Hink Pink Answers

August 9th, 2016

Michael Griffith: Congratulations to our puzzle contest winners, Stephanie La Francofille (with help from C.) and Vivian D., both of whom have earned either a year’s subscription to CR or a year’s extension. And thanks to all of you who tackled these tricky puzzles (and, again, to Dylan Hicks and Paris Review for their trailblazing and support). I’m honing and winnowing another batch to appear in our Fall/Winter issue. Look out, too, for new puzzle features—likely an acrostic and a another crossword—this fall.

answer key

  • What the Vienna Secession painter did to his GTO for the auto show (hink pink): Klimt pimped.
  • New NFL instant replay tool sponsored by a pioneering hip-hop label (hinky pinky): Def Jam ref cam.
  • Featured instrument in alt-country band The Beheaded Queen (hinkily pinkily): Anne Boleyn’s mandolin.
  • Internet discussion board for boosters of an ex-Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate (hinkily pinkily): Santorum fan forum.
  • Puzzlemaster is cruising for a lawsuit by wearing those wee denims (hinky pinky—all rhyme): Shortz courts jorts torts.
  • Yale deconstructionist, pony up what you owe to the self-deprecating comedienne! (hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoo): J. Hillis Miller, pay Phyllis Diller!
  • What golfer Michelle insisted on before she married legendary basketball coach Adolph (hinky pinky): Wie/Rupp prenup.
  • Periods of time Assange’s group devoted to divulging web secrets of ex-Monkee Dolenz (hinkily pinkily): Wikileaks’ Mickey weeks.
  • “Friends in Low Places” singer’s metafiction collection (hinky pinky): Garth Brooks’ Barth books.
  • The Man in Black’s soiree for a Greek elevator-music star (hinkily pinkily): Johnny Cash’s Yanni bash.
  • Porous yellow guy’s stint in ‘90s Seattle music (hinky dinky): Spongebob’s grunge job.
  • Wearer of a multicolored belled cap embroidered with an A (hinky pinky): Jester Hester.
  • Postgame Nawlins-style sandwich in Mudville (hinky pinky): No-joy poboy.
  • Poultry Viagra (hinky pinky): Rooster booster.
  • ‘90s sitcom namesake’s Vulcan-style telepathic linking with Tinkerbell (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Jerry Seinfeld’s fairy mind-meld.
  • Part of a cartoon shark’s contract that requires the studio to have soured unpasteurized milk on hand? (hinkily pinkily): Jabberjaws’ clabber clause.
  • Even on his ambulance stretcher, hipster Sanders diehard has Americanos lined up (hinkily pinkily): Bernie bro’s gurney joes.
  • Red-haired obstacle-course competitor, in Boston (hinky pinky): Gingeh ninja.
  • Nubbly bedspread of a 1970s songstress who was the former Mrs. Dragon (hinky pinky): Tennille chenille.
  • Calvin Broadus’ chowder hard-sell (hinky pinky): Snoop Dogg’s soup flog.
  • Basso-voiced villain: “Wayne’s World co-host, adieu!” (hinkily pinkily): Darth Vader: Garth, later!
  • Sharpshooting LA Clipper, first-aid provider to those injured by a current fad dance (hinklediddle pinklediddle): J. Redick, nene medic.
  • Nora Charles, dump that Gentile! (hinkily pinkily): Myrna Loy, spurn a goy!
  • Herb from WKRP haz buttery pizzeria treats (hinkily pinkily): Tarlek gots garlic knots.
  • Superman nemesis who’s paranoid that we’ve all been lied to—LIED TO!—about the birds and the bees (hinkily pinkily): Lex Luthor, sex truther.
  • Onetime prop comedian, now policing European polecats (hinkily pinkily): Carrot Top, ferret cop.
  • Revolutionary leader since 1959 errs in opening a gourmet bar & grill (hinkily pinkily): Castro flubs gastropub
  • Trail mix at sci-fi speed  (hink pink): Warp gorp.
  • Elegant appeal a harem-pants-wearing rapper derives from his fermented Korean side dish (hinklediddle pinklediddle): MC Hammer’s kimchee glamour.
  • “Why did the chicken have sex with the road?”, e.g. (hinky pinky): Diddle riddle.
