Variety: Acrostic

Top o’ the morning to ya, Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon!

Comments: 30

  1. This Acrostic was of about medium difficulty. I should have guessed in advance the St. Patrick’s Day theme. [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT] My only true gimme was RHINITIS, but that was offset by the fact that many answers were easily searched for, including IKEA, HELFGOTT, URETHANE, ELFMAN, OASIS and NOTRE DAME. At first I had BRACING instead of ROUSING. My searches got me CHIKKI instead of TAHINI for the sesame seed product, and MOYA [BRENNAN] instead of ENYA for the Irish singer. They did a good job of finding answers related to the theme, even marginally related ones such as ELFMAN and PRIVATE RYAN. Toward the end the grid did a lot of “filling itself up”. Also, a certain problem is still there. If I try to go back to the completed Acrostic, all my work has been wiped out. It goes back to the very beginning. When in the recent past, at Caitlin’s suggestion, I communicated that matter to Customer Service, it did no good in the end.

  2. @Jerrold I am sorry this is still happening! I always keep my ear out for information on this, it must be a stumper.

  3. @Caitlin Yes, thank you. When I read other people's comments on this thread, it would be good if I could go back and look at the completed Acrostic, as I used to be able to do.

  4. @Jerrold customer service still exists? they have even stopped responding to my messages asking to be notified of my posts here, which stopped happening a couple of years ago. loved the acrostic, echr!

  5. Caitlin, I might as well add that "Finian's Rainbow" started out as a Broadway musical. I love those songs "Something Sort of Grandish" and "Look to the Rainbow".

  6. @Jerrold Finian's RAINBOW has a warm place in my memory, having performed in two productions of it as a teen/young-20's singer. The first of these was a summer stock production, and was the first time I was ever paid to perform. Though a product of its time, I think it generally holds up well even now. Here is the original Broadway star Ella Logan singing "Look to the RAINBOW" a few years later on television: https://youtu.be/2-dkpQtlv6o While I'm at it, I'll mention from your other comment that ENYA and Moya Brennan are in fact sisters, and both were at times members of the Irish "family band" Clannad. Here is Moya singing my absolute favorite Irish song in my absolute favorite recording (ignore video; looks awful; sounds great!): Clannad (Moya Brennan), "Buachaill Ón Éirne" https://youtu.be/IaY3X1FpUcU

  7. Blarney expresses a kinder sentiment than EC & HR assign it in O. More like sweet talk than baloney. Otherwise, a "Brisk, lively, invigorative" Acrostic. F. had me guessing minutes and seconds before realizing what the actual fractional division is. Slainte.

  8. solved it, and it was fun. Last clue to fall was "From the land of W." I thought of Tungsten, the Women's Wear Daily magazine and George W., but Swedish? I still don't get it.

  9. @Petaltown Answer W was about the Swede who founded Ikea.

  10. @Jerrold oh Duh. thanx.

  11. @Jerrold Can you please expand upon this? How does the letter W have anything to do with Ingvar Kamprad and/or IKEA? Thanks!

  12. Re: Word C, I'm reminded of a bit of dialogue from Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida (which Gilbert wrote in blank verse for some reason; that's all the dialogue in the whole libretto, not just this passage). The titular Princess Ida has founded a college for women, which Gilbert in his unenlightened way uses as a target for satire and ridicule: LADY BLANCHE: Attention, ladies, while I read to you The Princess Ida’s list of punishments. The first is Sacharissa. She’s expelled! ALL: Expelled! LADY BLANCHE: Expelled, because although she knew No man of any kind may pass our walls, She dared to bring a set of chessmen here! SACHARISSA:(crying): I meant no harm; they’re only men of wood! LADY BLANCHE: They’re men with whom you give each other mate, And that’s enough!

  13. @Alan J She should have checked them at the door.

