Kamis, 04 November 2010

T H U R S D A Y   November 4, 2010 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: It's a Lock — Theme answers are all definitions of the word "lock."

Theme answers:
  • 20A: See 50-Down (CERTAIN WINNER).
  • 32A: See 50-Down (HAIR CLUSTER).
  • 39A: See 50-Down (CANAL DEVICE).
  • 48A: See 50-Down (WRESTLING HOLD).
  • 50D: Clue for 20-, 32-, 39- and 48-Across (LOCK).
I had a pretty hard time getting started on this puzzle. I started right out with NSEC and ROAM instead of PSEC and ROVE (1D: Minute segment of a min. / 2D: Wander), so you can see where I might have had some problems. Also botched the downs right underneath those two. Was pretty sure SHEBA was right (24D: Ancient queendom) but tried ABATE then EBBED before finally getting the correct EASED for (25D: Let up).

As for the theme, well, the first theme answer I got was WRESTLING HOLD which you probably know I liked a lot. I got the reveal before solving any other theme answers, so I knew what I was looking for. I thought, "Well, there's bound to be something about a canal in there somewhere," but I couldn't come up with any other definitions for "lock" off the top of my head. Sure enough CANAL DEVICE came in view shortly thereafter and then …. I'm sorry but HAIR CLUSTER?!? No. No no no. That is not a thing. And because that is not a thing, it does not work as a theme answer. Seriously. Time to go back to the list. (There had to be other possibilities, right?)

  • 19A: Grain disease (ERGOT). This really, really feels like something I should know, but I didn't.
  • 23A: Battery, bond or baseball club designation (AAA). Very nice clue for a relative ugly entry. (I know sometimes it can't be helped.)
  • 37A: Prayer opener (O GOD). Tried LORD here first.
  • 38A: Old-fashioned get-together (BEE). Got this one totally through crosses and then felt stupid. Great clue!
  • 43A: "Beanz meanz Heinz," e.g. (AD SLOGAN). Again. AD SLOGAN is not a thing. And if you insist on including it, how about using a slogan that people have heard of. Sheesh.
  • 56A: "The Dick Van Dyke Show" regular (ROSE MARIE). Dick Van Dyke was awesome on "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!" recently.
  • 10D: Maker of EverPure shampoo (L'ORÉAL). I'm pretty hip to the various shampoo brands but don't recall ever hearing of this one.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Ambient music pioneer (ENO).
  • 34A: Brit. record co. (EMI).
  • 12D: __ dye: chemical coloring (AZO).
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Everything Else — 1A: Home of Brigham Young University (PROVO); 6A: __ Mahal (TAJ); 9A: Fat substitute brand in some potato chips (OLEAN); 14A: Not loaded (SOBER); 16A: Swindler with a scheme named for him (PONZI); 17A: Hemlock, for one (EVERGREEN); 22A: Covet (ENVY); 24A: Belgrade's land (SERBIA); 27A: Libel and slander disputes are part of it (CIVIL LAW); 35A: Spanish pronoun (ESTA); 36A: Restful resort (SPA); 45A: Truck capacity (ONE TON); 46A: AIDS-fighting drug (AZT); 47A: __ dire: juror examination (VOIR); 54A: Foreign (ALIEN); 57A: __ Nast (CONDE); 58A: Winter hazard (ICE); 59A: Family nickname (AUNTY); 60A: Tolerated (STOOD); 61A: Gives the go-ahead (OKS); 62A: Tart fruit (SLOES); 3D: Upper, in Ulm (OBER); 4D: Spinal column component (VERTEBRA); 5D: Like some farming (ORGANIC); 6D: Minute (TEENY); 7D: Fresh way to start (ANEW); 8D: "Help Me" vocalist Mitchell (JONI); 9D: Alfresco (OPEN AIR); 11D: Former Caltech sr., perhaps (ENGR.); 13D: Little thing to pick (NIT); 18D: Competitor (RIVAL); 21D: Basilica section (NAVE); 26D: Customary ceremonies (RITES); 27D: It covers the Hill (C-SPAN); 28D: Da Vinci's lang. (ITAL.); 29D: On the up and up (LEGIT); 30D: It started as Standard Oil of Indiana (AMOCO); 31D: Expand (WIDEN); 33D: John McCain's alma mater: Abbr. (USNA); 37D: Revamp (OVERHAUL); 39D: Hoodwinked (COZENED); 40D: "The X-Files" extras: Abbr. (AGTS.); 41D: Ridd's love, in a Blackmore romance (DOONE); 42D: They're hard to figure out (ENIGMAS); 44D: Rio Grande city (LAREDO); 47D: Workshop gadgets (VISES); 48D: Skid row figure (WINO); 49D: Charlie's Angels, e.g. (TRIO); 51D: "Deal __ Deal" (OR NO); 52D: Lo-cal (LITE); 53D: Bygone Tunisian rulers (DEYS); 54D: Summer coolers, briefly (ACS); 55D: Used car site (LOT).

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