Kamis, 30 Desember 2010

12.30 Thu

December 30, 2010
Kelsey Blakley

Theme: City Mash-Up — Theme answers are made up of two city names put together, where the end of the first city and the beginning of the second city make up a third city.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Iowa/Arizona/Maryland tri-city area? (AMESANNAPOLIS). [Ames Mesa Annapolis]
  • 32A: Washington/Georgia/ New Hampshire tri-city area? (TACOMACONCORD). [Tacoma Macon Concord]
  • 40A: South Dakota/Nevada/ Virginia tri-city area? (PIERRENORFOLK). [Pierre Reno Norfolk]
  • 55A: California/Alaska/ Tennessee tri-city area? (FRESNOMEMPHIS). [Fresno Nome Memphis]
We've really had a good week here at the LAT haven't we? This theme is super super cute and I found the puzzle really fun to solve. Once I figured out the theme, I tried to guess the rest of the theme answers without crosses, but I had trouble with the first one because I was resisting AMES until the very end. I'm so sick of seeing AMES in the puzzle! Enough with AMES already! Ya know what's in AMES? Iowa State University, that's what! In-state rival to my beloved Hawkeyes. (Not that they're really much of a rival, I mean when one side is so far superior to the other — is it even accurate to call it a rivalry?) Okay, okay, I'm a little hopped up on Hawkeye Love right now because there's a big wrestling tournament going on and I've been following it all day. Session Three starts tomorrow at noon. I'm exhausted already. But I'm not going to bore you all with my personal obsession because I'm sure that gets old.

The puzzle! Quite a bit of crosswordese in this one, but I didn't really mind it because I love the theme and I kinda dug the long downs as well: CLOSE LOOK, COLD SPELL, BUMPER CAR — those are some pretty colorful entries if you ask me. All in all … fun! Let's get to the bullets!

  • 5A: Flintstone word (DABBA). Raise your hand if you wrote in *ABBA and waited for the cross.
  • 15A: Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie __" (AMOUR). My very favorite version of this song was sung by Eddie Murphy on an old SNL where he was doing an impersonation of Stevie Wonder in order to show Stevie Wonder (who was playing a character who wasn't Stevie Wonder) how it should be done. I've never been able to find that clip online. SethG?
  • 27A: "__ Town Too": 1981 hit (HER). Ooh! Awesome!

  • 29A: The Concord Sage's monogram (RWE). That would be Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • 43A: Like some outlet mall mdse. (IRR.). Irregular.
  • 46A: Alberta natives (CREES). Not a fan of the S-plural of Indian tribe names.
  • 58A: Soldier who has completed most of his tour of duty (SHORT-TIMER). I guess I knew somewhere back in the far reaches of my brain that this phrase had its start in the military.
  • 2D: 2007 Enterprise acquisition (ALAMO). The car rental company, not the starship.
  • 9D: Not pizzicato (ARCO). Speaking of the far reaches of my brain, wow. I came up with this one with no crosses. I was involved with music a lot from the time I was, like, four through college and then some. But I only played a string instrument (the cello) for one year. Can't believe I remembered ARCO.
  • 10D: Cheerleader's feat (SPLIT). I was thinking maybe we'd argue about whether it's okay for this to be singular instead of the plural "the splits." You start.
  • 25D: '70s "Concentration" host Jack (NARZ). All I can say to this one is … WTF?!?!? Wow! Ne-Ever heard of the guy. I totally remember Ed McMahon hosting "Concentration" and he was only on for nine months, while this NARZ character hosted for five years! Bizarre! Awesome name though ….
Crosswordese 101: This is gonna be more like CW301, but you guys are ready for it, right? There are two sports guys named ODOM that you should know for crosswords. First, and most common, is today's 42D: Blue Moon of '60s-'70s baseball. His full name was Johnny Lee ODOM, but you don't need to know that. He's always clued as "Blue Moon," and there will always be a reference to baseball, 1960s-70s, and/or the fact that he was a pitcher. The other one is Lamar ODOM, a professional basketball player currently with the L.A. Lakers.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 36A: K-12 (ELHI).
  • 45A: Announcer Hall (EDD).
  • 61A: Saarinen who designed the Gateway Arch (EERO).
  • 64A: Skating maneuver (AXEL).
  • 65A: Broadway matchmaker (YENTE).
  • 21D: Pianist Templeton (ALEC).
  • 57D: Contemporary of Rex and Agatha (ERLE).
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Everything Else — 1A: Squish (MASH); 10A: Bairn, e.g. (SCOT); 14A: Pick of the litter? (ALPO); 16A: Horse around (PLAY); 17A: Zoo retreat (LAIR); 18A: Red and yellow but not green (WARM COLORS); 22A: Sing like Slim Clark (YODEL); 23A: Cut from the staff (AXE); 24A: Arterial implant (STENT); 31A: My __, Vietnam (LAI); 38A: It may be precious (METAL); 39A: Percolate (OOZE); 44A: Quite a long time (EON); 48A: Anesthesiologists' work sites, briefly (OR'S); 51A: Neapolitan song starter (O SOLE); 60A: Drops off (EBBS); 62A: Even a little (AT ALL); 63A: Passed-down tales (LORE); 66A: Oven cleaner chemicals (LYES); 1D: Asia's __ Peninsula (MALAY); 3D: Spotted (SPIED); 4D: Paintbrush material (HORSE HAIR); 5D: Become clear to, with "on" (DAWN); 6D: Radarange maker (AMANA); 7D: Cleansing agent (BORAX); 8D: Crash course vehicle? (BUMPER CAR); 11D: More than a glance (CLOSE LOOK); 12D: Crew tool (OAR); 13D: Cobb et al. (TYS); 19D: "The Daily Planet" reporter (OLSEN); 26D: Ocean phenomenon (TIDE); 28D: Lover boy (ROMEO); 30D: Stout hero Nero (WOLFE); 32D: Start of a conclusion (THEREFORE); 33D: Anabaptist denomination (MENNONITE); 34D: "From __ Zinc": vitamin slogan (A TO); 35D: Time to bundle up (COLD SPELL); 36D: Like some proportions (EPIC); 37D: NYC commuter line (LIRR); 41D: Odometer button (RESET); 47D: Swashbuckler Flynn (ERROL); 49D: __ candle (ROMAN); 50D: Silver fish (SMELT); 52D: "Whoopee!" ("OH BOY!"); 53D: Vers __: free verse (LIBRE); 54D: Switchback features (ESSES); 56D: Layover (STAY); 58D: Something fishy (SEA); 59D: Give the evil eye (HEX).

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