Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tetris - March 2015

March 2015 | Crestfallen | Harper's Cryptic puzzle solution

Hello Dear Readers! UGH we are having the darndest time motivating to get Tacky Harper's up but UGH just gonna do it! You are reading the “Just Gonna Do It” edition of this blog. We created this chore for ourself. O strange psykology! What hath ye wrought?? Now we make this face:
Blog o'Clockapron | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
First ... a change. We hate change, and changing. Sometimes a change still manages to slip through the cracks of our tightly constructed life. The change is: this blog is now blog.tackyharperscrypticclues.com

We made the change at Blogger's suggestion and with an easy purchase via Google Domains. Ok but then so visitors to tackyharperscrypticclues.blogspot.com are now greeted with the following alarming message, as if we've taken insecure criminal action to expose Dear Readers to harm:

“You're about to be redirected

The blog that used to be here is now at http://blog.tackyharperscrypticclues.com/

Do you wish to be redirected?

This blog is not hosted by Blogger and has not been checked for spam, viruses and other forms of malware.

Buh. We believe that actually this blog is still hosted by Blogger. If hosted elsewhere ... well, we certainly did not take action to migrate or redirect or anything. If it's not Blogger we would much appreciate knowing who is hosting.


The Puzzle!

Flew through this one over a bus ride to Logan Square for a slam poetry thing. Nothing particularly tacky this month. Nothing particularly challenging this month. Smoothly barreled through it, like a power drill through cheese. Cheese particulates everywhere.


The Theme

Tetris! Exciting theme title, less exciting payoff. Twas sweet and kind of Maltby to make the funky fallen letters checked, but most times there was little or no ambiguity about what the new word could be.
  • 20D) SANDALS > SCANDALS
  • 2D) ENTAILS > ENTRAILS
  • 16D) STAMPED > STAMPEDE
  • 4D) COSINES > COSINESS
  • 33D) CAN > CANT (haha v nice)
  • 18D) RIGHTFUL > FRIGHTFUL
  • 14D) ITCHES > AITCHES (uhhhhhh fine)
  • 7D) KIN > KILN
  • 22D) DUMPING > DUMPLING
  • 26D) LAST > LEAST
  • 25D) TURKEY > TURNKEY (nice)
See what we mean? Mosta these, once having solvied the clue there was just no question on the transform for the fill. Like: STAMPED? What's that gonna become? STAMPLED? SHTAMPED?

And then keyword CRESTFALLEN appeared after figuring out maybe four of the downs. The downs were a little more exciting, since they were of ambiguous length. But, like we says, not that exciting.

“Tetris-style” was a real stretch in that: most of the fun of Tetris is in the rotation transformations, the left-right translations, and fitting pieces together. “Connect Four” more like. Or “Plinko.”
Plinko | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues


Highlights!

  • 10A) University I entered in Northwest, transferring with the lowest credits (11)
    (University = U) + I + NORTHWEST = UNWORTHIEST
Big bombossa anagrama! Shoutout to Northwestern wut wut! Transfer with the highest credits!!
Vlad
  • 14A) Make invalid remove article from yearbook (5)
    remove (article = A) from (yearbook = ANNUAL) = ANNUL
Yah!! Charmed by reference to old-timey word for yearbook. What did she write to you in the annual???
Winona Ryder's yearbook photo
  • 20A) Places quotes in speech (5)
    (quotes = CITES) * homophone = SITES
Nice and sweet! Clean and tight!
  • 23A) Famous dog with no tail in 200-years-old work? (7)
    (Famous dog = LASSIE) with no tail = LASSI) in (200 = CC) = CLASSIC
Classie lassie :)
Classy from Adventure Island for Gameboy
  • 27A) A bit of necking get you to sleep with someone, finally (4)
    (sleep = NAP) + (someone, finally = E) = NAPE
Yah! Sexy :)
  • 30A) Far less popular recording star, mimic is brought in (7)
    (popular recording star = CHER) + (mimic = APE) is brought in = CHEAPER
What up to our girl Cher!!
Cher | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 35A) Sums for a driller (4)
    A + (driller = DDS) = ADDS
DDS! Son, be a dentist. Gets to the heart of dentistry. Drilln. Pain. Dollars and cents / just clap your hents / clap your hents
Hannibal Buress plays a dentist on Broad City | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
This month's Nerd Hot Guy: Hannibal Burress. Mwa!
Hannibal Buress | "Are you comfortable with Alanis Morisette's definition of irony?" | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 40A) All trysting is immoral in a surprising way (11)
    ALL TRYSTING * anagram = STARTLINGLY
Nice. We just read 50 Shades of Grey. Had a great time. To the haters, well: it's Twilight erotic fan fiction. If you don't like Twilight, and you don't fan fiction, and you don't like erotica, you're prolly not gonna like 50 Shades of Grey. Easy math. You don't get the Fields medal for saying 50 Shades is bad writing, or secretly suspecting you might like it but alienating yourself from your own enjoyment and not even giving it a try.

