Senin, 09 Agustus 2010

M O N D A Y   AUGUST 9, 2010 Jeff Chen

Theme: Fabulus! — Theme answers are multi-word phrases where the first word ends with the letters ULUS.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Economy-boosting government program (STIMULUS PACKAGE).
  • 28A: Exam with derivatives and integrals (CALCULUS TEST).
  • 49A: Puffy sky feature (CUMULUS CLOUD).
  • 64A: Rome's twin founders, traditionally (ROMULUS AND REMUS).
This is a really interesting puzzle to me. The theme is definitely "meh" but the fill is super smooth and it even includes a few real sparklers and some scrabbliness. Sparklers? What sparklers? Well, how about SOURPUSS (6D: One with a grumpy scowl)? Sure it's kinda old-timey, but come on. SOURPUSS? That's gold. And what about FJORD (9A: Scandinavian inlet)? FJORD offers that strange consonant collision right up front that's not just strange and consonant-heavy but Scrabbly to boot. That's 12 points right there in the first two letters if you don't play it on a multiplier square (which, of course, you do because you know better than to waste all that fire power on a measly old 1x space). And oh my gosh the Ks! So many Ks to love in this grid: KOFI, K.C. JONES, JOKESTER, RISK — I'm practically OD'ing on the wonderfulness that is the letter K.

And that's not all. I'm sure you also noticed the clever cluing bleed-over thing (which I think of as a Bob Klahn specialty):
  • 4D: Cross shape (TAU).
  • 5D: Bent pipe shape (ELL).

  • 28D: __ of arms (COAT).
  • 29D: Comrade in arms (ALLY).

  • 45D: Sister (NUN).
  • 47D: "Sister __": Whoopi Goldberg film (ACT).

  • 66D: Dr. of rap (DRE).
  • 67D: Dr.'s co-workers (RN'S).
I think there are a couple more too, though they're not as blatant.

What else should we talk about?
  • 4A: Electrical pioneer Nikola (TESLA). Him again.
  • 33A: Game originally named "The Conquest of the World" (RISK). I'm sure I haven't played this game in 30 years. I remember I loved it though.
  • 34A: Gold or silver, e.g. (MEDAL). Well lookie here — a coupla Olympic gold medalists!
  • 46A: She gets what she wants (LOLA). HAha! I got this through crosses and thought it must be a lyric from the Kinks song, but it's actually a song from the musical Damn Yankees that I've never heard before.
  • 53A: Hall of Fame Celtic whose initials are his given name (K.C. JONES). I love it when sports clues are gimmes for me. It makes me feel so smart.
  • 60A: Strong-jawed device (VISE). Let's see if I can spell it right today ….
  • 70A: Dot on a die (PIP).

  • [I hear Gladys Knight is down to one pip these days. That's sad.]

  • 3D: Homeless child (WAIF). This is an awesome word.
  • 41D: Dunked morning snack (DOUGHNUT). It's a good thing clues don't have to be exclusive definitions. I mean, it would be a shame if you could only snack on doughnuts in the morning.
  • 52D: Score before 15, in tennis (LOVE). As soon as I filled this answer in, my heart sank. I really feel like I let you down. I covered AD IN in a CW101 lesson just last week and explained the scoring convention used in tennis. But I completely forgot about LOVE! Ya know how I was feeling so smart back at 53A? Now I don't feel so smart any more. Sorry!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 4D: Cross shape (TAU).
  • 19D: Tennis legend Arthur (ASHE).
  • 25D: "East of Eden" director Kazan (ELIA).
  • 36D: Baseball's Felipe or Moises (ALOU).
  • 65D: WWII transport (LST).
  • 66D: Dr. of rap (DRE).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Sound near an ineffective scarecrow (CAW); 14A: Chef's phrase (ALA); 15A: Healing plants (ALOES); 16A: Apple pie maker's device (CORER); 20A: Ex-UN chief Annan (KOFI); 21A: GPS suggestions (.); 22A: Greek vowels (ETAS); 23A: Apt name for a herding dog (SHEP); 26A: Wedgelike tools (CHISELS); 32A: __ Miss (OLE); 38A: Baldwin of "30 Rock" (ALEC); 40A: Line spoken to the audience (ASIDE); 43A: Actor's assignment (ROLE); 44A: Big name in chicken (TYSON); 48A: Wall Street index, with "the" (DOW); 56A: Spanish cat (GATO); 57A: Pakistan neighbor (IRAN); 58A: Benelux country: Abbr. (NETH.); 68A: Makes a scarf, say (KNITS); 69A: One-eighty (U-TURN); 71A: Dost lay one's eyes on (SEEST); 72A: "For __ sake!" (PETE'S); 73A: Messy place (STY); 1D: Sherry container (CASK); 2D: Choir part (ALTO); 7D: "__ we forget" (LEST); 8D: Appearance (ASPECT); 9D: TV monitoring gp. (FCC); 10D: Wisecrack maker (JOKESTER); 11D: Give a speech (ORATE); 12D: Fit for a king (REGAL); 13D: Word with sun or evening (DRESS); 18D: Catchall abbr. (MISC.); 24D: "Ben-__" (HUR); 27D: Belief: Suff. (-ISM); 30D: Wranglers alternative (LEES); 31D: Proficiency (SKILL); 35D: Knucklehead (DODO); 37D: Ribald (LEWD); 39D: Hard-shelled palm fruits (COCONUTS); 50D: List of choices (MENU); 51D: Runs out of (USES UP); 53D: Actor Douglas and baseballer Gibson (KIRKS); 54D: Witch (CRONE); 55D: Farr or Foxx (JAMIE); 59D: London's __ Britain art gallery (TATE); 61D: Rascals (IMPS); 62D: Three-piece attire, maybe (SUIT); 63D: Glimpse (ESPY).

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