Jumat, 26 November 2010

F R I D A Y   November 26, 2010 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: Kapow! — Theme answers are familiar phrases with a type of "punch" added to the front end.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Flight from a heated argument? (CROSSFIRE ESCAPE).
  • 27A: Talkative "King of Country"? (JABBERING STRAIT).
  • 44A: Gene carrier responsible for truancy? (HOOKY CHROMOSOME).
  • 59A: Liven up, with "to" (and a hint to how 17-, 27- and 44-Across were created) (ADD A LITTLE PUNCH).
I'm having a little trouble with this theme. I get it, and I think it's a cute idea, but I guess I just don't like the answers. I got the first theme answer — CROSSFIRE ESCAPE — and thought this would be some kind of word chain theme because both CROSSFIRE and FIRE ESCAPE are things and, more importantly I guess, compound words. I thought maybe the next theme answer would start with, I don't know … "hatch"? The other two theme answers change the pronunciation from the base phrase to the resulting phrase and they're not compound words and, yeah, just seems inconsistent and not quite up to par. The only other problem I have with the puzzle is FUSEE. Um, what? FUSEE? Who knew a 42A: Signal flare could be called a FUSEE?

After all that, I do want to say that I appreciate the grid's Scrabbliness and like quite a few of the medium-length down answers like LOSES BIG, WISEGUYS, KAYAKS, POP-UP, and even BANJO. Even though I'm not crazy about the theme, there's some good stuff in here.

  • 1A: Knack (FEEL).
  • 14A: Othello's confidant (IAGO). Shakespeare has a lot of characters with great names, but IAGO is the best of the best as far as I'm concerned. For some reason, I just love that name.
  • 25A: Jack succeeded him (IKE). John F. Kennedy (Jack) succeded Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) to the U.S. presidency. (On a related note, JFK Jr. would have been 50 years old yesterday. Sniff.)
  • 35A: Allegheny, as of 1979 (USAIR). I had forgotten that USAIR used to have a different name. I thought "A river changed its name? I wonder why!"
  • 37A: A.L. Central team, on scoreboards (CLE). For the sporst-challenged, that's CLEveland.
  • 39A: Word on the Great Seal of the U.S. (NOVUS). The front of the seal says E pluribus unum ("out of many, one"). The reverse has two phrases: Annuit coeptis (basically, "Providence has approved of our undertakings") and NOVUS ordo seclorum ("a new order of the ages").
  • 41A: Gram. topic (ADJ.). You might discuss ADJectives in the context of GRAMmer.
  • 62A: Idaho flower (SNAKE). If you're wondering why you've never heard of a SNAKE flower, that's because (like me) you were pronouncing that word wrong. This clue is actually asking for something that flows through Idaho. And that would be the SNAKE River.
  • 63A: Cat's-paw (TOOL). I have never heard of this tool. I continue to amaze myself with the stuff I don't know.
  • 8D: Company in Germany? (ZWEI). Playing on the phrase "Two's company, three's a crowd." ZWEI is German for "two."
  • 9D: Signal callers: Abbr. (QB'S). Even the sports-challenged know this one means quarterbacks, right?
  • 10D: Sportscaster Bob dubbed "Mr. Baseball" (UECKER). I actually knew who this clue was talking about, but I can enver remember how to spell his name.
  • 26D: Chess jumpers: Abbr. (KTS.). Abbreviation of "knights."
  • 50D: Bart Simpson's teacher __ Krabappel (EDNA). You're welcome.
  • 56D: Pop's pal, at breakfast? (SNAP). Took me a while to decipher this clue. It's a reference to the Rice Krispies … what are they, elves? SNAP, Crackle, and Pop.
  • 57D: 2006 NSA suer (ACLU). I assume this has something to do with wire-tapping, but I'm not going to look it up right now. There's much more family togetherness to be had today!! Enjoy your Friday. I hope you don't have to go shopping.
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 5A: Big name in crackers (RITZ); 9A: Earthshaking news? (QUAKE); 15A: Not many (A FEW); 16A: Where to look out? (BELOW); 20A: Thumbs-up (ASSENT); 21A: Baking shortcut (MIX); 22A: Flamboyant band since the '70s (KISS); 23A: Ask for (SEEK); 36A: Karate skill symbols (BELTS); 38A: Minor damage (DING); 40A: Propeller sound (WHIR); 43A: Devout (PIOUS); 47A: Run a fever, perhaps (AIL); 48A: Informal rejection (NOPE); 49A: Big bunch (BEVY); 52A: Absorb, as a loss (EAT); 55A: Affects, as one's heartstrings (TUGS AT); 64A: Cole Porter's alma mater (YALE); 65A: Boss's privilege (SAY-SO); 66A: Office suites, e.g. (APPS); 67A: Like yarn (SPUN); 1D: Pay stub abbr. (FICA); 2D: "I'm all __" (EARS); 3D: Obstacles to quiet on the set? (EGOS); 4D: Takes a real beating (LOSES BIG); 5D: Roof support (RAFTER); 6D: "__ Had $1000000": Barenaked Ladies hit (IF I); 7D: Six years, for a senator (TERM); 11D: Kyrgyzstan range (ALAI); 12D: Keystone krew? (KOPS); 13D: Meadow mamas (EWES); 18D: Contemptuous look (SNEER); 19D: Isn't fiction (EXISTS); 24D: Put the __ on: end (KIBOSH); 27D: David's kingdom (JUDAH); 28D: "... say, not __" (AS I DO); 29D: Bela Fleck's instrument (BANJO); 30D: "Fat chance!" (NEVER); 31D: Fasten, in a way (GLUE ON); 32D: Blessing evoker (ACHOO); 33D: Pelvic bone (ILIUM); 34D: Like Coolidge, famously (TERSE); 39D: Proton sites (NUCLEI); 40D: Crackers? (WISE GUYS); 42D: "Thought you should know," on a memo (FYI); 43D: Like some children's books (POP-UP); 45D: Whitewater craft (KAYAKS); 46D: Sites of many affairs (MOTELS); 49D: Largemouth __ (BASS); 51D: End of the war (V-DAY); 53D: "__ girl!" (ATTA); 54D: Sporty car roof (T-TOP); 58D: Afterwards (THEN); 60D: MGM mascot (LEO); 61D: Cut (LOP).

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