Rabu, 06 Oktober 2010

W E D N E S D A Y   October 6, 2010 Mike Peluso

Theme: Fly Like an Eagle — Four themes answers, each one a different definition of "Eagle."

Hey, everybody! Doug here, filling in for PuzzleGirl. She was called away to some high-level meetings today. I don't want to give too much away, but she's on the short list to be Obama's new Wrestling Czar.

Theme Answers:
  • 20A: Eagle (KEEN-EYED BIRD)
  • 33A: Eagle (LUNAR LANDER)
  • 41A: Eagle (TWO UNDER PAR)
  • 54A: Eagle (HIGHEST SCOUT)

OK, if you're reading this, then I didn't break the blog. So far, so good!

This is a theme type that some solvers don't care for, but I enjoy seeing it every now and then. I liked the first three "Eagles," especially LUNAR LANDER & TWO UNDER PAR. Those are nice in-the-language phrases and don't look out of place in the grid. HIGHEST SCOUT feels a bit off. HIGHEST SCOUT RANK would be better, but that's 16 letters long. (Constructors hate 16-letter phrases.) Or maybe I'm a little bitter because I only made it to First Class in my Boy Scout career. That's three ranks below Eagle, if you're keeping score at home.
  • 18A: Former credit card giant (MBNA). An odd entry that came to me immediately. Wikipedia tells me it was "the world's largest independent credit card issuer," so I guess those initials leaked into my brain at some point.
  • 23A: Big pix: Abbr. (ENLS). That entry is all kinds of ugly. We shall not speak of it again.
  • 47A: Composer Berlioz (HECTOR). I've heard of Berlioz, but I had no idea his first name was Hector. Hector? Really? My favorite Hector is the one from the Trojan War.
  • 5D: Harris of country (EMMYLOU). This is a cool name to see in the grid. Embedding videos is above my pay grade right now, so after you're done reading this, go to YouTube and watch an Emmylou Harris video.
  • 9D: Destructive 2005 newsmaker (KATRINA). Another cool name, but I always cringe when I see devastating hurricanes referenced in clues for Katrina, Ivan, Agnes, etc. Wouldn't it be nicer to use Katrina and the Waves in the clue? After you watch that Emmylou Harris video, check out "Walking on Sunshine."
  • 27D: Girardi's predecessor as Yankee manager (TORRE). I'm pretty excited about his successor as Dodger manager, Don Mattingly. He was the only bright spot on some very bad Yankee teams when I was growing up. But I'll never get used to seeing him in Dodger Blue. Donnie, come home!
  • 32D/7D: Feeling better (ON THE/MEND). I like the way the constructor rescued a partial by pairing it with another entry. Nice touch.
  • 45D: Cleanup hitter's stats (RBIS). Postseason starts tonight. Play ball!
  • 59D: Pin cushion? (MAT). Cute clue. And perhaps a shout-out to our new Wrestling Czar.
OK, that's enough for my first day. This is harder than it looks.

Everything Else — 1A: Dance fundamental (STEP); 5A: Spreading trees (ELMS); 9A: Cosmic payback (KARMA); 14A: __-up: slow Web connection (DIAL); 15A: Bubbly label name (MOET); 16A: Like some kites (AVIAN); 17A: Menlo Park middle name (ALVA); 19A: Shakespeare's title Athenian (TIMON); 24A: Reagan era prog. (SDI); 25A: Ball club (BAT); 28A: Pancho was his sidekick (CISCO); 30A: Running independently (ON AUTO); 32A: Trite (OLD); 37A: Leg-shaving alternative (NAIR); 39A: "Science Guy" Bill (NYE); 40A: Baking soda target (ODOR); 46A: Tint (HUE); 48A: WWII blockade vessel (U-BOAT); 50A: Joseph of ice cream fame (EDY); 51A: Tic __: mint (TAC); 53A: Sale condition (AS IS); 59A: Ambulance attendant (MEDIC); 62A: Cathedral section (APSE); 63A: "Dark Angel" actress Jessica (ALBA); 64A: Worship (ADORE); 65A: Bring up (REAR); 66A: Diver's haunt (REEF); 67A: Au courant, with "in" (TUNED); 68A: Ancient Persian (MEDE); 69A: Ilk (SORT); 1D: Nebr. neighbor (S. DAK.); 2D: Roofer's piece (TILE); 3D: Whence icicles hang (EAVE); 4D: Does a cabinetmaking task (PLANES); 6D: They may be pierced (LOBES); 8D: Pierces (STABS); 10D: Zealous (AVID); 11D: Part of most eyeglasses (RIM); 12D: "Little Red Book" author (MAO); 13D: Ex-Texas governor Richards (ANN); 21D: Check sent with a ltr., e.g. (ENCL.); 22D: Adored one (IDOL); 25D: Sanskrit for "awakened one" (BUDDHA); 26D: Enjoyed Denny's, say (ATE OUT); 28D: Scratched (CLAWED); 29D: Stupidity (IDIOCY); 31D: "That's __": "Uh-uh" (A NO); 34D: Toledo-to-Detroit dir. (NNE); 35D: Port on the Firth of Clyde (AYR); 36D: Sen. counterpart (REP.); 38D: Road to nowhere, metaphorically (RUT); 42D: Spied (NOTICED); 43D: Schlep (DRAG); 44D: Like monastic life (AUSTERE); 49D: Annual Hollywood gala, with "the" (OSCARS); 52D: Amulet (CHARM); 53D: Syrian leader (ASSAD); 54D: Take on (HIRE); 55D: Fencing sword (ÉPÉE); 56D: Stick on the table (OLEO); 57D: Opposite of unter (UBER); 58D: First president to take up golf (TAFT); 60D: University URL (EDU); 61D: Put on (DON).

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