  • Glass receptacle, located in a Tanzanian archipelago, for money to help a former Who’s the Boss? star now down on his luck (hinkily pinkily): Zanzibar Danza jar
  • NBA’s first great center, on a mountain ramble, snaps photos of mosslike composites with his expensive Japanese camera (hinklediddle pinklediddle—all rhyme): Hikin’ Mikan lichen Nikon (sorry!)
  • Place to which the viewer’s eye is drawn in a painting of a rustic honky-tonk (hinkily pinkily): Yokel joint focal point
  • Colombian pop star’s exodus from Mecca (hinkily pinkily): Shakira hegira.
  • “OK, I’m givin’ up. No more saying ‘nevermore.’” (hinky pinky): Cavin’ raven.
  • Mayberry-born Marine’s designer-knockoff glass tube for a Magus’s resin (hinkily pinkily): Gomer Pyle’s faux myrrh vial.
  • Widespread terror about a communist plot to make us all look as though we’ve just risen from naps (hinky pinky): Bed-hair Red Scare
  • Foxy Brown’s canned-meat phobia (hinky pinky): Pam Grier’s Spam fear.
  • Infamous dognapper’s measles-infected Caddy (hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoo): Cruella DeVil’s rubella Seville.
  • Sorry, duplicate here! Replacement was “Recently expired dictator has possession of onetime Red Sox skip’s Viagra” (hinkily pinkily): Kim Jong Il’s Zim dong pills.
  • Umlaut-happy rock-band frontman’s criminally good bargain on multicolored fabric (hinky pinky): Vince Neil’s chintz steal.
  • Second duplicate. Replacement was “Poker-faced bourbon distiller’s posts about a meat snack have gone viral (hinkily pinkily)”: Grim Jim Beam’s Slim Jim meme.
  • The Human Highlight Film is looking for fanatical devotees of the Wonder Twins’ monkey (hinky pinky): Nique seeks Gleek freaks [or “geeks”]
  • What to say to a budding wizard fencing with Gabe Kaplan (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Harry Potter, parry Kotter!
  • Penny-ante philippic from Ace Frehley or Peter Criss (hinky pinky): Pissant K*i*s*s rant.
  • Moment of maximum shame for a fooled ice defenseman (hink pink): Peak deke.
  • An Austrian logician goes bad in the fridge (hinky pinky): Gödel curdle.
  • Archie Leach’s wedding trousers (hinkily pinkily): Cary Grant’s marry pants.
  • Exercise monitor exclusively for poststructuralists or their ilk (hinky pinky): Lit-crit Fitbit
  • White House scandal: President’s sham South American camelid (hinkily pinkily): Obama’s faux llama.
  • Murray/Merrill portrayer mildly criticizes instances of Jewish prayer (hinkily pinkily): Gavin dings davenings.
  • Von Richthofen, cuttin’ back on his daily pills (hinkily pinkily): Red Baron, med parin’.
  • Group of trucks hauling 007’s ornamental fish (hinky pinky): Bond koi convoy.
  • Part of Lady Spencer’s tennis outfit, that time at the Kennedy compound (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Diana’s skort, Hyannisport
  • S&M equipment purchasable, in spotted-horse pattern, at 30,000 feet (hinkily pinkily—slight cheat in the rhyme): Skymall mag piebald gag.
  • Result of HMS Beagle naturalist’s high bid on a Bundren child’s flivver (hinkily pinkily): Charles Darwin’s Darl car win.
  • A certain Stalag commander’s springtime sexual idiosyncrasy (hinkily pinkily): Colonel Klink’s vernal kink.
  • Lord Greystoke, forbid custard tarts! (hinky dinky): Tarzan, bar flan!
  • Ornithologist has snared an icon of 1970s cool (hinkily pinkily): Audubon’s caught a Fonz.
  • Result of bowdlerizing a famed NYC street photographer’s work to make it safe for children (hinky pinky, all rhyme): PG Weegee.

And a bonus hyper-ridiculous one, this time a hinklediddledoodle dinklediddledoodle: Famed “Omaha”-shouter ties the knot at a bronzing salon in the Wright Brothers’ hometown, in a ceremony that takes place during a publicity stunt modeled on the one made famous by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. (Hint: Use the person’s full name.)

