Jumat, 10 Desember 2010

F R I D A Y   December 10, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Something about Stock Options

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Shrink for a noted Vulcan? (SPOCK ANALYST).
  • 29A: Reason for a laundry odor? (SOCK ISSUE).
  • 37A: Neighborhood garage sales? (SCHLOCK MARKET).
  • 45A: Collection for an artist's garment? (SMOCK FUND).
  • 56A: Some employee benefits, and this puzzle's title (STOCK OPTIONS).
I'm just gonna come right out and say it: This theme doesn't make any sense to me. So there are phrases where the word "stock" is replaced by a word that rhymes with "stock" for some reason. The added words don't seem to have anything else in common and there isn't any consistency in the way they were changed. To top it all off, the whole mess is explained by the phrase STOCK OPTIONS. What the heck am I missing here?

  • 14A: "Rendezvous With __": Hugo-winning Arthur C. Clarke novel (RAMA). Never heard of this book. Also, isn't it weird that there's a literary award named after Hugo Chavez?
  • 17A: Gp. dissolved 12/26/1991 (USSR). The "group" designation really threw me off here. I was thinking the answer would be a company. I briefly considered that it might be a band, but "dissolved" isn't really the right word for a band break-up.
  • 24A: What serious players play for (KEEPS). Cute clue.
  • 28A: Act that gets you a hand (DEAL). As I was solving, I took this clue/answer pair to mean that if you undertake and action that results in a DEAL, it's sealed with a handshake. It wasn't until I was reviewing the puzzle for this write-up that it's just referring to playing cards.
  • 43A: "This American Life" radio host Glass (IRA). I don't listen to "This American Life" religiously, but I catch it once in a while. One of my favorite episodes ever is the one where this guy tells a story about a voice-mail message a student at Columbia got from his mom that went, well … basically the equivalent of "viral" back before the Internet really caught on. Back then the students could forward voice-mail messages on to other people and this particular message made the rounds to everyone on campus. The guy telling the story talks to a bunch of the people who heard the message and then (yay!) actually finds a recording of it. It's really very funny. If you're interested, the episode is called "Recordings for Someone." Google it!
  • 64A: It precedes di or da, in a Beatles song (OB-LA). Thanks for the ear worm!
  • 67A: Roulette bet (NOIR). French!
  • 3D: Marathoner's lament (I'M SORE). I'm sure this is a fine, fine answer, but I have to say that I'm pretty sure I could come up with at least 50 other "laments" that would be more realistic than this one. "These freaking blisters are killing me," "I really have to pee," "Oh God, why did I think this would be a good idea?" …. Just sayin'.
  • 13D: Artificial locks (WIG). I tried "rug" first, which caused all kindsa confusion over in that section.
  • 21D: Infant who escaped Krypton (KAL-EL). I can never remember if it's KAL-EL or "Kel-Al." Mnemonic anyone?
  • 30D: Orson, e.g., in a '70s-'80s sitcom (ORKAN). And that, ladies and gentlemen, is today's installment of "Mork and Mindy Trivia."
  • 59D: Broccoli relative (KALE).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: "Brusha, brusha, brusha" toothpaste (IPANA).
  • 16A: Morlock fare (ELOI).
  • 8D: First-year law student (ONE-L).
  • 11D: UN workers' agcy. (ILO).
  • 54D: Dizzying genre (OP-ART).
  • 55D: Nicholas I and II, e.g. (TSARS).
  • 57D: Hawaiian food fish (OPAH).
  • 62D: Reggae precursor (SKA).
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Everything Else — 1A: Smart (CHIC); 5A: Use a user ID (LOG ON); 10A: Look at (VIEW); 18A: Hybrid big cat (LIGER); 19A: Half an ice grabber (TONG); 23A: Feature of Incan farms (TERRACE); 33A: Dry, as wine (SEC); 35A: Untrained (RAW); 36A: TV production co. whose mascot was Mimsie the Cat (MTM); 42A: Point (AIM); 44A: Fin. neighbor (NOR.); 49A: "Tiny Toon Adventures" bunny (BABS); 52A: Mount also known as Horeb (SINAI); 53A: Exterminate (ROOT OUT); 60A: Slung food (HASH); 63A: Initial strategy (PLAN A); 65A: Sommer of "A Shot in the Dark" (ELKE); 66A: Many a surfer (AOL'ER); 68A: Diamond spoiler (FLAW); 69A: 1954 event coded as "Castle Bravo" (H-TEST); 70A: Lushes (SOTS); 1D: Pie maker's pride (CRUST); 2D: Locked, in a way (HASPED); 4D: Traffic blocker (CAR CRASH); 5D: Bath salt fragrance (LILAC); 6D: Speaks one's mind (OPINES); 7D: Infatuated (GAGA); 9D: Not even one, with "a" (NARY); 10D: Chevy sportsters ('VETTES); 12D: Two or more eras, in geologic time (EON); 22D: Jet __ (SKI); 25D: Salinger title girl (ESME); 26D: Green stroke (PUTT); 27D: Where to study for a Th.D. (SEM.); 31D: Word with nanny or web (CAM); 32D: Nine-time U.S. skating champ (KWAN); 34D: Hairdo (COIF); 37D: Ventura County's __ Valley (SIMI); 38D: "Let's go!" ("C'MON!"); 39D: French wine term (CRU); 40D: Many an Asimov character (ROBOT); 41D: Three-course military supplies (K RATIONS); 42D: Symbol of stubbornness (ASS); 46D: Some kind of nut (CASHEW); 47D: Tool holder (KIT); 48D: Goes on monotonously (DRONES); 50D: Playground mishap (BOO-BOO); 51D: Bright, as a porch (SUNLIT); 58D: Lump (CLOT); 60D: Mag mogul with a mansion (HEF); 61D: __-American (ALL).

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