True fact: we didn't even find 50 Shades outstandingly bad writing! But then on Sweet V's reco this week we started reading Foucault's Pendulum, and we're loving it, and woops. Yup ok, this is the good writing. We were perhaps unnecessarily contrarian in our forgiveness of 50 Shades's writing.
Fifty Shades Darker with post it: "Mom - please stop reading this in the family room I don't watch porn next to you. Love, your son" | Tacky Harper's Crytpic Clues
  • 2D) Calls for being a saltine cracker?
    SALTINE * anagram = ENTAILS
Nice! Dissolves easy into simple sugars. Yum num.
  • 4D) Vocally adds one's name at bank functions
    (adds one's name at bank = COSIGNS) * homophone = COSINES
You know this is the one we love most! Shout out to Dear Readers who watched MTV in the '90s!!
2-GE+HER
I know my Calculus | You + Me = US | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 6D) Reader's opening tune, in a way
    TUNE * anagram = UTNE
What's up to the Utne Reader. Hell yes. Shout out to Liberal Print Media Super Babe Nina Utne:
Nina Utne | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 9D) It's really not nice housing the French and their manners
    (It's really not nice housing = STY) + (the French = LES) = STYLES
Couldn't parse the logic on this one, until remembering that the French have a plural “the.” Flashback to our mom, on the plane to Paris last fall, glancing up at the French stewardess, sotto voce to us: “watch out for Frenchitude.”
Erica and Mom in Paris | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues

  • 14D) Results of a rash of questionable ethics?
    ETHICS * anagram = ITCHES
Nice and natural language. Love!
  • 18D) Just rug strewn with filth
    (RUG + FILTH) * anagram = RIGHTFUL
Shoutout to Heather Donut who loves all the coolest things! Like British teenagers playing dubstep on satellite radio, announcing each track as “totally filfy.” Filfy!
  • 20D) Something found in pillows and also footwear
    pillows and also = SANDALS
Some inventive wordspanners this month!
  • 22D) Doing what's necessary to refuse Democrat: impugn in motion
    ((Democrat = D) + IMPUGN) anagram = DUMPING
“refuse” like trash refuse, like rhyming with “nephews.” Very nice.
  • 25D) Sexual excitement in animals turns up opener for poultry
    ((Sexual excitement in animals = RUT) turns up = TUR) + (opener = KEY) = TURKEY
Yah! Get sexy!
TURNT UP
Michelle Obama with turnip (turn up) | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 28D) Look at the books of Rimbaud, italicized, with parts expurgated
    Rimbaud, italicized = AUDIT
Verr nise.
  • 35D) Cooler in May
    Cooler = May = CAN
Relies on can/may equivalency. We remember watching Avalon when we were prolly no older than little Elijah Wood:


It doesn't show it in that clip, but guess what happens later? Little Elijah pees his pants because the teacher won't let him go to the toilet until he figures out that the magical passphrase is “may I go to the toilet” instead of “can I go to the toilet.” Prolly cuz Elijah did the Harper's cryptic and believed it.

Gratifyingly, later in the movie the teacher is chastised by the principal and Elijah Wood's dad. The teacher is like, “‘can’ and ‘may’! When will the boy learn the difference between ‘can’ and ‘ma—” and the principal and dad are like, in unison, “LADY YOU ARE SO FUCKED UP.”

So. Maybe we should relax about can/may equivalency.


