We're back, Dear Readers! We quit that corporate job a couple weeks earlier than planned. The stress of working there manifested physically. Had to get out.
We think of ourself as a robust and resilient individual. Not as a fragile, delicate flower. And we've done corporate before: four months in 2009, three months in 2010. We hated it then as we hated it this time. The 2009 and 2010 managers were bad, just as our 2014 manager was (is) (she was, and still is). The 2009 and 2010 workplace morale was low, just as the 2014 morale was low.
But 2009 and 2010 didn't manifest with the same level of physical stress. We were drinking a lot in 2009 and 2010. Perhaps alcohol was a necessary anesthetic. Hard to look at: maybe we just can't handle working corporate anymore. Which, we don't want to work corporate, but it's still kindof a drag to feel one's options are limited. Like when someone you don't like says, “I don't want to date you.” Awww! Why not??
For the best. Reap the benefits, Dear Readers!!
The Theme!Just, like, a bajillion clues this month. All in service of the alphabetical theme: twenty-six clues entered with one letter shifted “up” in the alphabet. On the plane from Frankfurt to Chicago in July, Sweet V and we just happened to do the February 2009 puzzle (“Upgrades”) with a very very similar variety. The Feb 2009 instructs were similarly cagey about just what kind of “upgrade” was required, but Sept 2014 gave it away with “Z reverts to A.”
Feb 2009's upgraded entries did not always necessarily result in a new word, but Sept 2014's did. Er, at least, bore that conceit. And in service of such an ambitious theme, the bajillions of clues.
Also: what the heck was this note in the answer key? Puzzle editing by Dan Asimov? Whodat?
- 1A) We entered, or ran outside, became more than buds (8)
WE + OR + (ran = FLED) + FLOWERED
F becomes G
- 7A) E.g., apples in a pie I left in—throw up, perhaps (7)
(throw up = FLING) + I + (left = L) = FILLING
L becomes M
- 14A) A quiet remains after an explosion (3)
A + (quiet = SH) = ASH
- 17A) Heartless character, popular, married, appearing in Sun (3, 3)
(married = M) + IN + (Sun = TAN) = TIN MAN
- 25A) Revolving gun, halfway done (4)
(gun = REVOLVER) * halfway = OVER
- 33A) Leaves supporter to follow a star (5)
STALK (double syn)
L becomes K
- 30A) Boy goes around that place hot and bothered (8)
((Boy = LAD) + (that place = THERE)) * anagram = LATHERED
- 41A) Funny Girl is whimsical? (3)
Funny Girl = whimsical = FEY (as in Tina))
- 56A) Snake-bite? That's sporting! (7)
(Snake = BOA) + (bite = STING) = BOASTING
B becomes C
- 58A) Doctor pushes 'em—I'm for things that sound better (10)
PUSHES EM IM * anagram = EUPHEMISMS
- 1D) Lacquering done to blur something flowery and loud (14)
LACQUERING DONE * anagram = GRANDILOQUENCE
- 3D) Gets friendly with guns (5)
(with = W) + (guns = ARMS) = WARMS
M becomes N
- 4D) English: certainly visionaries! (4)
(English = E) + (certainly = YES) = EYES
- 8D) The Strip is therefore taking in a million (7)
IS + (therefore = THUS) + (million = M) = ISTHMUS
- 31D) She's off, but first: Does the man have drugs? (8)
(SHE + (Does the man have = HAS HE)) * anagram = HASHEESH
- 32D) Prayers for a timeless article of clothing (4)
A + (article of clothing = VEST) * timeless = AVES
V becomes W
- 35D) Emulate Bloomberg? Like soft-boiled eggs? (5)
Emulate Bloomberg = RUN NY = RUNNY
R becomes S
- Love Jay-Z's final covering of “Endless Love” (4)
(Jay-Z's final = Z) + (Love = EROS) * endless = ZERO
Z becomes A
- 44D) Jay Leno's leadership is piercing, its casts aside (5)
(Jay Leno's leadership = JL) + ITS = JILTS
J becomes K
- 49D) Sartre's already writing of French-German agreement (4)
(of French = DE) + (German agreement = JA) = DEJA
- 52D) On the fifth of March, I'm The Man (3)
(fifth of March = H) + IM = HIM
- 13A) Bar one moves to the right in lady's lingerie (9)
(lady's lingerie = BRASSIERE) * one moves to the right = BRASSERIE
Just once! Can we get a JOCK, a BRIEFS, or a BANANA HAMMOCK?
And BRASSERIE? Wut? Ok fine.
- 19A) One going both ways? A side of India often seen (4)
NAAN (pun* (*wut? — ed))
- 21A) Capital needed to start a mental hospital (4)
(mental hospital = SANATORIUM) * start = SANA
Seems the more accepted transliteration has the second “a” but ok fine.
- 24A) Bird mentioned in Uncle Remus (3)
REMUS = EMU
- 53A) Sounds like an illness went away quickly (4)
(illness = FLU) * homophone = FLEW
- 45D) Brother circles the heart of Texas, a big county there (5)
(Brother = BR) + (heart of Texas = EXA) = BEXAR
Actually thought the equivalency was “Brother” = “bear” This guy:
- 47D) Moves the camera up for a shot (4)
(Moves the camera = PANS) * rev. = SNAP
N becomes O
- 55D) Band of Japanese heading off in the desert (3)
(desert = GOBI) - heading = OBI
- 53D) Me, Friday? Since you brought it up, I'm a lesbian! (3)
(ME + (Friday = F)) * rev. = FEM
Can't get with the Harper's puzzle's insistence that gender and sexuality are orthodox like dat. Cannot.