Aries Crossword – 2 July 2016

It’s been a while… let’s see if I remember how to do this. Spoilers ahead for TABLE SPOONERISMS. You can subscribe here.

Aries 7 2

Table Spoonerisms

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Difficulty: Medium

Theme: Spoonerisms.

  • COLD GHOST – 17A: Specter with an aloof attitude?
  • LYON KNIGHT – 11D: Caballero from a city on the Rhone?
  • HOPPER KEDS – 29D: Brand of shoes for a kangaroo?
  • LYNN TIZZY – 63A: Fit of nerves experienced by singer Loretta?

I don’t quite understand the title, because there’s no obvious link between the base phrases — GOLD COAST, NEON LIGHT, COPPERHEADS and TIN LIZZIE. Maybe there’s a meta layer I’m missing…? (EDIT: D’oh! Thanks to Evan for pointing out that all four themers begin with elements from the periodic table.)

I’m not a fan of puns, but I do like Spoonerisms, and it’s been a while since I’ve done a puzzle involving them. These are a good assortment. I’d say COLD GHOST is my favourite, although that’s probably because I needed most of the crosses to remember LYONKEDS and Loretta LYNN. Geography, American brand names and country music are three of my weakest areas.

This is a fairly slangy puzzle, with YO, DUDE! (4D: “Hey, man!”), SURE, SURE (38D: Facetious agreement) and I DON’T PLAY (35D: “No B.S.”). I like that last one a lot, although I wish it were clued more interestingly. Never heard of the TOPP’S NOW series of baseball cards, but since I know the base brand it’s perfectly inferable.

On the negative side, METH MOUTH (8D: Dental issue for some addicts) is really nasty, and frankly I’d probably have left it out. Aside from that, we have some crosswordese in OLEOAME and TPKE (ugh), along with a few other smatterings here and there… probably more than there should be in a 78-worder with short themers, to be honest. I’d object to ON HER (44A: “___ Majesty’s Secret Service”) as a partial, but I really like the movie, so it gets a pass from me.

I can live with TRIB (33D: Chi-Town daily) but WAPO (53D: D.C. paper, casually) is a bit much, especially next to O-LAN (54D: “The Good Earth” heroine). Am I the only one who had never heard of this 1931 novel? Apparently it won a Pulitzer. Those two crossing ALEUT (61A: Alaskan native) gave me a little trouble… otherwise, pretty smooth solve.

Liked the clues for PADRE (65A: Giant foe?) and ROGET (45D: He may offer hints for tips?). Not sure about the clue for WIFE (32D: Name-changer, often), as I feel like most of the women I know who are getting married these days keep their surnames. Definitely don’t like the crossing of EX OUT (19A: Cross off) with TAX ASSET. A neutral 8-letter entry and a bad answer are a steep price to pay for an X… the J in FAJITA crossing EJECT is worked in much more smoothly.

Overall, this is a decent puzzle with a few rough spots in the fill (especially METH MOUTH).

  1. Evan said:

    Think of a specific kind of Table when you’re looking at the base phrases.


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