 

 

Puzzle Feature: Hink Pinks

July 28th, 2016

Michael Griffith: Last month Chris Bachelder, may he be thanked and damned, sent me down a rabbit hole by introducing me to Hink Pinks. Chris passed along a most excellent and amusing feature on The Paris Review’s website, a series of nimble and often diabolically difficult examples by Dylan Hicks. I recommend those puzzles highly, and here steal, or rather quote, Hicks’s explanation of the genre:

wobblingoblin“Hink pink is a word game in which synonyms, circumlocution, and micronarratives provide clues for rhyming phrases. In the standard explanatory example, an “overweight feline” is a “fat cat.” Hink pinks on that babyish level aspire to lend vocabulary building an air of fun, but more sophisticated puzzles are sometimes mulled over on road trips, in trenches, and in other settings where boredom and tension might be mellowed, to paraphrase Dryden, by the dull sweets of rhyme. . . . A puzzle of disyllabic components is a hinky pinky, followed with decreasing dignity by hinkily pinkilies, hinklediddle pinklediddles, and hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoos. Even with longer puzzles, however, the goal, almost a mandate, is for each syllable to rhyme perfectly, though this perfection might depend on idiosyncratic stress.”

A few of the puzzles below aspire to Hicksian difficulty, and/or to the lovely epigrammatic density of his cluing (an example of his handiwork: “Hazzard County kingpin keeps track of interdental hygiene,” to which the answer, presumably, is “Boss Hogg’s floss log”). I’ve tried, though, to make at least some of them a bit easier and more accessible for the beginner. This is not a kindness, I admit—more in the spirit of the pusher hawking a gateway drug in the hopes of spreading the misery. As some of you will have witnessed on my Facebook wall a few weeks back, these little puzzles can be addictive. I have repaid Chris B. by visiting upon him a hink pinks fink jinx.)

Below are sixty wee puzzles. I’ve tried to provide a heads-up where there’s a whisper of off rhyme or a slight shift of emphasis. The one consistent exception I’ve allowed to perfect rhyme is that at the center and fulcrum point of the puzzle, there may be a possessive “s.” The answer to “White whale’s home haircutting gizmo,” then, would be “Moby[’s] Flowbee.”

These are hard, and of course no one has the time (or probably the inclination) to wade through all of them, so the prize this time—either a year’s subscription to CR or a year’s extension of a present subscription—will go to the first two people who send at least forty correct answers. We’ll post the answers in a week or so.

I have another sixty nearly ready for the upcoming Fall/Winter issue, as well; we’ll continue to have a puzzle feature in every issue, but not all will be crosswords. And if there’s sufficient interest out there, my plan next month is to do a second web feature in which we offer readers’ hink pinks. If you’re interested in participating in that (making them up can turn obsessive, too, so fair warning), please send your puzzles along to michael[dot]griffith[at]uc.edu.

 

