Senin, 06 September 2010

M O N D A Y   September 6, 2010 Lila Cherry

Theme: What's black and white and read less and less frequently every day? — Theme answers end with words that can describe parts of a newspaper.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Watch or clock (TIMEPIECE).
  • 20A: Second floor of a home, say (UPPER STORY).
  • 33A/35A: Real McCoy (GENUINE / ARTICLE).
  • 52A: Where to begin adding numbers (ONES COLUMN).
  • 54A: Daily publication where you'd read the ends of 18-, 20-, 33/35- and 52-Across (NEWSPAPER).
I'm still a little freaked about learning that the contrusctor of today's New York Times puzzle is also a college wrestling referee. I was pretty sure there weren't any puzzle/wrestling people besides, ya know, me. I can't imagine talking to someone about both puzzles and wrestling. With most people, I can't really talk about either subject. Without them looking at me like I have three heads. Anyway, this is a very cool bit of news. I'm going to have to think about how I can take advantage of it in my quest to take over the world. I'm sure there's a way.

But hey — let's talk about this puzzle. I didn't time myself, but it felt like I blew through it pretty quickly, which is what I expect on Monday of course. The theme is solid, though not incredibly interesting — GENUINE ARTICLE is a nice entry and ONES COLUMN made me chuckle. TIMEPIECE and UPPER STORY don't do much for me, but they're fine. Well, now that I think about, UPPER STORY sounds a little awkward. I would be more likely to say "upper floor" or "second story." But that very well might just be me.

The interesting thing about this puzzle, though, is that it doesn't have much crosswordese at all. We'll talk about ESTER later and we've mentioned AGAPE (17A: Open-mouthed) before, but that's pretty much it.

  • 1A: Moved on all fours (CREPT). I kinda wanted "sneek" for this but CREPT is so much better.
  • 9A: Action film high point (CHASE). Do people really enjoy the chase scenes? They always bore me.
  • 24A: QVC competitor (HSN). I don't know what QVC stands for (if anything), but HSN is Home Shopping Network.
  • 29A: Brighton buddy (MATEY). PuzzleDaughter has this new thing where she talks in either a British or Australian accent when we're out in public. When we get out of an elevator, she'll say to the other passengers "g'day, mate" or "cheerio." It's pretty funny.
  • 32A: Amt. still owed (BAL.). An amount still owed is a BALance.
  • 45A: Bump off (DO IN). I had a heckuva time parsing this one. "DOIN? Shouldn't there be another letter in there somewhere?"
  • 51A: Actress Gardner (AVA). I can never remember whether her name is Eva or AVA. And I could swear I just saw her in a puzzle with the E spelling. If I had been paying attention today, of course, I would have noticed EVA PERÓN (3D: Argentine leader played by Madonna) at another spot in the puzzle and realized they couldn't both be spelled the same way.
  • 59A: Perrier, to Pierre (EAU). French!
  • 60A: Cybercommerce (ETAIL). I can think of another thing ETAIL might mean, but it's completely inappropriate.
  • 1D: Civil War org. (CSA). Confederate States of America.
  • 13D: Pizazz (ENERGY). I've said it before and I'll say it again. I want four Zs in my PIZZAZZ.
  • 36D: Dungeness delicacy (CRAB MEAT). I don't eat seafood so this answer made me hold my nose. And then 37D: Tart dessert (LEMON PIE) made me hurl.
  • 53D: Nikki Sixx/Tommy Lee group Mötley __ (CRÜE).

Crosswordese 101: I don't really know what ESTER is, but I know how to recognize an early-week clue for it. Late in the week, clues for ESTER are often examples of ESTER like diglyceride, butyl acetate, banana oil, phosphate, or other science-y sounding things that I can never keep in my brain. Early in the week though? An ESTER is basically a "Perfumer's compound," "fragrant compound" or 63A: Aromatic compound.

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Everything Else — 6A: "Snow" veggie (PEA); 14A: Break off completely (SEVER); 15A: Select, with "for" (OPT); 16A: Like Cheerios (OATEN); 22A: Your and my (OUR); 23A: John who played Basil Fawlty (CLEESE); 25A: Town, informally (BURG); 26A: Animal fat (LARD); 27A: Keats or Yeats (POET); 30A: Ear: Pref. (OTO-); 31A: Ernie's Muppet pal (BERT); 39A: Got ready for a lap dog (SAT); 40A: Ink stain (BLOT); 41A: Accelerate, with "up" (REV); 42A: Gets nosy (PRIES); 46A: Arrived (CAME); 47A: Swedish soprano Jenny (LIND); 48A: Tyrannosaurus __ (REX); 49A: Element used in dating rocks (CARBON); 56A: Microwave alerts (BEEPS); 58A: Speechify (ORATE); 61A: Justin Timberlake's boy band ('N SYNC); 62A: AAA suggestion (RTE.); 2D: Control, as temperature (REGULATE); 4D: Livened (up) (PEPPED); 5D: Ancestral diagrams (TREES); 6D: Pans partner (POTS); 7D: Nickname (EPITHET); 8D: Maximally (AT MOST); 9D: Xerox (COPY); 10D: See 25-Down (HAI); 11D: Enjoyed a diner (ATE OUT); 12D: Tie tightly (SECURE); 19D: Directional suffix (-ERN); 21D: Regret one's sins (REPENT); 23D: Drain obstruction (CLOG); 25D: With 10-Down, "South Pacific" song (BALI); 28D: Calif. neighbor (ORE.); 29D: Damon of "Good Will Hunting" (MATT); 31D: Skewed view (BIAS); 32D: "Bucking" horse (BRONCO); 34D: Secondhand (USED); 35D: Baba who stole from thieves (ALI); 38D: All square (EVEN); 40D: Costlier ballpark spot (BOX SEAT); 42D: Expect to happen (PLAN ON); 43D: Funny Joan (RIVERS); 44D: Sort of (IN A WAY); 45D: Farther below the water's surface (DEEPER); 46D: Salad oil bottles (CRUETS); 48D: Cell "messenger," briefly (RNA); 50D: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" playwright (ALBEE); 52D: Oil cartel acronym (OPEC); 55D: RR depot (STN.); 57D: 35mm camera type (SLR).

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