Rabu, 10 November 2010

W E D N E S D A Y   November 10, 2010 Pamela Amick Klawitter

Theme: Give-and-Take — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with a word meaning quid pro quo.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Flea market cousin (SWAP MEET).
  • 24A: Mickey Mantle or Mark Teixeira, notably (SWITCH HITTER).
  • 39A: Fill in at school (SUBSTITUTE TEACH).
  • 51A: Currency differential (EXCHANGE RATE).
  • 62A: Commercial imbalance (TRADE GAP).
This puzzle is a little unusual in that we don't often see eight-letter theme answers. The theme is totally solid although not particularly sparkly and the fill is smooth with a touch of scrabbliness. Overall, thumbs up.

  • 1A: "60 Minutes" correspondent (SAFER). I tried STAHL first.
  • 44A: Friend's pronoun (THEE). Friends as in Quakers.
  • 60A: Smack back? (-EROO). EROO can go on the "back" of the word smack. Smackeroo.
  • 64A: "The Sound of Music" quintet (OSCARS). I only know a few things about "The Sound of Music." One is that there's a family with a lot of kids named Von Trapp. I actually had it in my head that there were more than five children and, obviously, Von Trapp didn't fit anyway, but the misdirection definitely worked on me.
  • 68A: Golf commentator Pepper (DOTTIE). Yeah, it figures. I've been bragging so much about knowing all the golf answers that we were bound to get one I had no clue about.
  • 70A: Texter's sign-off (TTYL). Talk To You Later. I actually tried TTFN first (Ta-Ta For Now).
  • 9D: Danced like Bojangles Robinson (TAPPED).

  • 19D: Sportscaster Albert (MARV). This is a pretty common "trick": using a person whose last name can also be a first name. I thought of Al Michaels first but don't recall him ever being called Albert.
  • 29D: Apple touchscreen computer (IPAD). Want!
Crosswordese 101: Luckily for us, there's only one guy named EBAN we have to know, so he's pretty easy to see once you know what to look for. Abba EBAN was an Israeli statesman who died in 2002. He was Israel's first ambassador to the United Nations. EBAN is often clued as simply "Israel's Abba" or "Abba of Israel." Sometimes — like today — he's clued with a reference to one of his books, typically "My Country," "Voice of Israel," or "Diplomacy for the Next Century."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 32A: "__ Gold": Peter Fonda film (ULEE'S).
  • 8D: Ticketing place: Abbr. (STA.).
  • 57D: Name on a razor (ATRA).
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Everything Else — 6A: __ Helens, Wash. (MT. ST.); 10A: Setup punch (JAB); 13A: Pump option (PREPAY); 15A: Tad (IOTA); 16A: L.A.-based oil giant, familiarly (OXY); 17A: Get there (ARRIVE); 20A: Soccer VIPs? (MOMS); 21A: Source of low-alcohol wines (ASTI); 23A: No longer newsworthy (PASSE); 27A: Diet successfully (LOSE); 28A: Counsel (ADVISE); 35A: Helper: Abbr. (ASST.); 38A: Lobbying gp. (PAC); 43A: Modern __ (ERA); 45A: "Then ..." ("AND SO …"); 46A: Karate instructor (SENSEI); 49A: Glued to the tube, say (RAPT); 57A: Shoelace protector (AGLET); 61A: It's wet in Oaxaca (AGUA); 66A: "Awesome!" ("RAD!"); 67A: Botanical junction (NODE); 69A: Poet Lowell (AMY); 71A: Many Miley Cyrus fans (TEENS); 1D: Sends unwanted e-mail (SPAMS); 2D: Road sign symbol (ARROW); 3D: Nuclear pioneer Enrico (FERMI); 4D: Bible letters (EPISTLES); 5D: Toyota __4: SUV model (RAV); 6D: Peruvian volcano El __ (MISTI); 7D: Namely (TO WIT); 10D: Stereotypical diner name (JOE'S); 11D: Forest choppers (AXES); 12D: Unit of computer memory (BYTE); 14D: Slangy assents (YEAHS); 22D: Knife holder (SHEATH); 25D: Budgetary concern (COST); 26D: British art institution (TATE); 30D: Anatomical pouches (SACS); 31D: Return from a cave? (ECHO); 32D: Finds a purpose for (USES); 33D: Dangle a carrot in front of, so to speak (LURE); 36D: Seek damages (SUE); 37D: Buffet heater (STERNO); 40D: Suffix with meteor (-ITIC); 41D: Finish line indicator (TAPE); 42D: Play break (ENTR'ACTE); 47D: Watermelon bit (SEED); 48D: Magnitude (EXTENT); 50D: "... 'What __ boy am I!'" (A GOOD); 52D: Exciting (HEADY); 53D: Adrien of cosmetics (ARPEL); 54D: Colorful quartz (AGATE); 55D: Shroud city (TURIN); 56D: Lets up (EASES); 58D: Fat measure (GRAM); 59D: __ Luck (LADY); 63D: Understood (GOT); 65D: Heavy drinker (SOT).

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