  • What the Vienna Secession painter did to his GTO for the auto show (hink pink)
  • New NFL instant replay tool sponsored by a pioneering hip-hop label (hinky pinky)
  • Featured instrument in alt-country band The Beheaded Queen (hinkily pinkily)
  • Internet discussion board for boosters of an ex-Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate (hinkily pinkily)
  • Puzzlemaster is cruising for a lawsuit by wearing those wee denims (hinky pinky—all rhyme)
  • Yale deconstructionist, pony up what you owe to the self-deprecating comedienne! (hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoo)
  • What golfer Michelle insisted on before she married legendary basketball coach Adolph (hinky pinky)
  • Periods of time Assange’s group devoted to divulging web secrets of ex-Monkee Dolenz (hinkily pinkily)
  • “Friends in Low Places” singer’s metafiction collection (hinky pinky)
  • The Man in Black’s soiree for a Greek elevator-music star (hinkily pinkily)
  • Porous yellow guy’s stint in ‘90s Seattle music (hinky dinky)
  • Wearer of a multicolored belled cap embroidered with an A (hinky pinky)
  • Postgame Nawlins-style sandwich in Mudville (hinky pinky)
  • Poultry Viagra (hinky pinky)
  • ’90s sitcom namesake’s Vulcan-style telepathic linking with Tinkerbell (hinklediddle pinklediddle)
  • Part of a cartoon shark’s contract that requires the studio to have soured unpasteurized milk on hand? (hinkily pinkily)
  • Even on his ambulance stretcher, hipster Sanders diehard has Americanos lined up (hinkily pinkily)
  • Red-haired obstacle-course competitor, in Boston (hinky pinky)
  • Nubbly bedspread of a 1970s songstress who was the former Mrs. Dragon (hinky pinky)
  • Calvin Broadus’ chowder hard-sell (hinky pinky)
  • Basso-voiced villain: “Wayne’s World co-host, adieu!” (hinky pinky)
  • Sharpshooting LA Clipper, first-aid provider to those injured by a current fad dance (hinklediddle pinklediddle)
  • Nora Charles, dump that Gentile! (hinkily pinkily)
  • Herb from WKRP haz buttery pizzeria treats (hinkily pinkily)
  • Superman nemesis who’s paranoid that we’ve all been lied to—LIED TO!—about the birds and the bees (hinkily pinkily)
  • Onetime prop comedian, now policing European polecats (hinkily pinkily)
  • Revolutionary leader since 1959 errs in opening a gourmet bar & grill (hinkily pinkily)
  • Trail mix at sci-fi speed  (hink pink)
  • Elegant appeal a harem-pants-wearing rapper derives from his fermented Korean side dish (hinklediddle pinklediddle)
  • “Why did the chicken have sex with the road?”, e.g. (hinky pinky)
  • Glass receptacle, located in a Tanzanian archipelago, for money to help a former Who’s the Boss? star now down on his luck (hinkily pinkily)
  • NBA’s first great center, on a mountain ramble, snaps photos of mosslike composites with his expensive Japanese camera (hinklediddle pinklediddle—all rhyme)
  • Place to which the viewer’s eye is drawn in a painting of a rustic honky-tonk (hinkily pinkily)
  • Colombian pop star’s exodus from Mecca (hinkily pinkily)
  • “OK, I’m givin’ up. No more saying ‘nevermore.’” (hinky pinky)
  • Mayberry-born Marine’s designer-knockoff glass tube for a Magus’s resin (hinkily pinkily)
  • Widespread terror about a communist plot to make us all look as though we’ve just risen from naps (hinky pinky)
  • Foxy Brown’s canned-meat phobia (hinky pinky)
  • Infamous dognapper’s measles-infected Caddy (hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoo)
  • “Friends in Low Places” singer’s metafiction collection (hinky pinky)
  • Umlaut-happy rock-band frontman’s criminally good bargain on multicolored fabric (hinky pinky)
  • The Man in Black’s soiree for a Greek elevator-music star (hinkily pinkily)
  • The Human Highlight Film is looking for fanatical devotees of the Wonder Twins’ monkey (hinky pinky)
  • What to say to a budding wizard fencing with Gabe Kaplan (hinklediddle pinklediddle)
  • Penny-ante philippic from Ace Frehley or Peter Criss (hinky pinky)
  • Moment of maximum shame for a fooled ice defenseman (hink pink)
  • An Austrian logician goes bad in the fridge (hinky pinky)
  • Archie Leach’s wedding trousers (hinkily pinkily)
  • Exercise monitor exclusively for poststructuralists or their ilk (hinky pinky)
  • White House scandal: President’s sham South American camelid (hinkily pinkily)
  • Murray/Merrill portrayer mildly criticizes instances of Jewish prayer (hinkily pinkily)
  • Von Richthofen, cuttin’ back on his daily pills (hinkily pinkily)
  • Group of trucks hauling 007’s ornamental fish (hinky pinky)
  • Part of Lady Spencer’s tennis outfit, that time at the Kennedy compound (hinkily pinkily)
  • S&M equipment purchasable, in spotted-horse pattern, at 30,000 feet (hinkily pinkily—slight cheat in the rhyme)
  • Result of HMS Beagle naturalist’s high bid on a Bundren child’s flivver (hinkily pinkily)
  • A certain Stalag commander’s springtime sexual idiosyncrasy (hinkily pinkily)
  • Lord Greystoke, forbid custard tarts! (hinky dinky)
  • Ornithologist has snared an icon of 1970s cool (hinkily pinkily)
  • Result of bowdlerizing a famed NYC street photographer’s work to make it safe for children (hinky pinky, all rhyme)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schiff Awards: A Few Days Left to Enter!

