Jumat, 17 Desember 2010

F R I D A Y   December 17, 2010 Paul Cuerdon

Theme: THEME — CU, the chemical symbol for copper, is inserted into familiar phrases creating new wacky phrases.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Raised to the ninth power? (DOUBLE CUBED).
  • 24A: Poison literature? (CURARE BOOKS).
  • 50A: Most adorable flier? (CUTEST PILOT).
  • 55A: Original Anglican assistant priest? (FIRST CURATE).
  • 47D: Element whose chemical symbol is used in this puzzle's theme (COPPER).
Well I made it through my first day at the new job. Yes, yes, I realize that this is the third "first day at the new job" I've had this year. I really hope I don't have to have another one for a very long time. Why? Because they suck. You have to be on all day — meeting people, learning how to do stuff and whatnot. I'm exhausted. So let's get on with it.

As some of you know, I'm not real science-y, so it took me a while to grok the theme. The first two theme answers I was able to complete were CURARE BOOKS and FIRST CURATE, so I thought the theme was something about CUR, not just CU. And I still had to think about it a bit even when I got to the reveal answer, because I just didn't know copper's symbol is CU. It all became clear eventually. As it so often does.

I really like the fill in this grid, which has an unbelievably low crosswordese frequency even for a Friday. I'm never really crazy about British spellings, but if we needed that extra L in PEDALLED to make LIBELOUS and OVERDONE possible, I think that's okay. There are an awful lot of three-letter words in this grid, but they really didn't bother me at all. How often to we see LAO-BYU-OMB? I even kinda like the stack of ABS-ZEE-TIN in the northwest corner. I don't know. Something about this puzzle just really worked for me today.

  • 10A: Fosbury's high-jumping technique (FLOP). I'm pretty sure I learned this from crosswords. It might have been lurking vaguely in my brain somewhere, but I know it was in a puzzle recently and it kinda surprised me.
  • 28A: "Bad" cholesterol letters (LDL). "Good" cholesterol, on the other hand, is HDL. The H is for happy. (Someone here taught me that mnemonic — thank you!)
  • 32A: See 44-Across (GABLES). I probably would have tried to clue this "Iowa wrestling legend Dan and others." And then an editor would have changed it.
  • 52A: Eldridge Cleaver's "Soul on __" (ICE). See, this is what I'm talking about with the three-letter words. This is just a normal, nothing-special word, but the clue is awesome.
  • 65A: Prepares for the next turn in the alley (RESETS). Bowling!
  • 5D: Film doctor with 7 faces (LAO). I definitely learned this one from crosswords. Dr. LAO is played by Tony Randall.
  • 10D: Word after blue or bird (FLU). I don't think I'm entirely sure what "blue FLU" is. Is that just being down in the dumps? Or is it really a type of FLU?
  • 50D: Jazz lover (CAT).

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Everything Else — 1A: Iron pumper's pride (ABS); 4A: Some macaroni (ELBOWS); 14A: Zuider __ (ZEE); 15A: One who may need technical terms explained (LAYMAN); 16A: Like much early TV (LIVE); 17A: Element in pewter (TIN); 20A: Weather, in a way (ERODE); 22A: Little bit (TAD); 23A: Washday brand (ERA); 29A: "__ tuned!" (STAY); 30A: Hill on British TV (BENNY); 31A: Total amount bet (POOL); 34A: Do some gardening (PRUNE); 35A: They may be noble or precious (METALS); 38A: Waited (PAUSED); 39A: Skill determinants (EXAMS); 40A: Madagascar mammals (LEMURS); 43A: Learning method (ROTE); 44A: With 32-Across, feature of a noted New England home (SEVEN); 45A: Alveoli, e.g. (SACS); 49A: Monitor, for short (CRT); 53A: More than plan (ACT); 54A: Hoarse (RASPY); 60A: Spring mo. (APR.); 61A: Manual reader (USER); 62A: Dome opening, in architecture (OCULUS); 63A: Corp. bigwig (CEO); 64A: Watch displays, briefly (LED'S); 66A: Directional ending (-ERN); 1D: Tlaxcalteca enemies (AZTECS); 2D: Cedar Revolution city (BEIRUT); 3D: Lady of Spain (SEÑORA); 4D: Respected one (ELDER); 6D: LDS-owned school (BYU); 7D: Fed. number-crunching gp. (OMB); 8D: '70s-'80s TV family (WALTONS); 9D: Deceitful (SNEAKY); 11D: Defamatory (LIBELOUS); 12D: Cooked really well? (OVERDONE); 13D: Biked, in Bristol (PEDALLED); 19D: S&L offerings (CD'S); 21D: Any Wrigley Field contest until 1988 (DAY GAME); 25D: Falls back (EBBS); 26D: __ Air: Los Angeles community (BEL); 27D: It's next to nothing (ONE); 31D: Frederick the Great's realm (PRUSSIA); 33D: Gore and Franken (ALS); 34D: Hole number? (PAR); 35D: Forgiving (MERCIFUL); 36D: Deal with, as demons (EXORCISE); 37D: Ragged (TATTERED); 38D: Football play (PUNT); 40D: Romaine, e.g. (LETTUCE); 41D: Anticipatory time (EVE); 42D: Mayo, e.g. (MES); 44D: Aid (SUCCOR); 46D: French border region (ALSACE); 48D: "Sophie's Choice" author (STYRON); 51D: Lift in a gym (PRESS); 56D: Most coll. applicants (SRS.); 57D: Toys __ (R US); 58D: Samuel Adams Summer __ (ALE); 59D: Boy king (TUT).

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