The Theme!Uhhhh it was fine. “Armed to the teeth” to evoke “gold teeth” and 1A divined by crosses is GOLD FILLINGS and ah sure haha neato that means something about the chemical symbol for gold was inserted throughout the puzzle right, o how neat v cool theme.
jk jk, record scratch, run that back. Not AU but OR inserted into seventeen answers throughout the puzzle. “O, r you kidding me???” you ask, rhetorically, knowing the answer.
Dear Readers are invited to fight us in the Comments and explain the v excellent connexion between gold and/or gold fillings and OR. Something better than “OR is a homophone of ore, and gold is a kind of ore. So.” Then you shrug and grimace at us, rightly avoiding our gaze, as our eyes like twin blue tractor beams struggle to extract more from you. Sweep! Sweep! The buzzing electric hum of our gaze as it rakes across your bashful face.
EDIT: per Brother Danny below “OR” is a type of “gold” heraldry.
In heraldry, or (French for "gold") is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals", or light colours. In engravings and line drawings, it is hatched using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.
Ah but do you fill teeth with it? AHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh yes think of the solvers who are extremely literal and prefer on-the-nose themes. Many thanks to Brother Danny!
Because of the seventeen insertionios, none of the clues had number of answer letters in parens, which added some fun challenge. Dear Readers who find cryptic crossword puzzles baffling and maddening, we're not bragging about our skills to personally baffle and madden you. Make no mistake, we are absolutely bragging about our hardwon awesome cryptic crossword puzzle skills right now. But if you're curious about whether you catch the puzzle dragon, you don't. You chase that puzzle dragon forever. We'll tell you when we've had enough, kai, ta, loipa.
- 10A) As affront is limitless, it's something to savor
AS AFFRONt is limitless = SAFFRON
- 13A) Romeo's leader on the road in final face-off
in finAL FAce-off = ALFA
- 18A) Is “kiddo” only partly accepted? Get outta here!
IS KIDDO Only partly accepted = SKIDDOO
- 21A) Ship's helm in the morning? Just the opposite!
(helm = STEER) (just the opposite [of] in the = outside of) (morning = AM) = STEAMER
- 25A) During negotiations, a legitmate sign of a bargain
negotiatiONS A LEgitimate = ON SALE
- 29A) Sound barrier blasted
Sound (barrier = DAM) = DAMN
- 37A) Do nag at someone who calls games
DO (nag at someone = PESTER) = DOPESTER
- 41A) Music, after I went at wine
(MUSIC after I went = MUSC) AT = MUSCAT
- 44A) And, also, as well—they all come back with dirt
(And, also, as well = TOOS) they all come back = SOOT
- 45A) State a word of welcome, wearing glasses?
(a word of welcome = HI) wearing (glasses = O O) = OHIO
- 46A) Gives out in so-called sporting events
so-called (sporting events = MEETS) = METES
- 47A) Solver's true nature is elusory, puzzling (and female)
ELUSORY puzzling and (female = F) = YOURSELF
- 1D) Wind up with, initially, Eric Idle
up with ((initially Eric = E) (idle = LAG)) = GALE
entered as GALORE
- 4D) Ref's set for curing sores
REFS SET for curing = FESTERS
entered as FORESTERS
- 8D) In Japan, goodbye at the end for an old city
(In Japan goodbye = SAYŌNARA) at the end = NARA
- When the boat tour guide apologized that the tour would be in Japanese, and we said, in decent Japanese, “that's ok!” and “I studied Japanese.” The boat broke into applause!!
- Our last night in Tokyo, ordering coffee and water with the right forms of “please” and “pardon me” now second nature, and the clerk at Starbucks reverently saying in Japanese, “you are fluent!”
- 9D) Instinctive gradual erosion takes in a bit of land and the end of rain
GRADUAL erosion takes in (a big of land = L) and the (end of rain = N) = GLANDULAR
- 10D) Rig bears south—they might make short cuts
Rig BEARS (south = S) = SABERS
- 12D) Diesel in the actors' union appears in Deliverance
(Diesel = VIN) in the (actors' union = SAG) =&nsbp;SAVING
entered as SAVORING
And oh how we love that Brother Vin! Our younger real-life brother says that Big Vin has a reputation as a cruddy person, which breaks our heart! Oh it does. We choose the reality of this Valentine's Day karaoke cover of Stay:
- 20D) Stuff that leaves you flat in London
Stuff that leaves you = flat in London = PAD
re: “stuff that leaves you”
We watched a cute video about rehabilitating stuffed animals the other day. Secrets include restuffing via a discreet slit made in the nape of the neck and refluffing with a wire pet grooming brush.