July 11th, 2016

clockFor just one more week, The Cincinnati Review will be accepting entries for the 2016 Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. One poem and one prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction) will be chosen for publication in our 2017 prize issue, and the two winners will each receive $1,000.The entry fee of $20 includes a year-long subscription (two issues), and submissions will be accepted until 11:59 PM EST on July 15. All entries will be considered for publication. Please submit up to 8 pages of poetry or one story/essay of up to 40 pages per entry. All entries should be submitted through our online submission manager. For complete contest guidelines, please visit cincinnatireview.com.

Schiff Awards: Open for Your Best Lit Business!

June 1st, 2016

ContestTimeBannerFinal
It’s that time again! We are officially accepting entries for our summer contest—the Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. The purse is a cool grand for each winning piece. AND in honor of her namesake, Adele has agreed to sing at our celebratory backyard BBQ for the winners. (Not really, but you knew that, right?) For details, click here. Don’t forget to check out the winning poem and story from last year’s contest—written by Jaime Brunton and Robert Long Foreman—featured in our current issue!

Art Song Video Premiere!

May 20th, 2016
David Clay Mettens and Mary Kaiser

David Clay Mettens and Mary Kaiser

Don Bogen: With its score for alto flute, bass clarinet, viola, cello, piano, percussion, and soprano, David Clay Mettens’s setting of Mary Kaiser’s “He Dreams a Mother” in our Summer 2016 issue (just released) is one of the most intricate and haunting pieces in our series of art songs. It’s also the first for which we have a video of the premiere. “Hypnotic” is a word the composer uses several times in the score, and it certainly fits what happened on stage this past April. To watch, click here.

Be sure to check out the subtle performance by All of the Above, with soprano Jilian McGreen and all those varied instruments bringing out the calm yet deeply strange vision in Mary’s poem. The ending is particularly striking. Thanks and congratulations go to the composer, the poet, and the ensemble.

The poem and full score are in the issue.  You can find the other four settings we’ve commissioned to date in the art-song category of the blog.

Enjoy!

Spring/Summer Issue Has Shipped!

May 17th, 2016

13.1 is here! We just shipped the last, lovely issue, so if you’re a subscriber, expect . . . the expected. Hope you enjoy the wonderful work therein by the likes of Steven Sherrill, Cary Holladay, Dan Bellm, Barbara Hamby, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Beth Ann Fennelly, Brock Clarke, and other literary, er, leviathans? No. Lemurs? No. Llamas? Yes! Many more literary llamas. Not to mention the winners of (in poetry and prose) of the Robert and Adele Schiff Awards—Jaime Brunton and Robert Long Foreman. Have fun, readers!

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Why We Like It: “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night”

May 3rd, 2016

hipstamatic

Julialicia Case: I’m not much of a baseball person, or even a sports person, so when I came across Dave Mondy’s essay “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night,” I did not expect to be swept away. After all, the piece focuses on the “Best Baseball Game,” a twelve-inning matchup between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox in June 2006. It seemed like a topic for a very specific audience. Mondy, though, like any good storyteller, begins early on with an engaging hook: “[This is] the ultimate story for any fan—the story of how Andrew, Allan and I actually influenced who won the Best Baseball Game.”

 

Much more than a sports essay, “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night” is told in a series of small sections numbered consecutively, such as “1 (bottom),” and “10 (top)”—each section coinciding with the inning being described. Mondy covers a variety of subjects, giving us facts about famous baseball players, reflections on his relationship with his friend Andrew, and quotations from David Mamet’s Three Uses of the Knife, a book on the craft of playwriting—and though these topics are diverse, the careful structure and varied approach give the sense that something greater is going on. At one point, for example, Mondy discusses “Elysian Fields: the name of a park in Hoboken, New Jersey, that was the site of the first baseball game in 1846” but goes on to remind us that “Elysian Fields was the afterlife home of Greek heroes. . . . These would be the less obvious connections between the Elysian Fields and baseball: Heroes and Theater.”

