Cute. Empty calories.
The Theme!The ten unclued entries have haha “nothing” in common because they're synonyms for “nonsense.” Why not synonyms for “nothing” to better fit the title? Cuz titles don't matter, fools!!! Titles are ... nonsense.
Anway: cutie cute theme. Inferred POPPYCOCK (35A) and latched onto this theme early. Altho some of the synonyms for “nonsense” were prutttttty weird.
- 1A) HORSEFEATHERS
- 14A) BALDERDASH
- 23A) APPLESAUCE
- 35A) POPPYCOCK
- 43A) EYEWASH (wut?)
- 47A) TOMMYROT (Tommyknockers!!)
- 1D) HUMBUG (altho we put down HUBBUB)
- 5D) FIDDLESTICKS
- 11D) SCHMEGEGGE (we didn't get this one)
- 19D) BILGEWATER
- 15A) B-b-b-b-bugs (4)
BEES (the letters and the insects)
- 18A) Nucleoli, etc. circulating around, top to bottom line, like some debts (13)
(NUCLEOLI ETC + (bottom line * top = BL)) * anagram = UNCOLLECTIBLE
- 22A) I could make binge begin either way, that's life (5)
BINGE or BEGIN * anagram = BEING
George F. Will: Very well. Let us engage the sports machine. Gentlemen, as always, the questions will focus exclusively on baseball, the only game that transcends the boundary between fury and repose. All right, hands on buzzers. The precarious balance between infield and outfield suggests a perfect symmetry. For $50, identify the effect of that symmetry.
[ the contestants stare cluelessly, as the buzzer sounds ]
George F. Will: Sorry. The answer is: "The exhilarating tension between being and becoming." Being and becoming.
- 32A) What's wrong with getting a new leader? That's the point (5)
WRONG * getting a new leader = PRONG
Our lovely Romanian Sweet V has been politically engaged by his home country recently during the Romanian presidential runoff elections. At the time of writing this paragraph (Nov 16th) there's a 5 km line in Munich to vote for Romanians residing outside Romania. Think about that kind of line for a second. 5 km. 3 mi (ish). In Chicago, that's like you can vote in Daley Plaza and the end of the line is in Lincoln Park. In San Francisco, that's like you can vote at the Ferry Building and the end of the line is in the Castro. In New York, that's like you can vote at the Empire State Building and the end of the line is at the Manhattan Bridge. In St Johnsbury, Vermont*, that's like you can vote at the Athaeneum and the end of the line is at the Green Mountain Mall.
* shout out to ABEvF!!
Not minimizing what happens in USA to keep voters from voting. Democracy is fucky lots of places. Specific to the Romanian character, though:
On Sunday, some Romanians waved toothbrushes to protest long waits at polling stations abroad and thousands protested in Munich, according to Mediafax news.Toothbrushes! They brought toothbrushes to wave at the cameras!!
- 45A) Revolution counters macho street gangs (11)
MACHO STREET * anagram = TACHOMETERS
Speaking of Guy Fawks masks and V for Vendetta: Hugo Weaving is this month's Nerd Hot Guy.
- 46A) Forward or behind in the outskirts of Sydney (5)
(behind = ASS) in (outskirts of Sydney = SY) = SASSY
- 2D) Look up study of the past (5)
((Look = LO) * up = OL) + (study = DEN) = OLDEN
- 7D) Liquor secreted in barracks (6)
secreted in bARRACKs = ARRACK
- 9D) Hero, he goes around a soldier in pursuit of love (6)
HE goes around (A + (soldier = GI) in pursuit of (love = O)) = HOAGIE
- 16D) Physical condition that is largely misunderstood (7)
LARGELY * anagram = ALLERGY
- 20D) A porgy, sir, swims in bands in the water (9)
A PORGY SIR * anagram = SPIROGYRA
Was convinced tho, and still not entirely unconvinced, that there's a synonym for dolphin or porpoise that uses a good percentage of those letters. Some old-timey old-fashionedy word, like that might be all over Moby Dick. Any Dear Readers know what we're talkin bout? Not grampus, altho grampus is an AMAZN word!
- 24D) High-fliers, expert in French and appearing in nightwear (8)
(expert = PRO) + ((French and = ET) appearing in (nightwear = PJS)) = PROPJETS
- 30D) Pippin, opening canceled in its limited programs (7)
(Pippin = APPLE) + (opening canceled in ITS = TS) = APPLETS
- 38D) Outcome of democracy: being blue (4)
outcome of democRACY = RACY
- 40D) Good actor? Bad actor, I'd say (4)
(Bad actor = HAM) * homophone = HAMM
- 37D) It used to be contracted as belonging to an old airline? (4)
It used to be contracted = belonging to (an old airline = TWA) = TWAS
- 12A) Peter Fonda played this title-role part for minuscule effect (4)
miniscule effect = ULEE
Miniscule effect indeed.
- 30A) Not loud, more than just a broadcaster (5)
(more than just = FAIRER) * (not (loud = F)) = AIRER
Frequently we have been an AIRER of grievances against -ER'isms in the puzzle. They make a Scrabbo game more interesting. They make a puzzle so much less so.
The two-letter word list also makes Scrabble much more interesting. All you vocal two-letter-word list haters (there are many of you, and you are very vocal): eat a cookie and go take a nap. Call us when you're ready to play Big Girl Scrabble, with the big girls. We have the TWL list** pretty well committed to memory, but usually play with the list printed out and open on the table, no penalty for any player to consult it. Which is fair, right? Very fair. How's that cookie?
** yah, fuck SOWPODS! Fuck ZO! TWL 4evr baby!!
- 34A) Great: get back sheep before they're shorn (4)
((Great = G) + GET)* back = TEGG
- 41A) Lead-free clothing gets hearing (3)
(clothing = WEAR) * lead-free = EAR
- 44A) Consumer appliance with the front removed (5)
(appliance = HEATER) * front removed = EATER
- 3D) Distributor of beer (Coors) decentalized things old-timers played on (6)
BEER + (Coors decentralized = CS) = REBECS
- 6D) Tees off for hot times at the Fontainebleau (4)
TEES * off = ETES
- Acid that helps make you rich (4)
yoU RICh = URIC
Why tacky? No, not [just] because it's a word synonymous with penis.
Source: Dictionary.comDear Readers, if you knew 11D that is wonderful. Excellent and glorious for you. We were at a loss (our goy is showing). Confident in all our crosses, including faulty TEGS. Leaving us with some frustrating letter guessing games. Scumegense? Scamegeese?
Unclued theme word with letters unchecked? Boo. Not a very nice holiday present. Nuh tat tall. Usually this space is reserved for culturally tacky clues, but this time it's just a tacky cryptic clue qua cryptic clue. By which we mean: “we didn't like it, because we couldn't solve it.” Ego.
We're gearing up early for New Year's Resolutions, Dear Readers. 2015 is the Year of Freedom. Especially including freedom from ego. In preparation, we're queueing up some all-purpose responses for the next time we feel defensive-vulnerable-insecure.
Favorite right now: “eh ... probably!”
“Your blog is not very funny.”
“eh ... probably!”
Jk jk, everyone thinks this blog is funny!!
[eyes to the left]
[eyes to the right]