- 22D) A-list's membership ends
A list's membership = TAILS
entered as TAILORS
- 24D) Mahler's First fools a lot of people
(Mahler's First = M) (fools = ASSES) = MASSES
entered as MORASSES
An old friend of ours used to say of Mahler, feigning breathless affect, “Gustave! Where does it come from?”
- 26D) Jimmy welcomes boorish puritanical element
(Jimmy = PRY) welcomes (boorish = RUDE) = PRUDERY
- 27D) Tight-lipped group claims one is not wanted in it
CLAIMS (one = I) is not wanted in it = CLAMS
enetered as CLAMORS
- 28D) Drinks out in streets
OUT in (streets = STS) = STOUTS
- 30D) A lot of Hair, they say, takes place in America
(A lot of Hair = MANE) they say = MAINE
entered as MORAINE
- 36D) Not a nice place for satay—no first-class ratings
SATAY no (first-class ratings = A) = STY
- 38D) Place of pure enchantment?
PURE enchantment = PERU
- 39D) Carry a child? Easy at first
(a child = TOT) (Easy at first = E) = TOTE
Also, hahahah what would you know about it, Maltby? Would you characterize the first trimester as easier or harder than the average menstrual cycle? That would be a useful reference point. Go ahead. Cuz we'd love to hear the answer: is [ultra super duper patronizing tone] the first trimester of carrying a human child to term easier or harder than the average menstrual cycle?
Your silence speaks volumes right now, bro.
- 42D) Fly with only a pair of socks and a last piece of underwear
(only a pair of SOCKS = SO) and A (last piece of UNDERWEAR = R) = SOAR
- 11A) Low parts in Valse Fantastique
VALSE fantastique = VALES
- 14A) Country parents holding an area in straitened circumstances?
(Country parents = PA MA) holding AN = PANAMA
entered as PANORAMA
- 15A) Like some mothers except, after an exchange of letters with a family member, talking
EXCEPT after an exchange of letters with a ((family member = AUNT) talking = ANT) = EXPECTANT
entered as EXPECTORANT
- 17A) Hemingway and Che Guevara, to friends, hearing ideas evenly
hEaRiNg IdEaS evenly = ERNIES
- 19A) Taking five letters in “string,” adding one from each, anagramming
(Taking five letters in string = STRIN) = RESTRING
entered as RESORTING
- 26A) How to indicate Pennsylvania when there's little room for an animal?
How to indicate Pennsylvania when there's little room = P AND A = PANDA
entered as PANDORA
- 32A) Preserver finds first page missing from hymnal
(page = P) missing from (hymnal = PSALTER) = SALTER
We could look it up and settle the issue, yah?
A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms
Well but so maybe a psalm is just a type of hymn, right? Hm yah why not let's super casually look it up:
The Book of Psalms commonly referred to simply as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim ("Writings"), the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, psalmoi, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music."
Sounce: Wiki agin
Ok then there's some merit to equating psalms with hymns ok cool this was instructive neato Dorito.
Also, this month's Nerd Hot Guy is Salt Bae:
- 33A) Muralist represented extremist belief
MURALIST represented = ULTRAISM
Ohhhh WHOAA ok so “fake word” is our ”fake news.” It's an inflammatory characterization that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but always it means something bad, always meant to distinguish between the fake and the bona fide. Yes. The -ER words. And the RE- words. Fake words! #fakewords
- 34A) Heading for disaster, entering so the wrong way, takes too much
(Heading for disaster = D) entering SO the wrong way = ODS
- 43A) Previous to this place, after initial takeoff
(this place = HERE) after initial takeoff = ERE
- 48A) Surely, if going from left to right, and changing, it may have fringe benefits!
