Hola hola hola, TackyHarpersCrypticClues.com readers! Before we begin, it occurred to us recently that in all our years of writing this blog: there has not been even one single challenge to what we've deemed “tacky.” From Day One, we were girded and ready for accusations of “reading too much into things” or “o u femnizt what du know” ... but no! And while we hate to think silence implies consent (cf feminist) maybe in this case silence implies enthusiastic agreement?
Which is to say: this month's quote-unquote “tacky” clue is a stretch, Dear Readers! Tit's a stretch. Feel free to call it out. You'd be the first.
To the puzzle!Theme title: foursomes. Sexy times. Four-way (radial) symmetry and clues grouped in unnumbered foursomes to keep it lively, but left-to-right text directionality in English meant placement wasn't ambiguous for too long, not like with News Clippings a la Septembre.
This was a fast solve. Return to form! Started in the evening, finished up in the morning. Barely any time to get help from Sweet V, who usually looks over our shoulder and lands at least one of the long answers. No, this time our solve was pretty much solo. Big Girl puzzle solving.
- 2D) During move, ram platform to make the band too loud (7)
mOVE RAM Platform = OVERAMP
“clipping an amp”: “overloading an amplifier with a sonic signal that exceeds the machine's power capacity, resulting in a terrifying snapping sound and the illumination of a tiny red warning light on the face of the amp indicating that it is about to blow.”
“Man, the amps are, like, living in clip.*” - Ani's sound guy
(*paraphrasing — ed)
- 1A) Jailbird rants and rages—not in these places, I hope!
(Jailbird = CON) + (rants and rages = VENTS) = CONVENTS
- Pope Francis
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
- 21A) Shy nuns, I fancy, like a nice day (8)
SHY NUNS I * anagram = SUNSHINY
- 33A) Granted, The Wire going in had one great shot (8)
(wire = CORD) + going in (one great shot = ACED) = ACCORDED
- 9D) Incompetent has a try, then, starting to sag, butts out here (8)
(HAS A TRY) * anagram + (starting to sag = S) = ASHTRAYS
- 23D) I'm found in an article describing the persona of a woman (5)
IM + AN (article = A) = ANIMA
This story reflects more poorly on us than on Kenneth. We love telling it, though.
All the 12s were lovely:
- 25A) One might make a case for the president after election (12)
CABINETMAKER (double syn)
- 14A) Royalty you get from printer cable (two words) (12)
PRINTER CABLE * anagram = PRINCE ALBERT
- 7D) Substitute taking shot in soccer in two games at once (12)
(Substitute = DOUBLE) + (shot in soccer = HEADER) = DOUBLE HEADER
- Proud to find spelling of vous original (12)
VOUS ORIGINAL * anagram = VAINGLORIOUS
- 7A) The father of modern art?(4)
DADA (double syn)
- 13D) Small noisy joint? Hot dog! (6)
(small = WEE) + (joint = KNEE) * homophone = WEENIE
- 24A) Makes a sound on bended knees, perhaps? (5)
KNEES * anagram = KEENS
- 15A) Carved gate in front of university city in South Korea (5)
(GATE + (front of university = U)) * anagram = TAEGU
- 16D) Young European in a line from Joseph to Ebenezer (6)
josEPH + EBEnezer = EPHEBE
e • phebe [ih-feeb, ef-eeb]Prolly maybe we got confused because we first encountered the word while reading Proust. Oh, don't freak out, we didn't read much Proust. Just enough to read about “sweet beautiful ephebes” again and again and like, “ok, Marcy, put away the hankie. We've cracked your code.”
a young man, especially an ephebus.
Origin: 1690–1700; < Latin ephebus < Greek éphebos, equivalent to ep- ep- + -hebos, derivative of hebe manhood
The Tacky!Not really tacky just gross. But kinda fun gross, awakening our inner eight-year-old boy, like a gross bug, or Ren & Stimpy. And not even actually gross, mostly gross in our head. Anyway.
- 27D) It's slathered on with love at the end of a month (4)
(love = O) at the end of (month = MAY) = MAYO