Senin, 03 Januari 2011

01.03 Mon

January 3, 2011
Victor Barocas

Theme: It's a Doggy Dog World — Theme answers begin with colors that can describe Labrador retrievers.

Theme answers:
  • 17A/25A: WWI U.S. Army command nickname (BLACK JACK / PERSHING).
  • 32A: Custard-filled pastry (CHOCOLATE ECLAIR).
  • 41A: Flip side of "Eleanor Rigby" (YELLOW SUBMARINE).
  • 50A/64A: Breed whose common colors begin 17-, 32- and 41-Across (LABRADOR / RETRIEVER).
Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday to you. Unless we get some kind of snowstorm in the next few days, this will be my first full week of work at my new job. I started on a Thursday and then the next two weeks were Christmas and New Year's — so I've really been able to ease into it. Tomorrow it's back to the Rat Race! (I'm totally loving my job, though, so it's all good.)

This week we're starting off with an easy breezy puzzle. I'm not super excited about the theme, but that's probably just because I'm not a dog person. Also it's Monday and sometimes it's hard to get excited about Mondays. But there's clearly nothing wrong with it, and there's some awfully good stuff in the fill like ASCETIC and RED EYE, along with ARBITER and REPLETE, which really sound like high-falutin' words, don't they? The grid's got pretty much exactly the amount of crosswordese that's acceptable on a Monday and the cluing is straightforward. Overall, a solid Monday outing that I'm pretty sure I won't rant about.

Have you all heard about the controversy about elementary school textbooks going on here in Virginia? It's pretty interesting. (Yes, this is a tangent. It was General PERSHING that brought me here.) Apparently, a professor at William & Mary took the time to actually read a series of textbooks used in Virginia elementary schools and found several glaring errors along with some what you might politely call forgiving views of the Civil War, vis-à-vis slavery. The error that first stood out to the professor was a sentence explaining that "thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson." Asked for the source of that information, the author said she found it on the Internet. Well then! Anyway, it's pretty interesting and it is, in fact, the textbook that PuzzleDaughter is studying right now, which I find a little disturbing.

  • 9A: Game with checks (CHESS). I kept thinking tic-tac-toe, but knew that wasn't right.
  • 40A: Sch. WNW of Topeka (KSU). Beak 'em, Hawks! (Or is that the other Kansas school? Can't say I pay much attention to Kansas.)
  • 5D: Decorate with gems (BEJEWEL). I was finally able to kick my Bejeweled Blitz habit, but in order to do it I had to pick up a new game called Marple, which is totally awesome. And addictive.
  • 26D: "2001" computer (HAL). Would you like to play a game? Oh crap. I think that's the other evil movie computer. I'm totally off today.
  • 30D: Joplin works (RAGS). Okay, this one I know for sure is Scott and not Janis.
  • 36D: "Winning __ everything" (ISN'T). It's the only thing! Second place is first loser! There's no I in "team," but there are three U's in "shut the f*** up!" Not sure exactly what came over me there. I apologize.
  • 61D: Pâté de foie __ (GRAS). I don't really know what this is. I mean, I'm pretty sure I've been told what it is but I haven't been able to retain that knowledge. I'm pretty sure it's something that I have absolutely no interest in eating.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 1A: Nick and Nora Charles's dog (ASTA).
  • 19A: Greek market (AGORA).
  • 67A: First African-American selected for a U.S. Davis Cup team (ASHE).
  • 6D: Eggs, biologically (OVA).
  • 28D: Syngman of Korea (RHEE).
  • 33D: Sigma follower (TAU).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 5A: When repeated, island near Tahiti (BORA); 14A: Disapproving fans' chorus (BOOS); 15A: Tied, as a game (EVEN); 16A: Line with many stops (LOCAL); 20A: Overnight flight (RED EYE); 21A: Sad interjection (ALAS); 23A: PC linking system (LAN); 24A: Haul to the shop (TOW); 31A: Argentina aunt (TIA); 38A: Chop (HEW); 39A: Gift of the garrulous (GAB); 48A: Three, in Asti (TRE); 49A: Most Chaplin films (SILENTS); 55A: Chill in the air (NIP); 56A: Stat for Koufax (ERA); 57A: Opposite of "yup" ("NOPE"); 58A: Rectangular (OBLONG); 62A: Solzhenitsyn subject (GULAG); 66A: Extremely overweight (OBESE); 68A: Trillion: Pref. (TERA-); 69A: Indian wraps (SARIS); 70A: Attention to "pay" (HEED); 71A: Brings to a close (ENDS); 1D: This ans. is one (ABBR.); 2D: Foot bottom (SOLE); 3D: Tadpole, grown up (TOAD); 4D: One leading a spartan lifestyle (ASCETIC); 7D: Summary (RECAP); 8D: A bobby sock is often folded down to it (ANKLE); 9D: Like the most elegant old autos (CLASSIC); 10D: Monopolize (HOG); 11D: Dangerous bacteria (ECOLI); 12D: Plastic wrap brand (SARAN); 13D: Street language, often (SLANG); 18D: Environmental protocol city (KYOTO); 22D: Commedia dell'__ (ARTE); 27D: In need of a massage (ACHY); 29D: Knock down some pins (BOWL); 34D: Recedes to the sea (EBBS); 35D: Related (AKIN); 37D: Regrets (RUES); 42D: P.O. box item (LTR.); 43D: Florida crops (ORANGES); 44D: Shared wedding vow response (WE DO); 45D: Studied secondarily, with "in" (MINORED); 46D: Perp-to-cop story (ALIBI); 47D: Abundantly filled (with) (REPLETE); 50D: Kids' blocks (LEGOS); 51D: Curaçao neighbor (ARUBA); 52D: Hay bundler (BALER); 53D: Daytime TV mogul (OPRAH); 54D: Pee Wee of the Dodgers (REESE); 59D: Pizzeria fixture (OVEN); 60D: Teen comedy stereotype (NERD); 63D: "Just __ thought!" (AS I); 65D: Common article (THE).

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