(SURELY if going from (left = L) to (right = R) = SURERY) and changing = SURREY
- 2D) Football team not running, seen as a disaster
(not running = OFF) SEEN as a disaster = OFFENSE
- 6D) Man on a talk show brings up Ogden Nash's other llama!
brings up (Ogden Nash's other llama = ONE L) = LENO
The one L lama, he's a priest The two L llama, he's a beast And I will bet my silk pyjama There isn't any three L lllama. -- O. Nash, to which a fire chief replied that occasionally his department responded to something like a "three L lllama."
- 16D) Chest protectors for exotic animals picked up by the ears?
(exotic = QUEER) (animals = ASSES) picked up by the ears = CUIRASSES
This would be fun and funny especially because it involves one of the most tittery middle school spittle laugh words ever, CUIRASSES. But it's the second ASS in the puzzle along with 24D and the homophone indicator is tacked at the end without modifying ASSES which is a bummer, pun intended.
Please yes, hilarious middle school laugh words! Please yes TITMOUSE. Please yes BOOBIE. Speaking of, raise your hand if you were certain that “chest protectors” would mean BRA, woulda bet a hundo dollars on it [we raise our hand].
Anyway yes please, yes always, funny words. But keep the clues tight. Tight taut hardbodied clues, toned and sprayed with a fine mist of oil and glitter.
- 18D) One who patronizes up-and-coming goods in Paris?
up-and-coming (goods in Paris = BONS) = SNOB
- 23D) No average parades provide drinks
No (average = PAR) parades = ADES
entered as ADES
We were certain that “average” or “no average” indicated a word from mathematics or statistics as glorious as like “heteroskedastic” or similar. So part of our disappointment in this clue is how hard it busted our boner.
- 35D) Oh, you singer and actress—so earthy in your makeup!
(Oh = O) you (singer and actress = CHER) = OCHRE
The TackyTwo this month:
- 20A) Sound, according to a Siamese?
Sound (according to = PER) = PURR
Awwwwwww danngit if this just were tweaked a smidgy to “the Siamese” instead of “a Siamese” it'd be fine. Ugh, but either the clue is meant to invoke cats from the outset, in which case, too easy. Or, “a Siamese” is meant to invoke a human person from Siam. Ugh.
Ok first, Siam isn't Siam, it's Thailand. And Yul Brynner is Russian, not Thai.
Second, “an American” is totally fine to our ear and “the Chinese [people]” is basically ok but “a Chinese” sounds shitty. We don't know why but that's definitely the case! “Chinese national” does the job just fine.
Here's “an” answer, not particularly satisfactory:
In English there is a distinction between nationalities that end in 'ian' like Canadian or Italian and those that end in 'ese' like Japanese or Burmese.
Those that have the 'ian' can say 'I am Canadian' or 'I am a Canadian' interchangeably, but usually in English the 'ese' ones don't use the 'a' when they're referring to people--unless it is being used as an adjective.
You could say "That is a Japanese person" (where Japanese is an adjective describing the word 'person')
This convention also applies to nationalities that end in 'ish' as well, as in 'I am British' or 'I am Scottish' --though Scotland is a different case because they could say, "I am Scottish" or "I am a Scot".
I don't really know why this convention exists, but saying 'I am a Chinese' to a native speaker would be very strange for them.
Source: Stack Exchange
- 5D) Cable's hookup makes you turn tail
turn TAIL = LIAT
"Fo' Dolla' ", set in part on the island of Bali-ha'i, focuses on the romance between a young Tonkinese woman, Liat, and one of the Americans, Marine Lieutenant Joe Cable, a Princeton graduate and scion of a wealthy Main Line family. Pressed to marry Liat by her mother, Bloody Mary, Cable reluctantly declines, realizing that the Asian girl would never be accepted by his family or Philadelphia society. He leaves for battle (where he will die) as Bloody Mary proceeds with her backup plan, to affiance Liat to a wealthy French planter on the islands. Cable struggles, during the story, with his own racism: he is able to overcome it sufficiently to love Liat, but not enough to take her home.Hey there's Liat, one of the main characters in South Pacific. Oh, who she? Ohhhhh she a hookup. For Lieutenant Joe Cable. Ugh.
Also the existence of a song called Fo' Dolla even in the context of an ostensibly critically defined anti-racist play is rough.
Additional fun fact from the South Pacific Wiki article tho:
When the tour of the show reached a racially segregated theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, Rodgers and Hammerstein threatened to cancel the performances there unless seating was integrated, which it was.