Rabu, 22 Desember 2010

W E D N E S D A Y   December 22, 2010 Dan Naddor

Theme: Panel Discussion — End of the each theme answer can precede the word "panel" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Escapes dramatically from prison (GOES OVER THE WALL).
  • 28A: Narrow defeat, e.g. (HEARTBREAKER).
  • 38A: Warning about wind chill, say (WEATHER ADVISORY).
  • 46A: Steinbeck novel set in Monterey (TORTILLA FLAT).
  • 61A: The lead pipe, the wrench or the candlestick, but not the rope (BLUNT INSTRUMENT).
  • 54D: Discussion group, and a word that can follow the ends of this puzzle's five longest answers (PANEL).
I found this puzzle a really smooth solve. I was slightly — slightly! — bothered by the sheer volume of crosswordese, but for the most part just sort of made my way through it steadily. I didn't use the theme at all, which I always feel is kind of a shame. On the other hand, this theme isn't really all that exciting anyway. Panels? Well okay.

  • 9A: Energize, as a crowd (AMP UP). This didn't come to me easily. I think of AMP UP more as being hyper on drugs. I would be more likely to "rev" up a crowd. Well not me personally, but you know what I mean.
  • 15A: Nomo with two no-hitters (HIDEO). I have a really hard time with the Asian baseball names. I miraculously only needed the H to remember this one though.
  • 37A: Boxer's wear (ROBE).
  • 5D: Actress Tyler (LIV). Steven Tyler's daughter. Has "American Idol" started yet with the new judges? I'm pretty sure I can't bring myself to watch it.
  • 8D: Back porch luxury (HOT TUB). With HOTT** in place I thought "Hottie? Do rich people just keep hotties around on the back porch?"
  • 32D: Husband-and-wife creators of Curious George (REYS). Here's the thing about Curious George. The stories are very cute and that darn monkey is very entertaining but damn they can be long! I also recall raising an eyebrow once when I was reading to the PuzzleKids and got to a part where George drinks something in the doctor's office that he's not supposed to drink and he gets all drunk. I thought that was a little strange.
  • 35D: Sporty 1960s-'70s Plymouth (BARRACUDA).

  • 48D: "Hi-__, Hi-Lo" (LILI). I assume this is from a song. I also assume someone will enlighten us in the comments.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 56A: Gumshoe (TEC).
  • 58A: "The Time Machine" race (ELOI).
  • 60A: "Dies __" (IRAE).
  • 2D: One point from a service break (AD OUT).
  • 12D: Wrinkly fruit (UGLI).
  • 29D: 1921 sci-fi play (RUR).
  • 31D: Longest river in Spain (EBRO).
  • 34D: Vintner's prefix (OENO-).
  • 39D: Hanoi holidays (TETS).
  • 57D: Airline to Ben Gurion (EL AL).
  • 62D: Palindromic diarist (NIN).
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Everything Else — 1A: Is down with (HAS); 4A: Walk through puddles (SLOSH); 14A: Mean Amin (IDI); 16A: Europe's longest river (VOLGA); 20A: Laurie of "House" (HUGH); 21A: Vitamin __: PABA (B-TEN); 22A: Peke squeak (YIP); 23A: Torrid (STEAMY); 26A: Impulses (URGES); 33A: Blubber (SOB); 36A: Potentially slanderous remark (SLUR); 43A: Concerning, in memos (IN RE); 44A: 13 popes (LEOS); 45A: Part of UCLA (LOS); 51A: Computer data acronym (ASCII); 52A: Sandal parts (STRAPS); 66A: Dogpatch's Hawkins (SADIE); 67A: "Silas Marner" author (ELIOT); 68A: Opposite of alt, in Augsburg (NEU); 69A: Preferred option (PLAN A); 70A: "__ at 'em!" (LEMME); 71A: European peak (ALP); 1D: Euphoric feelings (HIGHS); 3D: Prolonged attack (SIEGE); 4D: HBO alternative (SHO); 6D: Tribute that usually rhymes (ODE); 7D: Belgrade native (SERB); 9D: Right, as a wrong (AVENGE); 10D: Do some yard work (MOW); 11D: Mr. Potato Head maker (PLAYSKOOL); 13D: Insect feeler (PALP); 18D: Bygone Mideast despot (SHAH); 19D: Frau's partner (HERR); 24D: Dovetail (MESH); 25D: Where Bill met Hillary (YALE); 27D: Canal zones? (EARS); 30D: Refrain syllables (TRA-LA); 33D: Houlihan portrayer on "M*A*S*H" (SWIT); 40D: Rock's __ Leppard (DEF); 41D: Encyc. units (VOLS.); 42D: "Time __ a premium" (IS AT); 47D: Summer cooler (ICE TEA); 49D: Big name in small trains (LIONEL); 50D: Svelte (TRIM); 53D: Gladiator's milieu (ARENA); 55D: Frame (SET UP); 56D: Recipe abbr. (TBSP.); 59D: Man, for one (ISLE); 63D: Tiny guy (TIM); 64D: Bulg. neighbor (ROM.); 65D: Versatile vehicle, for short (UTE).

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