Mouseover for the Greek letters.
Welcome to 2014, Dear Readers! 14 is our lucky number, so we look forward to a Lucky Year. Because THAT'S how it works! Boom kaboom :)
To the puzzle!Oh! There were some guh-ORGEOUS clues this month! Glorious. And, the puzzle included second favorite puzzle instruct of all time: “Any confusion you may feel will be explained by the entry at 31 Across.” Any confusion we may FEEL?
First favorite puzzle instruction of course and for all time is “included just for fun” from News Clippings in Septembre 2013. Just for fun! !! #puzzlefun
Special magic varietal dirty business this month: ten across clues (and their associated downs) include a transliterated Greek letter as one box's worth of fill. Which, if you're special, and magic, you entered it as the Greek letter and not the transliteration. And, if you have courage in your heart, you entered the Greek capitals and not the lower-cases even though several of them look like Roman capitals and to the untrained eye it might appear you misspelled your answers but with square jaw edged with integrity, and a steely eye of righteous nerd, you did it anyway. Because you are correct, and your correctness has set you free, and you don't give a fuck about anything. You are Jennifer Lawrence.
We used the more recognizable Greek lowercase letters above. We're more like Josh Hutcherson. Josh Hutcherson? He plays Peeta in The Hunger Games? No?
PS, Jennifer Lawrence is this month's Nerd Hot Guy. If you're hung up on gender, and it's important to you that a “guy” be a “guy” well, haha! Not important to us! In that regard we are, indeed, free.
Only wish that the puzzle title had some subtle nod to Greek/Greeks/Greece. Like maybe title it “TAU TE CHING.”
- 13A) Can miso soup? Such things are unquestioned
(Can = AX) + MISO * anagram = AXIOMS
- 18A) Chilling mouthful from police organization including an afterthought
(POLICE + (afterthought = PS)) * anagram = POPSICLE
- 25A) Going west, uranium comes into range—New Mexican?
(range = OVEN) * reverse + (uranium = U) = NUEVO
- 27A) Every second of my first spy appointment gets recognition
mY fIrst sPy aPpointment gEts rEcognition = YIPPEE
What's your favorite Abbie Hoffman prank? Ours is when he threw dollar bills on the New York Stock Exchange floor.
- 41A) I hate that kind of square shoe!
(I hate = BOO) + (kind of square = T) = BOOT
- 7D) A curious update about ten books may come from this
A + (UPDATE + (ten = IO)) * anagram = AUDIOTAPE
- 4D) Beliefs are adjusted for one woman's magazine
((are adjusted for one = IS) + (woman's magazine = MS)) * anagram = ISMS
- 37D) Jockey can—true horeman?
CAN TRUE * anagram = CENTAUR
- 32D) Drunken revels: they give you a lift
REVELS * anagram = LEVERS
In drunken-related news, how's sobriety going, thanks for asking, it's going well. Current struggle is with frustration-annoyance when we tell people--especially people who knew us in our Deep-Drinking Time, and especially-especially when those people have a fresh drink in hand ready to offer us--that we don't drink anymore, and the person says, “good for you!” And when every bar, every party, every family dinner, every tech meet-up, every event involving writers: it's like being Galadriel and Frodo offers you the One Ring. And you know exACTly how good it's going to taste, and you let the dark power grab hold of you, and even lie to yourself a little that this time it could be different. You could control it. You'd be the good queen. There's the ring! Right there you could just grab it!!!! But you come back to your right-mind, and you say no.
And then Frodo says, “good for you!”
Or “healthy.” Like we just took a big shit. “Healthy choice.” Like going for a jog is a healthy choice, or switching to decaf, or eating Healthy Choice cereal. When really it's more like paying child support. You could choose /not/ to do it--plenty of people do! But eventually, you're going to end up in an institution where you don't want to be, broke, and with the people who love you crying. That is the other choice. So, kindof like cake or death, except in this example, cake means you don't get to drink.
But sobriety-proper is going well! We still drink in our dreams.
- 14D) Versifier has no time for a versifier
(Versifier = POET) - (time = T) = POE
- 21D) Down inside fantastic rabbit hole—initially this is where cardinals clean up
RABBIT HOLE * anagram = BIRDBATH
- 23D) Siege is mixed up with sex: this explanation is critical
(SIEVE + SEX) * anagram = EXEGESIS
- 36D) Capital just makes me more confused
MORE * anagram = ROME
- 42D) Waiters do build men! What are the odds?
Build men = BIDE
The Tacky!Two in the gray area.
- 10A) Sentimental art—university states it's the horny part!
(Sentimental art = CORN) + (university = U) = CORNU
Guess what? We hate the word horny. Love the feeling, hate the word. Worst word. Crass and tawdry. “horny” is for middle schoolers harassing each other about green MnMs.
cor • nu
: a horn-shaped anatomical structure (as either of the lateral divisions of a bicornuate uterus, one of the lateral processes of the hyoid bone, or one of the gray columns of the spinal cord)
cor • nu • al (adjective)
Source: Merriam Dubs
Appreciate the clue's internal congruency about hot hot co-eds in heat, tho.
- 28D) People hid from this deviant!
PEOPLE HID * anagram = PEDOPHILE
Whhhhhaaaat is with the sexual assault in our Harper's cryptic. S'like every month there's gotta be something from Harper's: Special Victims Unit
We know this isn't how puzzle construction works BUT, for the record, PEOPLE HID can also be rearranged to spell HOLED PIPE and ELOPED HIP. Two well-known English language phrases. So. There were options there.