Welcome to spring, Dear Readers! Love, above-freezing temperatures are in the air!
The Theme1A and 3D are related, yielding three theme words with two variations each. 1A turns out to be TRIATHLON and 3D IRON MAN und dann the theme words are the three legs of a triathlon:
- 43A) SWIMMING
variation: kindsa swimming strokes
- 11D) DOG PADDLE
- 12D) BREASTSTROKE
- 38A) BIKING
variation: definition of component word parts
- 6D) HERMAPHRODITIC (bi)*
- 21D) MONARCH (king)
- 13A) MARATHON
variation: other famous battles
- 29A) WATERLOO
- 25D) HASTINGS
- 12A) Good going in underwear worn before 50? (5)
(underwear = BRA) + (50 = (5 = V) + (0 = O)) = BRAVO
But forgiven for the mature underwear dance party this clue intimates! YUSSS!
Needtit be said? This month's Nerd Hot Guy: Bryan Cranston.
- 17A) Opening, except for the third word that goes on the next line (5)
(Opening = WINDOW) * (except for the third [letter]) = WIDOW
- 18A) Seafood ring served in concessions (8)
(ring = CALL) in (concessions = SOPS) = SCALLOPS
THE ANSWR IS
- 23A) Pedantic gossip carries on—one's heart follows (7)
(gossip = DISH) + ON + (one's heart = N) = DONNISH
don•nish [don-ish]Got this one and was like, “ ... do they ever make donnish puns in Mad Men?”
resembling or characteristic of a university don; bookish; pedantic.
Source: Dictionary dut com
- 24A) Heads off a ghost (5)
HEADS * anagram = SHADE
Also very much enjoy when a likely indicator instead serves as anagrind. Delightful.
- 31A) Turned up, I rutted in depravity (9)
UP I RUTTED * anagram = TURPITUDE
- 35A) Loaded in electric heater (4)
electRIC Heater = RICH
- 45A) Profligacy in various sexes describing Second Coming? (8)
(SEXES * anagram) + (SEC * reverse) = EXCESSES
- 1D) Why water isn't hard? What's wrong? (4)
WHAT * anagram = THAW
- 14D) Gussied-up den, set like some tables (6)
DEN SET * anagram = NESTED
Not sure what nested tables mean to a non-coder. Or what they would have meant to us ten years ago. Sure as heyk know what they mean to us now. O the painstaking! O the meticulous!
- 27D) Miso soup is full of energy—it affects the cells (7)
(MISO IS + (energy = E)) * anagram = MEIOSIS
- 39D) Cows members of flock in Episcopalianism (4)
floK IN Episcopaliamism = KINE
This is the songbook cover for the second line-up of the Four Bitchin' Babes.
Notable line-up change was swapping in Julie Gold for Patti Larkin. Yes, From a Distance is great. But also yes, Patti Larkin is way better and funnier then alla dem bitches put together. We said it. This paragraph is for the nonexistant Dear Readers who love the Harper's cryptic AND '90s folk music.
- 9A) Spoken in the past tense, this would make a planet spin (5)
((planet = WORLD) * homophone = WHIRLED) - past tense = WHIRL
- 15A) New or otherwise, it's a second crop of hay (5)
NEW OR * anagram = ROWEN
row•enThis one was called out in the instructs as uncommon. Yah. Twas uncommon. Meh!
a second growth of grass or hay in one season.
- 20A) Point of an instant message? (3)
AIM (double syn.)
- 2D) Before, I never disputed small state of a flower! (8)
(I NEVER + (small state = RI)) * anagram = RIVERINE
- 28D) Illness in the ear—took a powder for it (3)
(took a powder = FLEW) * homophone = FLU
There's a nice narrative quality to the clue, but “take a powder” = “flew” is weak. Appreciate the (accidental?) association with floo powder, tho.
- 36D) First to last, what's thrown around by gamblers? Getting murdered (4)
(what's thrown around by gamblers = DICE) * (first [letter] to last) = ICED
The Tacky!One and a half this month! And the “half” is us being sensitive ... or perhaps too sensitive? Which is it? Dear Readers can decide!!
- 22A) Mobile home tethered, at first, to a piece of fencing (5)
(tethered * at first = T) + (piece of fencing = EPEE) = TEPEE
Und, from up top:
- 6D) HERMAPHRODITIC (= bi)
Why don't we all just do that? Exactly.