Selasa, 30 November 2010

T U E S D A Y   November 30, 2010 Mark Feldman

Theme: Workin' at the Graveyard (whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa) — The first word of each theme answer evokes a cemetery.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: One debating the unpopular side (DEVIL'S ADVOCATE).
  • 31A: Healer using magic (WITCH DOCTOR).
  • 41A: Uncredited author (GHOST WRITER).
  • 55A: Wee-hours work period for 20-, 31- and 41-Across? (GRAVEYARD SHIFT).
Very smooth Tuesday fare today. I got the theme answers in order and after the first two thought "A Halloween puzzle?!?" I suppose it could be, but people work the GRAVEYARD SHIFT all year, so I guess it's okay. Speaking of the GRAVEYARD SHIFT … have you all ever worked at that time of night? I never have, but I used to work a second shift and when we'd get off at midnight, the late shift would be rolling in and I tell you what. Those were some strange people. Not sure how to explain it except to say they all just seemed a little … off. Maybe that's what it takes to be productive when you should be sleeping.

  • 15A: Little suckers (LICE). Um, breakfast test!
  • 23A: Washing aid for pupils (EYE CUP). I assume this is something used at an eye doctor's office? I'm not familiar with any sort of eye health stuff. I actually never wore glasses until I turned 40! Of course now I need three different pair and feel like a total old lady.
  • 25A: "Hold on __!" (A SEC). Because "to your hat" wouldn't fit.
  • 39A: About 1,609 meters (MILE). Just last night I was helping PuzzleDaughter study for a test on the metric system. Isn't it about time the U.S. just converts to the metric system and get it over with?
  • 40A: Game system played with gestures (WII). We just got the Xbox 360 with Kinect. Have you seen the commercials??? It's amazing to think that someday people will look back on it and go "Can you believe how we thought that was so amazing?"
  • 48A: Pitching miscues (BALKS). I recently did some research on BALKS (and by "did some research" I of course mean "read the Wikipedia article"). I pretty much can't remember anything I learned (did I mention the old lady thing?) but at the time I thought it was pretty interesting. Worth a look if you're a baseball fan and don't understand how the BALK rule works.
  • 51A: Where AMZN stock is traded (NASDAQ). I plopped this answer in without even thinking, but I already had the T in place on 55A so that QT mash-up looked all kindsa wrong. (54D: Wax removers (Q-TIPS).)
  • 1D: Fine porcelain (SPODE). This word looks vaguely familiar to me. I'm sure I've seen it in a puzzle before but today I needed every single cross.
  • 3D: Naproxen, commercially (ALEVE). I know way too much about pain relievers.
  • 5D: Held firmly (CLASPED). I tried "clamped" first.
  • 31D: Guitar effect (WAWA). Yes, that's the technical term for it.
  • 41D: Covers, as a driveway (GRAVELS). I guess I've been a city slicker too long — GRAVEL didn't even occur to me.
Crosswordese 101: GNAR is kind of a weird word, isn't it? I don't recall ever using it, or hearing it, or reading it. Of course, now that I say that, I should find it on the next page of the book I'm reading. Isn't that how it goes? Anyway, it's almost always clued straightforwardly as 55D: Growl, snarl, or "imitate an angry dog." The only way the clue is tricked out sometimes is by referring to a type of dog, e.g., "Grown like a boxer," or "Pointer's warning."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:

  • 17A: Turow memoir subtitled "The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School" (ONE-L).
  • 59A: Oklahoma tribe (OTOE).
  • 6D: Turkish bread? (LIRA).
  • 30D: Pretty pitcher (EWER).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Roe source (SHAD); 5A: Scrape, cat-style (CLAW); 9A: 100 kopeks (RUBLE); 14A: Geographical extremity (POLE); 16A: Matriculate (ENROL); 18A: The "Habanera" from "Carmen," e.g. (ARIA); 19A: Blunt, as reality (STARK); 24A: Blood bank fluid (SERUM); 27A: Stew (SEETHE); 36A: "Man oh man!" ("WOW!"); 37A: Out of kilter (AWRY); 38A: Dove murmur (COO); 45A: Long-haired cat (ANGORA); 47A: Part of a family business title (SONS); 58A: Japanese cartoon genre (ANIME); 60A: Naysayer (ANTI); 61A: Deadly (FATAL); 62A: Zip (along) (TEAR); 63A: Chick's sound (PEEP); 64A: Head lock (TRESS); 65A: At __: arguing (ODDS); 66A: Messes up (ERRS); 2D: Sweetheart (HONEY); 4D: Epicurean delight (DELICACY); 7D: Fatty __ (ACIDS); 8D: Make, as baskets (WEAVE); 9D: Fireman, sometimes (RESCUER); 10D: Wild (UNTAME); 11D: Sassy kid (BRAT); 12D: Folk tales and such (LORE); 13D: "Benevolent" fraternal member (ELK); 21D: Having abundant vegetation (LUSH); 22D: Thereabouts (OR SO); 26D: Chanel of fashion (COCO); 28D: Nincompoop (TWIT); 29D: Burrow indicator (HOLE); 32D: Triumphant cry (I WIN); 33D: Math course (TRIG); 34D: Business orgs. (COS.); 35D: Little ones (TOTS); 39D: Form incorrectly (MISSHAPE); 42D: Robust (HALE); 43D: Worldly seven (WONDERS); 44D: Messenger molecules (RNAS); 46D: White House family (OBAMAS); 49D: Onetime capital of Japan (KYOTO); 50D: Filled up (SATED); 52D: Restaurant patron (DINER); 53D: Following (AFTER); 56D: Ceremony (RITE); 57D: Country way (ROAD); 58D: Toward the rudder (AFT).

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