  14. Warning -- lots of spoilers in this post... This week's puzzle was a breeze for me. Even without reading the Wordplay blog before solving, I was pretty sure it would be about St. Patrick's Day. My themed gimmes were MUSHROOM, RAINBOW, ELFMAN, PRIVATE RYAN, ENYA, LEGENDS, HOGWASH, NOTRE DAME, and EIRE. Non-theme-related gimmes were CAKES, CHESS SET, ANGELFISH, HELFGOTT (I recently clued a puzzle using a clue from "Shine"), TWELFTH, YOURSELF, CHAINSAW, ADHERED, TAHINI, RHINITIS, and SWEETIE. From there it was pretty much a fill-in-the-blanks job. I still enjoyed the puzzle a lot, even though it was over far too quickly! BTW, my local paper is running a special puzzle section tomorrow that will feature four of my full-length acrostic puzzles and a little interview with me. When they asked which puzzles I solve on a regular basis, of course I said Emily and Henry's NYT acrostics, and I also mentioned how much I enjoy participating in the Wordplay blog. Hope that part makes it into the article. :) Thanks for another great puzzle, EC & HR!

  15. @Cyn And, what would the name of that local paper be, pray tell us.

  16. @Etaoin Shrdlu Hmm, should I wait to tell you (or not) after I see the article tomorrow and know if it turned out OK, or take my chances and tell you now? Decisions, decisions. ;)

  17. @Cyn Please tell us at some point! I am so impressed -- have failed at acrostic making many times!

  18. Loved this as I love all the acrostics. Got MUSHROOM after the Alice in Wonderland clue and toadstool didn't fit Didn't think of Leprechauns until I figured out fairies. Then it was a joy. Thanks! Wish the NYT could have acrostics every week!

  19. @BLB Yes, I vote for acrostics every week, too!

  20. @Cyn ... you're too easy. Aah-crostics every day! And twice on Sunday! Unless there's a (sssh, come closer, split decision).

  21. @HALinNY Ha! Of course I'd love one every day, and five on Sunday, but poor Emily and Henry. A good acrostic takes quite a while to construct. Can't ask them to give up their lives in order to feed our acrostics addiction. ;) That's actually how I started constructing my own back in 2005, you know. I ran out of acrostics to solve and said, "Well, OK, I'll do it myself."

  22. TO Alan J: "not just this passage"? Did you mean to say "just this passage" (when you stated that those lines were the only dialogue in the entire operetta)?

  23. @Jerrold No, there's a great deal more dialogue throughout the show. And all of it is in blank verse. I guess I thought that I'd implied that the brief excerpt I quoted was the only blank verse, but it all is. That's what I meant to say.

  24. tougher this week. Not many gimmes: only IKEA CAKES RHINITIS and HELF. Proceeded by trial and error until I saw LEPREC STORIES and it was home free from there!

  25. Here is Hal with his overused, oft-repeated, wowie! for another fine aah-crostic from the minds of Cox and Rathvon. Would splendid be an overstatement? No, not at all!

  26. Clever to have ELF in four answers

  27. Actually, five. Amazing feat.

  28. Tough start, with just a few short gimmes (ENYA, TAHINI, IKEA, RHINITIS, EIRE) plus a few more "pretty sure but not quite gimmes" (MUSHROOM, TWELFTH, OASIS, NOTRE DAME), but still not enough to get going and keep going. Had to look up the pianist from SHINE to get unstuck (and I really hate to resort to that!) Even though I knew the quotation was going to be about something Irish for St Patrick's Day, I felt just a wee bit of an ee-jit for how long it took me to solve this one. BTW, there are 5 ELF clues, not 4: angELFish; TwELFth; hELFgott; yoursELF; ELFman.

  29. Even though I didn't have the holiday in mind, this one solved quite smoothly and quickly for me. Kudos for the "elves" embedded everywhere. I didn't have a lot of words at the beginning, but it was enough to deduce much more from the fill.

  30. Finian's Rainbow is a guilty pleasure. It's sort of a great terrible movie. Great because Fred Astaire sings and dances and that is always delightful; Petula Clark isn't bad either. It goes downhill from there, however. Talk about stereotypes!