Kamis, 12 Agustus 2010

T H U R S D A Y   August 12, 2010 Bruce Venzke

Theme: It's All About Me — The word "ego" is hidden within familiar phrases.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Good job!" ("NICE GOING!").
  • 24A: Hughes Aircraft prototype (SPRUCE GOOSE).
  • 40A: Sermonize (PREACH THE GOSPEL).
  • 52A: Game with discs and baskets (FRISBEE GOLF).
  • 65A: A synonym for it is hidden in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across (INNER SELF).
We just had another glorious day here in Estes Park, Colorado. I've actually never been an outdoors person at all, but I have completely fallen in love with this part of the country. Today we took a relatively easy hike (a little less than three miles round-trip, +~400 vertical feet) to the old Eugenia Mine site. Not a lot to see once you get to the site, but the hike was beautiful and it was a lot of fun watching the PuzzleKids looking for gold in the really really freaking cold water. (Surprisingly, there was none to be found!)

We're also having a pretty good week of puzzles here at the LAT, aren't we?! I couldn't figure out the theme from the first three theme answers, but I thought the theme answer phrases were all lively and the the fill was very smooth. I really enjoyed solving this one.

  • 1A: Eponymous salad creator (COBB). I guess I didn't realize this salad was named by/after a person. Robert Howard Cobb (first cousin of Ty Cobb) owned the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant where the salad was invented in the 1930s. Thanks to Mr. Cobb and everyone at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant! You invented one yummy salad!
  • 5A: "Man Plus" author Frederik (POHL). I can't say that I've ever heard of him — I'm not a big science fiction fan and only know a few sci-fi writers off the top of my head — but I looked him up online and I'm already a fan. He's 90 years old and he has a blog! How cool is that?
  • 14A: Its juice is sometimes used to treat heartburn (ALOE). Whoa. I had no idea.
  • 15A: Award for "Rent" (OBIE). The OBIEs are Off-Broadway theater awards presented annually by The Village Voice.
  • 23A: Gymnast Mary __ Retton (LOU). The first woman to grace the cover of a Wheaties box. You go girl!
  • 44A: Judge of many 36-Across (PAULA). I miss Paula. You just never knew how she was going to be on any given night, you know?
  • 68A: Wrap (STOLE). It's déjà-vu all over again!
  • 5D: Nanki-__, son of the Mikado (POO). Learned it from crosswords. As an aside, the PuzzleFamily and I went out to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and one of the appetizers listed on the menu was a "Mexican Poo Poo Platter." Now I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's not how you wanna be spelling "pu pu" on a menu.
  • 9D: Title setting for a Mozart abduction (SERAGLIO). "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" ("The Abduction from the Seraglio") is a Mozart opera that premiered in July 1782.
  • 35D: Movie station letters (SHO). Cable television's SHOwtime.
  • 41D: Musket relatives (CARBINES). These are … weapons of some sort?
  • 53D: __-Wreck (RENT-A). Oh yeah, great. Thanks for bringing it up. I had almost forgotten the fact that I had a fender bender in a rental vehicle yesterday that was totally my fault. (Nobody hurt, just embarrassing and expensive.)
  • 60D: A jet or a king (LEAR). Nice clue!
  • 67D: Big game animal (ELK).

  • [Photo by PuzzleSon two days ago out our back door.]
Crosswordese 101: LEDA (38D: Castor's mother) is sometimes clued as "Mythical queen of Sparta," "Moon of Jupiter," "Swan lover of myth," or "Yeats's '___and the Swan.'" But mostly you need to know that she's the mother of Helen of Troy and the twins Castor and Pollux. Don't get her confused with LETO, who is the mother of Artemis and Apollo! I think I'll try to remember that the one that doesn't end in A is the one whose children's names begin with A. We'll see if that works.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 47A: "At Wit's End" author Bombeck (ERMA).
  • 69A: Inland Asian sea (ARAL).
  • 2D: "Chocolat" actress (OLIN).
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Everything Else — 9A: Moral fiber (SPINE); 16A: John of Middlesex (ELTON); 19A: Colorful stable residents (ROANS); 20A: Major malfunction (SNAFU); 21A: Certain analyst's input (DATA); 28A: Moscow ballet theater (BOLSHOI); 32A: Cheerleader's offering (YELL); 33A: Psych finish (-OTIC); 34A: Kin of a 911 call (SOS); 36A: Objects of look-ups? (IDOLS); 45A: Bauxite, e.g. (ORE); 46A: BMW competitor (AUDI); 50A: Persistently chews on (GNAWS AT); 56A: Roulette choice (RED); 57A: Legal letter phrase (IN RE); 58A: Travel guide (ATLAS); 63A: Veggie bin staple (ONION); 70A: Response to a shock (GASP); 71A: Abominations (HATES); 72A: Kin of 63-Across (LEEK); 73A: Walked heavily (TROD); 1D: Preserves, in a way (CANS); 3D: City near West Palm (BOCA); 4D: Gripe (BEEF); 6D: "The Mikado" accessory (OBI); 7D: Veda devotee (HINDU); 8D: Bequest (LEGACY); 10D: West Bank initials (PLO); 11D: "Mr. Palomar" writer Calvino (ITALO); 12D: Things to avoid (NO-NOS); 13D: Occur next (ENSUE); 18D: Flow copiously (GUSH); 22D: Place to start a round (TEE); 25D: Ritzy (POSH); 26D: Very funny person (RIOT); 27D: "Too many cooks ...," e.g. (OLD SAW); 28D: 1995 comet spotter Thomas (BOPP); 29D: Other, in Madrid (OTRA); 30D: Substitution word (LIEU); 31D: Fish features (SCALES); 37D: "Mr. Holland's __" (OPUS); 39D: Letter opening? (SLIT); 42D: "This being the case ..." ("ERGO …"); 43D: DDE, for one (GENL.); 48D: Chess pieces (MEN); 49D: Passé reception aid (AERIAL); 51D: Not at hand, to say the least (AFAR); 52D: College newbie (FROSH); 54D: Fool (IDIOT); 55D: Category (GENRE); 59D: USAF noncom (TSGT); 61D: "Wait, there's more ..." ("ALSO …"); 62D: Calif. group with a seven-point badge (SFPD); 64D: Flamenco cheer (OLÉ); 66D: "In your dreams!" in Dundee (NAE).

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