Sabtu, 01 Januari 2011

01.01 Sat

January 1, 2011
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

Howdy, puzzle fans. PuzzleGirl has been called away to babysit Rex Parker's blog, so you're stuck with me (Doug) today. Yep, we do all the hard work while Rex gets drunk on appletinis on some beach in Florida. That's because he's the King of Crossworld and the rest of us are mere peons.

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first puzzle of Oh-Eleven. I know, I know. I've already been told I shouldn't call it "Oh-Eleven," but I like how it sounds, so I'm going to go with it for a while.

Nice to kick off the year with a Barry Silk puzzle. I met Barry at the 2008 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and we've been friends ever since. There are a few things I expect to see in a Silk puzzle: '50s & '60s music, computer & technical terms, Philadelphia Phillies, and scrabbly letters. The only thing missing today is the Phillies entry. That's OK. I can do without thinking about the Phillies and their scary pitching staff right now. For the music, we have ELENORE; for the technical entries, we have ENIAC, MSEC and QUANTUM COMPUTER; and as for scrabbly letters, I see three Q's, two Z's, one J, and one K. Barry also included shout-outs to two crossword luminaries: MERL (55D: Reagle of "Wordplay") and ANGELA (1D: PuzzleGirl's alter ego).

  • 8A: Game with beehive-shaped pieces (PACHISI). I know what the beehive pieces look like, but I couldn't find a picture of them anywhere. This section of the puzzle was the hardest for me to finish. I wasn't thinking about MAGGOTS at 18A (thank goodness) and PACHISI wasn't coming to mind either. Eventually I'M OVER IT (12D: "It's okay now") broke it open for me.
  • 36A: Experimental processor (QUANTUM COMPUTER). I assume this was the seed entry that Barry built the puzzle around. My favorite model is the "Rare-earth-metal-ion-doped inorganic crystal based quantum computer." Maybe Barry can drop by and explain that one to us.
  • 62A: "You're my pride and joy, et cetera" girl in a Turtles hit (ELENORE). Wow, that has got to be one of weirdest love song lyrics I've ever heard. So what's the story? The Turtles' record company had been hounding them for another "Happy Together," their biggest hit. So they quickly wrote this uninspired song ("Gee I think you're swell") and it went on to become a big hit despite their best efforts at sabotage. Howard Kaylan of The Turtles explained: "It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn't get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on 'Elenore' was so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me." (Thanks to
  • 4D: Pou __: vantage point (STO). Too French for me. This was the only entry I found to be a complete mystery.
  • 24D: Actor __ Ivory Wayans (KEENEN). I couldn't remember whether this was spelled KEENAN or KEENEN. Keenan Wynn has an "a" and Keenen Ivory Wayans has an "e." Who names their kid Keenan/Keenan anyway?
  • 35D: "War and Peace," e.g. (EPIC). I plan to read War and Peace someday, just so I can say I've read it. Or I could just say I've read it. That would easier.
  • 36D: Fictional harpooner (QUEEQUEG). From Moby-Dick. His harpoon never leaves his side. He even shaves with it. I did read Moby-Dick once. (Really!) The unabridged version with long chapters on whale physiology, blubber harvesting, etc. It was worth reading, but I wouldn't do it again.
  • 39D: Tamarin relative (MARMOSET). Cool word. Tamarins and marmosets are both types of little monkeys. They look kinda cute, but you wouldn't want one in your house.
  • 44D: One often has a colon in its title (SEQUEL). Excellent clue. A classic example is Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Thanks for the fun puzzle today, Barry. See you all tomorrow.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 19A: Julliet is part of it (ETE).
  • 43A: Signs of success (SROS).
Everything Else — 1A: Builds up considerably (AMASSES); 15A: Avian activity (NESTING); 16A: Cruel (INHUMAN); 17A: Start working (GETONIT); 18A: Common bait (MAGGOTS); 20A: Chess stratagem (GAMBIT); 22A: Pop singer/songwriter Sands (EVIE); 23A: Steal (LURK); 25A: Yarborough of NASCAR (CALE); 26A: Fumble (ERR); 27A: It takes your breath away (APNEA); 29A: Normandy beach (JUNO); 31A: One with a spare in his boot (BRIT); 32A: F1 neighbor (ESC); 34A: Put out (ETHERIZE); 40A: Like eagles (UNDERPAR); 41A: Do a typical teenager's job (SIT); 42A: Nobel Prize subj. (ECON); 45A: Some Wi-Fi offerers (CAFES); 49A: Great time (EON); 50A: Processing time meas. (MSEC); 52A: Word with punch or party (LINE); 53A: Bit of wit (QUIP); 55A: Muezzin's temple (MOSQUE); 57A: Keep out (BAR); 58A: Increases (UPSIZES); 60A: Title lost love in a Poe poem (ULALUME); 63A: Fifth Greek letter (EPSILON); 64A: Unified whole (GESTALT); 65A: Expose (LAYBARE); 1D: German chancellor Merkel (ANGELA); 2D: Rendezvous (MEETUP); 3D: Opposite of ahead (ASTERN); 5D: Do a number (SING); 6D: Room-sized computer (ENIAC); 7D: U.S. Army E-9 (SGTMAJ); 8D: Antipasto veggie (PIMIENTO); 9D: It may be gross: Abbr. (ANAT); 10D: Small fee? (CHG); 11D: Quite significant (HUGE); 13D: Mock (SATIRIZE); 14D: Editor, at times (INSERTER); 21D: Early hospital services insurer (BLUECROSS); 28D: Celestial sci. (ASTR); 30D: Units measured by a multimeter (OHMS); 31D: Painful, as honesty (BRUTAL); 33D: Afternoon service items (CUPS); 37D: Separate (UNCOUPLE); 38D: Hunks (ADONISES); 46D: Leg bone (FIBULA); 47D: Bewitch (ENAMOR); 48D: Tranquil (SERENE); 51D: Apology ending (CULPA); 54D: Ice cream purchase (PINT); 56D: Relaxed (EASY); 59D: Suffix with Meso- (ZOA); 61D: Stack site: Abbr. (LIB).

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