Rabu, 20 Oktober 2010

W E D N E S D A Y   October 20, 2010 Elizabeth A. Long

Theme: Pretty Letters All in a Row— Familiar phrases that begin with a letter are rendered "literally."

Theme answers:
  • 4D: Online IRS document submission system, literally? (EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE). [e-file]
  • 7D: '60s sitcom set at Fort Courage, literally? (FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF). ["F Troop"]
  • 8D: Skimpy bikini part, literally? (GGGGGGGGGGGGGGG). [g-string]
Wow. Big ups again to Doug P. for stepping in the last few days. I was having some major technical difficulties and I really didn't want to leave you all hanging, so I'm really grateful to Doug! But now I'm back and I don't plan to be gone any time in the near future, so I guess we'll just have to make the best of it.

Today's theme is … interesting. I really like the E clue and the G clue, but I'm not crazy about the F clue. I mean, sure, it's a bunch of Fs that I suppose can be described as a "troop," but the other theme answers — "file" and "string" — are much better because they can both be synonyms of "line" which is really how the letters are situated. For a "troop" I would rather a group of Fs all bunched together, or maybe in a couple of lines. Like a troop in formation? Do I even know what I'm talking about? … My parents were hippies I really don't know anything about the military except what I learned from "Hogan's Heroes" and for some reason that always struck me as a tad unrealistic.

The rest of the puzzle is decent but not outstanding. Obviously, concessions were made for the theme. In fact, I think a solver's overall impression of this puzzle will depend on his or her evaluation of the theme because there's not really much else to get excited about. For me, I'm in the thumbs-up category but I'm not doing cartwheels or anything. (Not that you'd probably get to me to do cartwheels for something I was actually super excited about either, but you get my point.)

[Not PuzzleGirl]

  • 16A: Fit of fever (AGUE). Do you know how to pronounce this word? I don't think I've ever said it out loud, but in my head it's sounds like EGG-YOU.
  • 32A: Take the stand again (RETESTIFY). I read this as "Take the stand againST" and couldn't figure out what prefix was needed.
  • 54A: Working hours for night owls (LATE SHIFT).

  • 60A: Creamy cheese (BRIE). I go through phases where I cook a lot and I'm in one of those phases right now. The other night I made a potato soup with apples and brie that was to die for!
  • 18D: Arrived at a base, in a way (SLID).
  • 50D: Plaint from a pirate (AARGH). See now, this drives me nuts. Pirates do not say AARGH, they say ARRR. Period. Says PuzzleGirl.
Crosswordese 101: I TOO can be clued as a partial ("Am _____ late?," "Was _____ harsh?") or as the Langston Hughes poem, sometimes referred to as 14D: "I TOO, Sing America." It's not too terribly long or anything, but it's quite moving.
I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 12A: Author __ Stanley Gardner (ERLE).
  • 38A: Gen. Robt. __ (E. LEE).
  • 53A: Metric energy unit (ERG).
  • 28D: Hard to hold (EELY).
  • 33D: Mythical Himalayan (YETI).
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Everything Else — 1A: Use chicanery on (DUPE); 5A: Pole worker? (ELF); 8A: Lots (GOBS); 13A: Islamic mystic (SUFI); 15A: Work on, as a bone (GNAW); 17A: Roosevelts' successors as first family (TAFTS); 19A: Festive event (GALA); 20A: Desert with a view of Beersheba (NEGEV); 22A: One studying saucers (UFOLOGIST); 24A: Awfully long time (EON); 26A: Popular pâté (FOIE GRAS); 27A: He's not always a beast (WEREWOLF); 31A: Cat chaser (DOG); 34A: Mass unit (GRAM); 39A: Gather (INFER); 41A: Arizona river (GILA); 42A: It has a floor on Wall St. (NYSE); 43A: Good feeling that lingers (AFTERGLOW); 45A: Common Mkt. (EEC); 48A: Achieves via trickery (FINAGLES); 49A: Lets up (EASES OFF); 56A: Libya neighbor (EGYPT); 61A: Volunteer (OFFER); 63A: "La maja desnuda" painter (GOYA); 64A: Stare at impolitely (OGLE); 65A: Words before then (IF SO); 66A: Pita sandwich (GYRO); 67A: Playground shout (WHEE); 68A: Co. whose logo features Mercury carrying a bouquet (FTD); 69A: "What __ around ..." (GOES); 1D: Official with a list (DEAN); 2D: Attempt to persuade (URGE); 3D: Outlet connection (PLUG); 5D: Educ. guess (EST.); 6D: Island cookout (LUAU); 9D: Studio warning light (ON AIR); 10D: Wood for model fliers (BALSA); 11D: Deals with, as a fly (SWATS); 21D: Promises (VOWS); 23D: War on Poverty org. (OEO); 25D: "It must have been someone else" ("NOT I"); 27D: St. Paul's architect (WREN); 29D: AAA suggestions (RTES.); 30D: Filmmaker Wertmüller (LINA); 35D: Brooklet (RILL); 36D: Ointment ingredient (ALOE); 37D: Animal mouths (MAWS); 40D: Actor Auberjonois (RENÉ); 44D: Like a once-in-a-blue-moon event (RARE); 46D: Hook shape (ESS); 47D: Small to mid-size salmon (COHO); 49D: Macaroni shape (ELBOW); 51D: It turns a lot in rush hour (STILE); 52D: Stereotypical poodle name (FIFI); 55D: __-drive (TEST); 57D: Fluctuate wildly (YO-YO); 58D: Combustible pile (PYRE); 59D: New Mexico resort (TAOS); 62D: Gun, in slang (ROD).

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