This bad boy nearly did us in, Dear Readers! Been bragging about one- and two-sitting solves and then whammo! August 2014. Finished in time for our solution to arrive at the Harper's office by contest deadline date of August 8th. But only barely. Eep.
excuse: been busy working a fulltime corporate marketing gig which is UGH very lucrative and BLUH very very stupid. The gig is: coding spam for banks and credit cards and stuff. Sometimes Flash ads. The trash of the Internet. Not proud. Don't even want to assign some soothing narrative to it like, “this too shall pass”or “we all gotta make a living” or ”be grateful for a job in this economy.” Don't want to tell self something just to feel better. Prefer to leave it unreconciled.
The ThemeBlues unclued, each four letters across, yielded a WORD CHAIN (51A) that's also A FULL MEAL (4A). See cuz the chain goes:
Theme was aight but not sure what its relationship to the puzzle title (“4 Across”) is. Four food groups, four courses ... four letters and can't come up with anything better?
Maltby calls out to the back stairs
“Minion! Minion! Come here lad! Help us name the puzzle!”
Minion looks up from an intimidating stack of mailed puzzle solutions
“How about '4 Across'.”
“Hmmm ... inTRIGuing! Yes, but why, my dear boy. Why??”
“Because I don't care,” whispers minion.
A lot to like this month :)
- 15A) They reveal the full spectrum in reverse sexism. Sir, please! (6)
sexisM SIR Please * reverse = PRISM
- 17A) River was mispronounced? (4)
WAS * homophone = OISE
Didn't realize this river is located in Belgium and France. Thought it oise somewhere else, haha ha ... ...
Listen, we can't turn this off people! [points to head].
- 20A) Staggers, heading off swimmers (6)
(Staggers = TOTTERS) - heading = OTTERS
Otters! Here you go: a video of napping otters holding hands. You are welcome!
- 21A) That man tails black cars (7)
(That man = HE) + (tails = ARSES) = HEARSES
- 27A) May emerald, e.g., be rings exchanged in troths? (10)
BE IN TROTHS * anagram = BIRTHSTONE
- 45A) Making a doctor walk back from a steroid manufacturer (7)
A + (doctor = DR) + ((walk = LANE) * rev.) = ADRENAL
- 49A) Sure, a pig has no gravity as a wild animal (5)
(Sure = OK) + A + (PIG - (gravity = G) = PI) = OKAPI
related: this exchange with Amazon customer service a while back:
- 50A) Forbidding a woman like you to provide fashionable clothing (8)
(a woman like you = SISTER) + (fashionable = IN) = SINISTER
- 10D) Emphatically said “Farewell,” joining Resistance with communist (7)
(Farewell = AVE) + (Resistance = R) + (communist = RED) = AVERRED
- 13D) Sounding sick, aid a cycling participant (6)
SICK AID A * homophone = CICADA
- 17D) Sex appeal leads to love, love on speed (5)
(love, love = OO) + (speed = MPH) = OOMPH
- 18D) Whoopee! Latin lawyers fight. You might take one to a bed, when working out! (11)
(Whoopee! = WHEE) + (Latin + L) + (lawyers = BAR) + (fight = ROW) = WHEELBARROW
- 23D) Really funny thing, church spirits—not very good (6)
(Really funny thing = HOOT) + (church = CH) = HOOTCH
- 29D) They help addicts rebel as, after rehab, small number gets taken in (8)
(REBEL AS + (small number = N)) * anagram = ENABLERS
- 23A) Cat's word for piece of the pie (3)
tHE Pie = HEP
- 26A) Letter with information about your flight (3)
information about your flight = letter = ETA
- 38A) Ace tax forms, chance to win big (6)
ACE TAX * anagram = EXACTA
ex•act•aThis wierdo held up most of our progress in the southeast until the frustrated, bitter end. “Exacta”? Never hearda? Exactly.
A method of betting, as on a horserace, in which the bettor must correctly pick those finishing in the first and second places in precisely that sequence. Also called perfecta.
Source: The Free Dictionary
- 43A) Dieter's suffering black out again? (2-4)
DIETER * anagram = RE-EDIT
If you cut your hair, do you talk about re-growing your hair afterward? If you take off your clothes, do you say, “hold on, I gotta re-robe” later? What's the meaningful difference between editing and re-editing? Is it that an editing session might be any session 1 through n, but re-edit is session 2 through n?
OK GOT IT
COOL AND MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE
- 3D) Professional writer and outlaw (9)
(Professional = PRO) + (writer = SCRIBE) = PROSCRIBE
- 7D) No end to what's inside comic, silliest man in France (9)
(SILLIEST + (man in France = M)) * anagram = LIMITLESS
Q. Who is the silliest man in France?
A. Every man in France.
FYI that we are headed to France in September with our mommazon! She's been talking about visiting Provence for 20 years. This year we said, “Mommazon! Provence 2014. Let's do it.” So we're doing it! Very excited. Been sending her a daily jpeg from Pinchrest. This place! We'll be here!
- 8D) Primary character changes in crustacean's hood (7)
(crustacean = LOBSTER) * primary character changes = MOBSTER
Do they say “gangbanger” where you live? Chicago is the only place we've lived where they say it. In every other city “gangbanger” means “someone who participated in a sexual gangbang.”
You know what else they say in Chicago? And also they put it on the official municipal roadsigns? SPEED HUMP.
- 11D) Endures sole formats (5)
LASTS (double syn.)
Ah so per Brother Eric yea but there is another meaning of last: these things.
update: per Notorious Marcel, lasts are more like patterns for shoes than “shoe trees.” Annnnnd that makes more sense. COOL
- 33D) A TV set taken back—help, it's heaven on earth
A + (TV set = RCA) + ((help = AID) * rev. = DIA) = ARCADIA
In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.Ok COOL but that TV = RCA equivalence is a leetle shaky here in 2014:
Source: right here (1st ¶)
RCA stood for Radio Corporation of America, a company which later became RCA Corporation which was taken over by General Electric in 1986 and then split up.
Source: yuh here (1st ¶)
- 48D) Good name for a ragout chef, say! (3)
ragout = STEW, homophone for STU
The Tacky!Once again, we rail at USA imperialism. The losing battle (lost battle) that we still fight.
- 9D) Part of series One of America's Greats (4)
sERIEs = ERIE
“America” is a continental group, not a country.
Commit it to memory, correct other people obnoxiously. Say “US” instead of “America” when referring to the US. Feel goofy doing it and still do it.
Ok but then as for “American” noun as in ”we were the young Americans,” or “American” adjective as in “the existence of Fridgehenge makes me feel very very American, and proud to be so, as does every person who appears in The Blues Brothers, including the Canadian Dan Aykroyd (especially the Canadian Dan Aykroyd)”
wellllllllll those use cases ring less imperialist to our ear. Use your judgment.
If even one Dear Reader is more thoughtful in his or her language as a result of this blog: that would be amazing. That would amaze us.
Ok and then basically the same thing for da'other:
- 44D) America in, interminably, the back seat (4)
(America = US) in (THE * interminably = TH) = TUSH
MmmmMMmm that's right even Yiddish slang for butt cannot save this clue from our ire! UGH it feels rancid and rong to even type out that equivalency (“America = US”). Argh! See above!!