Lowlights

  • 1A) “This is regarding our covering copy of a letter.” “Come again?” (7)
    (This is regarding = RE) + OUR covering (copy of a letter = CC) = REOCCUR
CC as in carbon copy. What's up print mediaaaaa! But boo on RE- words. RE- words offer low rewards.
carbon copy | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 7A) Sir Kay brought back name for man with many gifts (4)
    SIR + (Kay = K) brought back = KRIS
Kris Kringle. K fine. Sir Kay shows up again in the puzz:
  • 37A) Chance upon the return of Sir Kay (4)
    return of SIR + (Kay = K) = RISK
which is like the same flucking thing as 7A with the reversal on SIR and KAY for K so buh, whatevs! Whatevs.
Sir Kay | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 13A) A river that flows from letter to come (6)
    A RIVER * anagram = ARRIVE
You know hows we feel about the single letter translation anagrams. Moooooooo.
  • 15A) Vegas leader's notes? (3)
    Vegas leader = notes = LAS
LA like do re mi fa so. Rull easy. Too easy.
  • 32A) The first character exits from reality plays (4)
    The first character exits from (reality = FACTS) = ACTS
Oooh yah so “reality” = “facts” is dubious to us. Loose like can/may.
  • 36A) Passage of mine, not quiet or stern (3)
    (Passage of mine = SHAFT) not (quiet = SH) = AFT
Shaft | Richard Roundtree | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
We basically like it, but there was a LOT of this same trick of “guess the synonym, take off a letter.” Witness 32A above. Witness:
  • 7D) Not quite charitable folks
    Not quite (charitable = KIND) = KIN
And witness:
  • 26D) Bee leaves wild party at the end
    (Bee = B) leaves (wild party = BLAST) = LAST
Annnnnnnnnd witness:
  • 31D) Dress covering a pointy thing not all the way
    A + (pointy thing = PRONG) not all the way = APRON
Witness to the witless. Also apron = dress? Murr.
Per Dear Reader Joe beloe, dress covering = apron. Some people wear aprons over their dresses, we guesses? Instead of over their naked bodies?
Will Cook for Sex apron | Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues
  • 39A) I'm on television series Con Game (5)
    I'm on television = MONTE
Cutting “series” and using “television‘s” woulda made it tighter. Thought for a sec this clue was a reference to Montel Williams.
Montel Williams playing three card monte | Tacky Harper's Crytpic Clues


Nothing motivates blogging like a COMMENT!! Say hello. Whatevs, no bigs. It'll feel good :)

6 comments:

  1. MAN I tried to do a comment but I think it ate it. This comment system is bad! What you got against anonymous comments anyway. Make me do a captcha, make me do three. I'm not a robot and i'm not afraid to prove it. I don't even read Harper's. But I read THIS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah my comment is lost forever. What I said was, your witticisms are tight and I'm gonna start a fan blog of your fan blog where I evaluate your witticisms. It'll be called The Tacky Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues Blog Blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UGH kpm that exact thing has happened to me MANY a time. If you're not "signed in" with a "Reply as" identity, Blogger flips out.

      Makes me very happy knowing you're out there, listening :)

      Delete
  3. Hello!

    A story. (Needlessly long, but (spoiler!) you're the hero!)

    A few months ago, my friend subscribed me to Harper's. Thanks, Ben!
    So it was that I encountered my very first cryptic crossword.
    I thought, "Sweet, I love crosswords!"
    Then I read the instructions and the clues.
    I asked the puzzle, "What do you want from me?!"
    I thrust it at my co-workers (all copy editors) and asked them what it wanted from me.
    They chuckled uncomfortably at the strings of nonsense and handed it back.
    I asked the Internet, and it told me, very dryly, that clues could be constructed in one of a dozen ways, or in any combination thereof, and that "queen" might mean "ER", and that it's not really for everyone, dummy.

    I banged my head against the first two puzzles, and could get no more than two answers in each one.
    [montage of this lengthy and painful failure (meaning the puzzle attempts, not this story)]
    Finally I gave up and looked for some answers, and that's how I found your blog!

    And because you are funny and informational and reference Magic and The Thing and Parks and Rec and feminism and, oh, everything else, I was finally able to grok this thing!
    I completed the next puzzle I tried (Tetris)! And the next!

    I rushed back here (OK, I just typed/clicked at normal speeds), eager to see what you had to say, because this time I'd totally be in the know.
    I checked often for your latest revue (after I figured out you politely waited to post till after the contest deadline).
    And then time passed. I began to worry that I had found your cryptolexical oasis just as it had run dry.
    (I make it sound like months went by, but close examination of the timeline reveals that I must have given up in about a week.)
    You can imagine my joy today when I saw that you were still at it!

    Seeing your...glum? expression, though, I thought back to the times I blogged and how annoying it was when blogless people would bug me to update, and how difficult it could be to force myself to write just a few paragraphs.
    And I looked again at your posts and saw the immense amount of stuff-doing they represented.

    So I wrote all this to thank you! Thank you for teaching me to cryptic, and thank you for the free edutainment, and thank you for making yourself do something you absolutely don't have to do!

    Your considerable efforts are appreciated—no April Fool'sin'.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Also (and this is mostly to demonstrate that I can leave normal-like comments), regarding:

    31D) Dress covering a pointy thing not all the way

    I also raised an eyebrow at dress = apron, but reading it again here, I think that the def might be "dress covering". I get that "covering a" works in a down clue, but maybe it's an intentional mislead? Not that "dress covering" is a whole lot less suspect as a def...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joe!!! What I live for, what I dream of.

      Thank you for reaching out, and for Giving Cryptics a Chance. It took at least a year of Stupendous Jarrod holding my hand for me to even "like" cryptics, and at least another year before I could complete one on my own. So you are rocketing up the learning curve, friend.

      As for apron, AHHHHHHH YES totally. You're right. Amended up top.

      your so cool [sic],
      erica

      Delete