 

Though the piece is filled with interesting tidbits about baseball, Mondy constantly alludes to things that baseball and storytelling have in common, as well as the ways that sports and stories play a crucial part in the human experience: “What I mean is that, though it is terribly self-centered, it’s hard not to view oneself as the center of the world . . . But sometimes, getting wrapped up in something outside oneself, something like a great baseball game, can take us out of our myopic minds.” While it’s true this is an essay about one person’s experience at a baseball game, it is also an essay about the ephemerality of friendship, the desire to influence something greater than ourselves, the sense of loss that often accompanies memory. Mondy seems to suggest that anyone can be a baseball person. In fact, we are all baseball people, even if we don’t know it yet.

Why We Like It: “Acheron” by Donika Ross Kelly

April 28th, 2016

Molly Reid: Lately, I’ve been interested in the way I—and perhaps other non-poets—read poetry. How might a fiction writer look at a poem differently than a poet? What do I seek in a good story, and how might that translate to a poem? (Do I need some kind of narrative arc? Lovely language? Image? Surprise?)

Reading submissions for The Cincinnati Review this semester, I’ve had to confront some of these questions, as we’re required to read both poetry and fiction (as well as nonfiction). Having never taken a poetry class, I was at first really uncomfortable with this. I felt unequipped to judge without the kind of rigorous critical apparatus I have for fiction. But after a few weeks, I settled in a bit. Though I may not always be able to name the form or rhyme scheme the poet is using or even completely understand what the poem is trying to do, I feel confident in saying whether or not a given piece works for me—the same way I can judge a nice brie from a rubbery cheddar. (I let the editorial staff parse the finer details; thank god they’re reading behind me.)

Along these lines, I thought it might be fun to take a look at a poem that spoke to me in the latest issue, Donika Ross Kelly’s “Acheron,” to try and examine the process of fiction-writer-reading-poem. Or ignorant-pleasure-seeking-individual-reading-poem. Not a deep critical analysis but a kind of casual aesthetic anatomy.

“Acheron” begins with the lines “This the season men were turned to trees—/ the formula simpler than we initially imagined.” This is exactly the kind of opening I like in fiction: an imaginative ltreemaneap, a strangeness, not to mention the compression of language. There’s the obvious hook—men turning into trees—though it’s the “season” here that really wins me over. It indicates a time limit, a particular container, retrospection. Even a nostalgia. Then that second line (“the formula simpler than we initially imagined”). What formula? How could it be simple? Who is “we”? And what (and why) did this we imagine what they imagined?

Such a beginning prompts a string of questions that—were this a story—would most likely get answered in some fashion. In the poem, however, none of these questions is answered (with the exception, maybe, of “the formula”: “The stiffened limb and rooting feet, the slow/ crawl of bark over skin; the god mourning/ a man now hidden.” Well, not answered so much as jerked around a little, like contents under pressure.)

I love this space—it makes me want to use words like liminal and hybridity. Why are we always trying to solve problems in fiction, find answers? It makes me consider how there should be more of poetry’s trouble-making and question-asking in my own fiction. And also, most definitely, more men turning into trees.

Art Song Performance

April 26th, 2016

A rscoreeminder that there will be a live performance of our forthcoming art song this Thursday, April 28, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Composer David Clay Mettens and his ensemble All of the Above will play from 7 to 9 p.m. For our spring issue, Mettens set Mary Kaiser’s poem “He Dreams a Mother,” a beautiful score that’s our most extended art-song offering to date. Admission for the event will be free. For more information, visit cliftonculturalarts.org.

12.2 Reviewed!

April 20th, 2016

cover12dot2A lovely review of our winter issue by DM O’Connor of New Pages—with shout outs to Dave Mondy, Leslie Pietrzyk, Wendy Call, Irma Pineda, Charles Rafferty, Rion Amilcar Scott, Anne Valente, and Tom Williams.

“With sixty poems, eight fiction pieces, three nonfiction essays, four reviews, five new translations and a featured artist, the 223-page 2016 winter issue of The Cincinnati Review has more than a little something for everyone. It’s biblical in scope, thick in thought and entertaining as hell.”