Kamis, 26 Agustus 2010

T H U R S D A Y   August 26, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Hitting the Nail on the Head — Twelve words in the grid can be described as something that's hit in an idiomatic phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 1A: *Bag (SACK).
  • 5A: *Pump output (GAS).
  • 8A: *Follow (TRAIL).
  • 16A: *Road surface (PAVEMENT).
  • 18A: *Holdup causes? (BRAKES).
  • 28A: *Rain protection (ROOF).
  • 44A: *Grilling site (DECK).
  • 59A: *Cola holder (BOTTLE).
  • 60A: *Range target (BULL'S-EYE).
  • 64A: *Warehouse aids (SKIDS).
  • 65A: *Guinea pig food (HAY).
  • 66A: *Location (SPOT).
  • 22D/42K: Words that can precede the answers to starred clues (HIT / THE).
I enjoyed this theme a lot. Not too flashy, and there sure was a lot of it! Every single "hit the …" phrase is solid, which is a real plus. There is definitely some questionable fill, but I think the crosses are all good. Let us know in the comments if/where you had trouble today. Wait. "Hit the trail"? Is that good? I would prefer "Hit the road." I bet "trail" is fine though.

  • 20A: Morrie Turner comic strip about ethnically diverse kids (WEE PALS). I'd never heard of this comic strip before. A cursory look through the Internet Machine makes me think it's sort of a multicultural Family Circus (humor about mundane family situations, often about the funny things children say) but with a little bit of straight-up talk about race, and an occasionaly Black History moment. Trying to do too much? Maybe if I actually followed it it would feel more coherent (duh).
  • 32A: Southern stretch? (DRAWL). Last year I had the pleasure of meeting a girlfriend I had only known online. She's from North Carolina and it was pretty funny how genuinely surprised I was to hear her accent. Well she doesn't type with an accent so how would I know?!
  • 36A: Like many cameras (DIGITAL). Spent all day yesterday researching various digital cameras for the office. Good times.
  • 45A: Musical satirist Tom (LEHRER). I feel like I've posted "The Vatican Rag" a couple times already, so how about some "New Math":

  • 3D: Batman's hideout (CAVE). Nice spicy clue for a not-very-exciting word.
  • 11D: Eyjafjallajökull's country: Abbr. (ICEL.). When that volcano blew, media people all over the world were thanking God for cut-and-paste.
  • 17D: Shaker on the kids' show "Blue's Clues" (MR. SALT). Hah! Gimme! I knew having children would come in handy one day!
  • 18D: Convicted Ponzi schemer Madoff (BERNIE). I didn't realize for quite a while that his last name is actually pronounced "made off." I mean, that's pretty funny, right?
  • 29D: Dental restoration (ONLAY). I wanted "inlay" here for the simple reason that it's a word I've heard before.
  • 31D: Many business letters (FAXES). Um … no. Very, very few business letters are faxes these days. I have no hard data to back up that claim, but I'm sticking to it.
  • 37D: Siren quality (ALLURE). This is the mermaid-type siren (are they mermaids?) not the ambulance-type siren.
  • 53D: Hun king, in Scandinavian legend (ATLI). This is Crosswordese 301.
  • 55D: "__ lid on it!" (PUT A). HAha! I got this one totally through crosses before I saw the clue and thought "PUTA is in the puzzle? That's ... odd."
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 21A: D-Day carrier (LST).
  • 34A: Yours, in Tours (À TOI).
  • 10D: "My Way" lyricist (ANKA).
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Everything Else — 13A: Longtime portrait studio __ Mills (OLAN); 14A: Strasbourg street (RUE); 15A: For this reason (HENCE); 19A: More than frown on (SNEER AT); 22A: "__ Tonic": 1945 Bugs Bunny title (HARE); 23A: Green source, briefly (ATM); 26A: Give as a task (ASSIGN); 35A: On Vine St., say (IN L.A.); 38A: Retailer offering video streaming (NETFLIX); 40A: Legendary work, often (EPIC); 41A: Miller __ (LITE); 43A: Emit, as a sigh (HEAVE); 47A: "Indubitably!" ("YES!"); 48A: D-Day month (JUNE); 49A: Pep (VIM); 51A: To some degree (OF A SORT); 55A: Bridge supports (PILINGS); 61A: __ ease (ILL AT); 62A: Braves, on scoreboards (ATL); 63A: 1998 skating gold medalist Lipinski (TARA); 1D: Cleans (up) using Bounty (SOPS); 2D: Greenspan concerned with green (ALAN); 4D: Get down to earth? (KNEEL); 5D: Immortals (GREATS); 6D: Patty or Selma, to Lisa Simpson (AUNT); 7D: Combo's group of numbers (SET); 8D: Number in a combo, maybe (THREE); 9D: Collect (REAP); 10D: "My Way" lyricist (ANKA); 12D: More, some say (LESS); 20D: Western driver (WAGONER); 23D: Said further (ADDED); 24D: Rubbish (TRIPE); 25D: Orlando cagers (MAGIC); 27D: Conspicuous (SALIENT); 28D: All over (RIFE); 30D: Martini garnish (OLIVE); 33D: Oil lamp feature (WICK); 39D: It might be cheap (THRILL); 46D: How villains laugh (EVILLY); 48D: Throws for a loop (JOLTS); 50D: Waters gently (MISTS); 51D: Asian sashes (OBIS); 52D: Acoustic guitar genre (FOLK); 54D: Dutch town (STAD); 56D: Minimum-range tide (NEAP); 57D: Lamb sandwich (GYRO); 58D: Usher's find (SEAT); 60D: Part of a legendary Christmas complaint (BAH).

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