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:
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:
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 ThemeTetris! 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)
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.”
- 10A) University I entered in Northwest, transferring with the lowest credits (11)
(University = U) + I + NORTHWEST = UNWORTHIEST
- 14A) Make invalid remove article from yearbook (5)
remove (article = A) from (yearbook = ANNUAL) = ANNUL
- 20A) Places quotes in speech (5)
(quotes = CITES) * homophone = SITES
- 23A) Famous dog with no tail in 200-years-old work? (7)
(Famous dog = LASSIE) with no tail = LASSI) in (200 = CC) = CLASSIC
- 27A) A bit of necking get you to sleep with someone, finally (4)
(sleep = NAP) + (someone, finally = E) = NAPE
- 30A) Far less popular recording star, mimic is brought in (7)
(popular recording star = CHER) + (mimic = APE) is brought in = CHEAPER
- 35A) Sums for a driller (4)
A + (driller = DDS) = ADDS
This month's Nerd Hot Guy: Hannibal Burress. Mwa!
- 40A) All trysting is immoral in a surprising way (11)
ALL TRYSTING * anagram = STARTLINGLY
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.
- 2D) Calls for being a saltine cracker?
SALTINE * anagram = ENTAILS
- 4D) Vocally adds one's name at bank functions
(adds one's name at bank = COSIGNS) * homophone = COSINES
- 6D) Reader's opening tune, in a way
TUNE * anagram = UTNE
- 9D) It's really not nice housing the French and their manners
(It's really not nice housing = STY) + (the French = LES) = STYLES
- 14D) Results of a rash of questionable ethics?
ETHICS * anagram = ITCHES
- 18D) Just rug strewn with filth
(RUG + FILTH) * anagram = RIGHTFUL
- 20D) Something found in pillows and also footwear
pillows and also = SANDALS
- 22D) Doing what's necessary to refuse Democrat: impugn in motion
((Democrat = D) + IMPUGN) anagram = DUMPING
- 25D) Sexual excitement in animals turns up opener for poultry
((Sexual excitement in animals = RUT) turns up = TUR) + (opener = KEY) = TURKEY
- 28D) Look at the books of Rimbaud, italicized, with parts expurgated
Rimbaud, italicized = AUDIT
- 35D) Cooler in May
Cooler = May = CAN
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.
- 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
- 7A) Sir Kay brought back name for man with many gifts (4)
SIR + (Kay = K) brought back = KRIS
- 37A) Chance upon the return of Sir Kay (4)
return of SIR + (Kay = K) = RISK
- 13A) A river that flows from letter to come (6)
A RIVER * anagram = ARRIVE
- 15A) Vegas leader's notes? (3)
Vegas leader = notes = LAS
- 32A) The first character exits from reality plays (4)
The first character exits from (reality = FACTS) = ACTS
- 36A) Passage of mine, not quiet or stern (3)
(Passage of mine = SHAFT) not (quiet = SH) = AFT
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
- 26D) Bee leaves wild party at the end
(Bee = B) leaves (wild party = BLAST) = LAST
- 31D) Dress covering a pointy thing not all the way
A + (pointy thing = PRONG) not all the way = APRON
Per Dear Reader Joe beloe, dress covering = apron. Some people wear aprons over their dresses, we guesses? Instead of over their naked bodies?
- 39A) I'm on television series Con Game (5)
I'm on television = MONTE