Selasa, 31 Agustus 2010

T U E S D A Y   August 31, 2010 Robert A. Doll

Theme: Trip Planner — First words of the theme answers describe the progression of a round-trip.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Have significant influence (PACK A PUNCH).
  • 26A: "Enough on this subject" ("LEAVE IT AT THAT").
  • 46A: Persevere (STAY THE COURSE).
  • 61A: Respond at the front (RETURN FIRE).
  • 63A: "Round" thing suggested by the first words of 17-, 26-, 46- and 61-Across (TRIP).

This wasn't a smooth puzzle for me and I therefore didn't love it. I cringed a little when I got to the really awful plural BAMS (10A: Shouts from Emeril) and actually groaned when I saw EEE (48A: Ample shoe width). Those are two things you just don't want to see in your grid. The rest of the fill was fine, but nothing exciting enough to make up for those two clunkers. Then there's the theme. Actually, the theme itself is fine but the clue is … weird. Was the "round" aspect emphasized just to make it difficult? Well, it succeeded in making it difficult but in a way that I found more irritating than clever. Yes, I realize that some trips are one-way and the theme answers specifically describe a "round"-trip. But I guess I see "round"-trip as the default. If you say to someone "How was your trip?" they're not going to be confused and ask which trip you mean, the way out or the way back. They're going to know you mean the whole trip. Also the STAY kind of bugged me. I would have been more comfortable with VISIT, I think. STAY seems so permanent and obviously if the next thing you do is RETURN, well you didn't really STAY, did you?

All of my confusion was, of course, exacerbated by the fact that I read 51D: Prime rib order as simply "rib order" and, because I had the RA in place already, entered RACK without thinking twice about it. That made the reveal answer "tcip" which I was pretty sure wasn't right. It all worked itself out eventually.

Crosswordese 101: 10D: Boxer Max BAER was a heavyweight champion of the 1930s. BAER defeated Primo Carnera to win the world title in 1934. In 1935, he lost the title to James J. Braddock. After his boxing career ended, BAER appeared in several movies but was never as successful in acting as his son, Max BAER, Jr. who played Jethro Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 19A: Sight from the Sicilian village of Taormina (ETNA). Just yesterday!
  • 2D: Algerian seaport (ORAN).
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Everything Else — 1A: __ d'état (COUP); 5A: Winger of "Shadowlands" (DEBRA); 14A: Guesstimate phrase (OR SO); 15A: Fiat (EDICT); 16A: From the top (ANEW); 20A: Ali trainer Dundee (ANGELO); 21A: Sunroom (SOLARIUM); 23A: Doctrinal suffix (-ISM); 25A: Rent (LET); 33A: Starbucks order (ESPRESSO); 34A: Charm (ENAMOR); 36A: Show worry, in a way (PACE); 37A: Former California fort (ORD); 39A: Disease cause (GERM); 40A: Makes amends (ATONES); 43A: Puts in a new pot, say (REPLANTS); 49A: According to (ALA); 50A: Belgian capital (BRUSSELS); 55A: Aleve alternative (ANACIN); 60A: Superboy's girlfriend Lang (LANA); 64A: Mushrooms used in Asian cuisine (ENOKI); 65A: Elemental unit (ATOM); 66A: Places for props (SETS); 67A: Coolidge's vice president (DAWES); 68A: City NNE of Lake Tahoe (RENO); 1D: Historic NYC club, with "The" (COPA); 3D: SOS responder, often (USCG); 4D: Creep (along) (POKE); 5D: Kicks out of office (DEPOSES); 6D: Coll. dot follower (EDU); 7D: Storage containers (BINS); 8D: Pepsi competitor (RC COLA); 9D: Wheaties box picture (ATHLETE); 11D: Hostile to (ANTI); 12D: Computer list (MENU); 13D: Showed off one's butterfly? (SWAM); 18D: Kicking partner (ALIVE); 22D: Business letter abbr. (ATTN.); 24D: Sushi bar soup (MISO); 26D: Exams for future attys. (LSAT'S); 27D: Florida theme park acronym (EPCOT); 28D: Place to play (ARENA); 29D: Dodgers manager Joe (TORRE); 30D: Viking in the comics (HAGAR); 31D: Chorus from the pews (AMENS); 32D: Flourless cake (TORTE); 33D: Ecol. watchdog (EPA); 35D: Apt. parts (RMS.); 38D: Ten: Pref. (DECA-); 41D: Looks over warily (EYES); 42D: Took the wheel (STEERED); 44D: North Star (POLARIS); 45D: Greg Evans comic strip (LUANN); 47D: Treasure State capital (HELENA); 50D: Popular diner orders, for short (BLT'S); 52D: Part of ICU (UNIT); 53D: Easy marks (SAPS); 54D: Put away (STOW); 56D: A long way off (AFAR); 57D: Name as a source (CITE); 58D: Boxing's "__ Mike" Tyson (IRON); 59D: Nautilus captain (NEMO); 62D: Tiny Tim played one (UKE).

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