Rabu, 17 November 2010

W E D N E S D A Y   November 17, 2010 Fred Piscop

Theme: Sausage Fest — Theme answers begin with types of wurst.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Lennon had one (LIVERPOOL ACCENT).
  • 25A: Go from pillar to post (KNOCK ABOUT).
  • 50A: Josephine Tey title orphan (BRAT FARRAR).
  • 66A: Based on the starts of 17-, 25- and 50-Across, what this crossword might be? (WURST PUZZLE EVER).
Cute theme. Somewhat diminished for me because I can't say I've ever heard of BRAT FARRAR. (Also, is the orphan pronounced like "brought"? The other theme answers keep the pronunciation of the "wurst" word. I just don't know about this one.) Also, I don't think of a LIVERPOOL ACCENT as a stand-alone phrase. Oh, and the clue for KNOCK ABOUT feels a little old-timey to me. So, yeah. Cute theme idea but I'm not a big fan of the execution. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

I got both ANITRA (19D: "Peer Gynt Suite" dancer) and EMMA (37D: "Bone Dance" sci-fi author Bull) totally through crosses and only had trouble when I tried "diced" for RICED (9D: Reduced to bits) and "bout" for SUMO (57D: Heavyweights' ring contest).

I had to laugh when I got to EVAS (63D: NASA "walks"). You may recall that I just covered EVA in yesterday's Crosswordese 101. In fact, I'm sure you do remember because a lot of you wanted either to add an EVA to the list or give me a hard time about "dissing" one of the EVAs already on the list. Forgive me if I take a moment to respond to those comments. First, yes there are other EVAs. But my goal in CW101 is to introduce you to the EVAs most likely to appear in puzzles. I didn't mention EVA Green because as far as I can tell she's only appeared in one major crossword puzzle and it was a late-week New York Times. EVA Braun? Has appeared five times in various puzzles. She is sometimes paired with EVA Perón, which puts her in an historical context which is perfectly legit. I honestly don't think you're going to see much of her in puzzles, not because of any queasiness about who she was, but because there are many (more interesting?) choices. Second, I'm well aware that there's a lot to know about the talented EVA Marie Saint. But in crossword puzzles you only need to know her name and that she's an actress. Please don't shoot the messenger.

This all brings me to the point I want to make today, though. (Finally!) EVA can stand for Extra-Vehicular Activity, a term used in astronautics. In the major puzzles, this version of the clue has been used only a handful of times so I didn't include it in my write-up yesterday. Yes, I feel horrible about it.

  • 1A: Baron Cohen's Kazakh journalist (BORAT). From what I've been able to determine, you either love him or you hate him.
  • 36A: Nasty boss (OGRE). Funny, I always called my nasty boss something totally different.
  • 45A: Chuck (HURL).
  • 47A: "All in the Family" spinoff (MAUDE). Weren't we just talking about her?
  • 71A: Gave a shot, say (DOSED). Tried "tried" first.
  • 7D: New pedometer reading (OOO). Not a fan of the letter O being used as a zero.
  • 10D: Like bill payments? (IN CASH). I thought "Who pays their bills in cash?!" Then realized the question mark means that the payment itself is in "bills," i.e., cash.
  • 13D: Adam's third (SETH). I saw a Twitter conversation going on the other day in which one person repeatedly referred to Adam and Eve as having only two sons (Cain and Abel, duh) and using that fact to "wonder" aloud how the earth was subsequently populated. Not being a religious person, I don't believe in the whole Adam and Eve thing, so I actually agree with the guy who was arguing against it. And yet my first thought was simply, "Um … Seth?"
  • 29D: "How'm I Doing?" mayor/author (KOCH). He was mayor when I lived in New York so this was a gimme for me.
  • 32D: Pianist Rubinstein (ARTUR).

  • 40D: One may be thrown at a pothole (HUBCAP). I do not know what this means.
  • 64D: Euro fraction (CENT). Very tricky! I honestly didn't know. But now I do — yay!
Crosswordese 101:We talked about ERN last year. I mentioned how sometimes it's spelled ERNE but totally forgot about TERN! ERN(E) and TERN clues are often indistinguishable: "Shorebird," "Coastal flier," "Beach bird." With those kinds of clues, you just have to wait for crosses. There are a couple words that don't cross over though, so look for these:
  • ERN = raptor, eagle
  • TERN = fork-tailed, gull, swallow
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 6A: Dickens alias (BOZ).
  • 38A: Sigma preceder (RHO).
  • 11D: Wroclaw's river (ODER).
  • 58D: "Topaz" author (URIS).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.] Everything Else — 9A: National Guard challenges (RIOTS); 14A: Publicist's concern (IMAGE); 15A: Bettor's note (IOU); 16A: Art film, often (INDIE); 20A: Undying (ETERNAL); 21A: Bring to light (UNEARTH); 22A: Handle clumsily (PAW); 24A: Wallet items, briefly (ID'S); 31A: Rodgers's partner (HART); 35A: Part of a TV feed (AUDIO); 39A: Eggy bun (BRIOCHE); 42A: Vibraphone virtuoso Lionel (HAMPTON); 44A: CIA forerunner (OSS); 48A: One of Alcott's women (BETH); 53A: Old Gremlin maker (AMC); 55A: Fannie follower? (MAE); 56A: Not surprisingly (AS USUAL); 60A: Esteem (RESPECT); 68A: "South Pacific" hero (EMILE); 69A: Museum-funding org. (NEA); 70A: Origami bird (CRANE); 72A: "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)" author Coulter (ANN); 73A: Ready to snap (TESTY); 1D: Ill temper (BILE); 2D: Jump over (OMIT); 3D: All-night bash (RAVE); 4D: Stress, so they say (AGER); 5D: Bird that migrates from the Arctic to Antarctica (TERN); 6D: H.S. experiment site (BIO LAB); 8D: Pilot's alphabet ender (ZULU); 12D: Sunroof feature (TINT); 18D: Bearded Smurf (PAPA); 23D: Romance (WOO); 25D: Barbecue fare (KABOB); 26D: Sip (NURSE); 27D: Praiseful poet (ODIST); 28D: Gp. in a 1955 labor merger (CIO); 30D: "This is awful!" ("UGH!"); 33D: Ida Morgenstern's daughter (RHODA); 34D: Office machine supply (TONER); 41D: Drop a brick, so to speak (ERR); 43D: It's often two, in mini golf (PAR); 46D: Hotfoot it (LAM); 49D: Give grief to (HASSLE); 51D: Burroughs swinger (TARZAN); 52D: Have a hunch (FEEL); 54D: Softened, in a way (MUTED); 56D: Blown away (AWED); 59D: Moon goddess (LUNA); 61D: Shiites, e.g. (SECT); 62D: French pop (PÈRE); 65D: Long basket, in basketball lingo (TREY); 67D: Path to enlightenment (ZEN).

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