Kamis, 21 Oktober 2010

T H U R S D A Y   October 21, 2010 Ed Sessa

Theme: 3.14169.... — Familiar phrases are clued as if the first word is a type of pie.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Pie flop? (CHERRY BOMB).

  • 23A: Pie taste-test site? (CHOCOLATE LAB).

  • 39A: Pie to-do? (MUD FLAP).

  • 50A: Pie charts? (APPLE RECORDS).

  • 60A: Pie patter? (MINCE WORDS).
Mmmmm. Pie. Cute theme and I like how the clues are all short and to the point. Two elements of the theme are a little off to me. First, MINCE WORDS is, unlike the others, a verb phrase. And second, "Pie charts" is an actual thing while the other clue phrases are simply made up. Those two things definitely detract from the theme's elegance, but the puzzle is still enjoyable. At least it was for me.

Except down there in the southwest corner. I had a heckuva time down there. The trouble started with me wanting the first word of the 60A phrase to be an adjective and continued with my inability to think of anyone but Lola and Tony at the stupid Copacabana. (And, yes, thanks for the earworm. Really appreciate it.) Once I got MINCE in place, my guess of CRANIAL seemed wrong because of the consonant collision at the front of 56D, but when I got past that, the rest of the section fell pretty easily.

  • 9A: Spring bloomer (LILAC). Tried ASTERS first.

  • 14A: His epitaph reads "And the beat goes on" (BONO). That's pretty sweet.

  • 17A: TV role for Bamboo Harvester (MR. ED). Wait, what? It never occurred to me that I didn't know the real name of the horse who played MR. ED. Horses, as I'm sure many of you know, are often named by combining the names of their "parents." Bamboo Harvester's sire's name was The Harvester, but his dam's name was Zetna Hara which doesn't look to me like it relates to bamboo, but maybe it does. I mean really. I don't know what I'm talking about half the time.

  • 22A: Travelers' burdens (VALISES). Are you still burdened by VALISES? I usually carry a suitcase.

  • 38A: Buckeyes' home: Abbr. (OSU). Boooo! (Nothing personal, I just always feel the need to boo all Big Ten teams other than the Hawkeyes.)

  • 64A: Days of Hanukkah, e.g. (OCTET). Did I tell you all that PuzzleDaughter asked if we could celebrate Hanukkah this year? She swears it's not just about the eight days of presents. (Yeah, right.) I think we'll probably do it. We're not Christian and we celebrate Christmas every year so why not? Need to get myself a menorah.

  • 1D: High-tech debut of 1981 (IBM PC). With the I in place all I wanted was a Mac product but couldn't get one to fit.

  • 5D: 1980s-'90s slugger Fielder (CECIL). Unfortunately, he played first base. I wish he had been an outfielder.

  • 9D: Clapton title woman (LAYLA). Maybe this will help get that awful Copacabana song out of our heads.

  • 13D: Male swans (COBS). The things you learn!

  • 29D: Tunnel entrance of sorts (GOPHER HOLE).

  • 54D: Mild expletives (DANGS). Very mild indeed.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 33D: Name meaning "hairy" in Hebrew (ESAU).

  • 36D: Airline to Oslo (SAS).

  • 62D: Grammy-winning Dr. (DRE).
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Everything Else — 1A: A party to (IN ON); 5A: Quite the fashion plate (CHIC); 15A: Faulkner femme fatale Varner (EULA); 16A: BP merger partner (AMOCO); 20A: Italian deli sandwich (PANINI); 26A: X, at times (TEN); 27A: www bookmark (URL); 28A: Film director's headaches (EGOS); 32A: Luther's lang. (GER.); 34A: First Amendment lobbying gp. (ACLU); 36A: Numbers game (SUDOKU); 41A: Post- opposite (PRE-); 42A: One in distress? (DAMSEL); 44A: Slug or song ending (-FEST); 45A: Loft material (HAY); 46A: Apartment manager, familiarly (SUPE); 47A: Quaff for Andy Capp (ALE); 48A: Curling setting (ICE); 56A: Like the auditory and optic nerves, e.g. (CRANIAL); 59A: Aspen topper (SKI HAT); 63A: Prohibited thing (NO-NO); 65A: Flag (TIRE); 66A: First name in Olympics gymnastics (OLGA); 67A: Like beer halls, usually (NOISY); 68A: Eyewear, in ads (SPEX); 69A: Raid target (PEST); 2D: Grammy winner Jones (NORAH); 3D: Bridge opening (ONE NO TRUMP); 4D: "Fuggedaboutit!" ("NO DICE!"); 6D: "Whazzat?" ("HUH?"); 7D: Seine sight (ILE); 8D: Longtime ice cream cake brand (CARVEL); 10D: Wet one's whistle (IMBIBED); 11D: Johns, to Elton (LOOS); 12D: Top (ACME); 19D: "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-__": Irish lullaby (RAL); 21D: Hardly distinguished (NO-NAME); 24D: Nostalgic song title word (AULD); 25D: Godiva product (TRUFFLE); 30D: Gumbo ingredient (OKRA); 31D: Chop __ (SUEY); 32D: Mars and Venus (GODS); 35D: __-de-sac (CUL); 37D: Slight market improvement (UPTICK); 40D: Disconcerting glance (LEER); 43D: Hand-holding events (SEANCES); 47D: Parcels out (ALLOTS); 49D: Requiring change, briefly (COIN-OP); 51D: Reverence (PIETY); 52D: A pad helps protect it (PAW); 53D: Elizabeth I's beloved (ESSEX); 55D: Brown ermine (STOAT); 56D: "Get real!" ("C'MON!"); 57D: Guy who "wore a diamond," in the song "Copacabana" (RICO); 58D: ABM component? (ANTI); 61D: Scary current (RIP).

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