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1 puzzle by Dave Bardolph
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutCollabs
18/25/20200
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0010000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61000
Dave Bardolph
Tue 8/25/2020
AJARCRAGACURA
NOGOPAIRFETUS
THEPOUNDOFFLESH
INDEXTETRASHY
IIITAIL
LENDMEYOUREARS
EEGEPEESNEAK
LARDSLACKTINY
BREADTOOLODE
AYTHERESTHERUB
LEESLEA
AWWPICKSDINAR
WHATSDONEISDONE
LEVEEREALETNA
SWEETTELLREED

I love the image of these Shakespearean characters hanging out at a backyard BBQ, scheming to cook a steak. Sort of a "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble" with A-1, hot sauce, and ketchup. The Bard and the backyard; such different walks of life; I'd have never thought of juxtaposing the two. Clever!

I'm no Shakespeare aficionado — I read roughly five pages of every assigned play in school and said a lot of "prithees" and "portents" to get by on tests — so the THE in THE POUND OF FLESH confused me. Isn't it A POUND OF FLESH? Apparently not!

I also hitched at the Shylock reference, since there are so many negative connotations, but the entry is a direct quote from that character. Hard to avoid the reference.

As much as the imagery amused me, I would have loved it even more if all the quotes had related to a steak. Shylock presenting it, Hamlet seasoning it, Lady Macbeth calling it done. Surely there has to be a fourth meat-sounding quote from all of Shakespeare?

I knew there was a reason why I should have done the assigned reading.

Such solid gridwork, and in a debut, too! It's so rare that a new constructor comes out of the gate with only a bit of CPU EEG, and those are minor. I'd challenge Dave to next time open up his grid more, allowing for a few bonuses, perhaps taking out the square between RANT and EEL, or maybe even between EGRET and WAVE.

I'm still giggling about these larger-than-life figures with barbeque sauce smeared into their waxed mustaches. Such a fun debut.