. On 30 May, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Eastern Region's military governor, announced the Republic of Biafra, citing the Easterners killed in the post-coup violence. The large amount of oil in the region created conflict, as oil was a major component of the Nigerian economy. The Eastern region was very ill equipped for war, out-manned, and out-gunned by the military of the remainder of Nigeria.
- 45A) Small pale-colored bird (4)
(Small = S) + (pale-colored = WAN) = SWAN
- 46A) Caveat on Alaskan houses having no key (6)
Caveat on Alaskan = ATONAL
- 2D) Cracked back in crazy stunt (5)
crazy stunt * reverse = NUTSY
- 5D) Was a revolver involved in tragedy (7)
TRAGEDY * anagram = GYRATED
“[Michelle] is the best Hula-Hooper I know. Once she gets the rhythm going, she can drop to her knees!”
—President Barack Obama
- 6D) Go down, up on horse—that's quite a turnover! (5)
((Go down = SINK) * (up on = reverse)) + (horse = H) = KNISH
- 10D) Cash exchanged, boxing ring mess (5)
(CASH * anagram) boxing (ring = O) = CHAOS
- 11D) Man playing in factory (5)
fACTORy = ACTOR
They were put there by a man
In a factory downtown!
- 27D) “Running Amok Around Outskirts of Barrio”—big report! (6)
(AMOK + (Outskirts of Barrio = BO)) * anagram = KABOOM
- 28D) Weird wicked fakery (6)
FAKERY * anagram = FREAKY
- 31D) Wound, kill, die (6)
(kill = OFF) + (die = END) = OFFEND
- 33D) Spacy kid, with no passport, traveling—he comes with a lot of baggage (6)
SPACY KID with no (passport = ID) * anagram = SKYCAP
- 34D) Ceremony providing big rock presentation (6)
(Ceremony = MASS) + (providing = IF) = MASSIF
- 36D) You can't start Disney turning fugitive (6)
((You can't start = OU) + (Disney = WALT)) * anagram = OUTLAW
- 12A) Kind of wine, no year, send back—far out! (6)
((Kind of wine = RED) + NO + (year = Y)) * reverse = YONDER
- 15A) A red X put in plastic jar (5)
(X = 10 = IO) put in JAR = RIOJA
- 19A) Saying: Of course, it's, like, mailed (6)
(like = AS) + (mailed = SENT) = ASSENT
- 22A) Hundred hits into replayed video with vocals (6)
((Hundred = C) hits into VIDEO) * anagram = VOICED
- 47A) Put vegetable back in can (3)
back in (can = MAY) = YAM
You've heard our thoughts on can/may equivalency before. So. “can” and “may” are not the same. But then also, and we insist that this is not a contradiction of previous, it is very annoying when someone says, “I dunno, can you?” and you're like OMG where is the bathroom you tedious alleycat!! Nobody cares about your unrelentingly precise command of English usage!!!
More wedding/Romanian romance talk (your favorite talk) on a gratuitous tangential note regarding can-may ability-action wish-will equivalencies: in Romanian, the way to ask someone to marry you is
vrei să fii soțul meu? / vrei să fii soția mea?meaning "do you want to be my husband? / do you want to be my wife?" But in English, the stronger statement is
will you be my husband? / will you be my wife?The implication to our ear is that in English, there's a potential gap between will and action.
“Do you want to marry me?”In Romanian, if you want to get married then it's going to happen. Will and action are equivalent. So cool!
“Sure I want to but [some bullshit could get in the way].”
Certainly it's difficult (impossible?) to separate language and culture. For the purposes of this section we're pretending to believe in effects of language alone, independent of culture.
- 48A) Ice cap melting—it produces heaving (6)
ICE CAP * anagram = IPECAC
- 1D) Status follower holding art book (6)
(Status follower = QUO) holding ART = QUARTO
And then twenty years of life happened. And now we're here, with access to the world's information. Tell us Internet, oracle of all that was and has not happened yet: what be a quarto?
quarto (n.)So Shakespeare wrote some stuff on folded papercraft! V cool.
"book from paper folded to make four pages to the sheet," late 15c., from Medieval Latin in quarto "in the fourth (part of a sheet of paper)," from quarto, ablative singular of Latin quartus "fourth" (see quart).
Source: true love Etymonline
- 3D) Strand after disease is cured (7)
DISEASE * anagram = SEASIDE
- 4D) reforming Texas university, first duty of a state? (3, 3)
(TEXAS + (university = U)) * anagram = USE TAX
- 7D) Wander down, going out more tight (6)
(Wander = MEANDER) (down = D) going out = MEANER
3. penurious, stingy, or miserly:
a person who is mean about money.
Synonyms: niggardly, close, tight, parsimonious, illiberal, ungenerous, selfish.
- 20D) Head soup maker (4 )
Head = soup maker = BEAN
- 25D) Deceive the man with healthy heart (4)
(the man = HE) with (healthy = OK) heart = HOKE
- 35D) Queen, in heels, perversely gives Hebrew money to Hebrews (6)
((Queen = Q) + HEELS) * anagram = SHEQEL
- 34A) Canadian native makes American win in a fight, million times over (6)
((American = US) + (win in a fight = KO) + (million = M) + (times = X)) * anagram = MUSKOX
- 21D) Toupee showing up on American wise guys (5)
(Toupee = RUG) showing up on (American = US) = GURUS
Just keep beating dat drum: US ≠ America.
Some alternate ways to get US:
US (disambiguation) from Wikipedia
US from urban dictionary
Cuz that's the problem here, right? Getting the US as a convenient string? There are so many ways. Imagination need not fail us. Not in the puzzle of all places!