December 28, 2010
Theme: Scat! — The last syllables of the theme answers can be put together to make a Frank Sinatra lyric.
- 17A: *Amount of money to pay (BALANCE DUE).
- 24A: *Beach Boys hit with the line "the first mate, he got drunk" (SLOOP JOHN B).
- 30A: *Shaggy's dog (SCOOBY-DOO).
- 44A: *Aggressive African swarmer (KILLER BEE).
- 50A: *Drops on the grass (MORNING DEW).
- 62A: Trademark Sinatra lyric heard at the ends of the answers to starred clues (DO BE DO BE DO).
I'm not a big Frank Sinatra fan, but I really liked this puzzle. Lots of theme answers and a nice reveal that I didn't see coming. I could hear Sinatra singing "Do be do be do" in my head, but I wasn't sure which song it was from. Let's go to the video:
Quite a musical puzzle today. Besides Ol' Blue Eyes, Ed Sessa referenced the Beach Boys, Beethoven, Eminem, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and Perry Como. And for good measure, he included the catch-all answer BAND (19A: Rock group). I'll give the puzzle 4 stars. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.
- 15A: Cap'n Crunch, e.g. (CEREAL). My favorite selection from the Cap'n Crunch family of cereals is Peanut Butter Crunch. Delicious sugary peanut buttery balls.
- 20A: Popular tattoo spot (ANKLE). For women, right? I don't think many guys get ankle tattoos. Or maybe I'm just not looking at guys' ankles enough. The ankles on the right belong to Rex Parker's favorite crossword aficionado.
- 29A: "___ to the flu": vaccination slogan (SAY BOO). I didn't know there were any vaccination slogans. This one has its own website, so it must be legit. I never get a flu shot. I figure getting sick is better than getting a shot, but I'm kind of a baby.
- 38A: Supporter of Boris Godunov, say (TSARIST). Want to make a crossword with Russian movie puns? Here's your first theme entry: "The Accidental Tsarist."
- 44A: Aggressive African swarmer (KILLER BEE). The idea of swarming killer bees scares me to death. Even worse than getting a shot.
- 66A: Always, rarely or never: Abbr. (ADV). All three of those words are adverbs. Tricky, eh?
- 3D: Velvety smooth (SILKY). A shout-out to veteran constructor Barry C. Silk.
- 28D: NYC dance company (ABT). American Ballet Theatre. If it's American, why do they spell "theater" wrong?
- 43D: Batter's grip aid (PINE TAR). Baseball players smear this sticky stuff on their bats to get a better grip. It's well-known to anyone who remembers the infamous Pine Tar Incident involving Billy Martin and George Brett.
- 47A: Reds, on scoreboards (CIN). More baseball with the Cincinnati Reds. Trivia nugget of the day: During the McCarthy Era, the Reds changed their name to the Cincinnati Redlegs so people wouldn't think they were a bunch of Commies.