Selasa, 04 Januari 2011

01.04 Tue

January 4, 2011
David W. Cromer

Theme: Shoes, Glorious Shoes — Familiar phrases end with words that can describe types of shoes.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: How many fall in love (HEAD OVER HEELS).
  • 34A: Temperature control devices (HEAT PUMPS).
  • 40A: Bonneville Speedway terrain (SALT FLATS).
  • 53A: Abridged maxim about accepting an apt description, and a hint to this puzzle's theme found in 20-, 34- and 40-Across (IF THE SHOE FITS).
This puzzle reminded that I really, truly and desperately need at least two new pairs of shoes. I have some black slip-ons that I wear pretty much all the time that are falling apart. I think I'll buy another pair just like them. Then I need a pair of brown shoes suitable for the office. When I started working again, I went out and bought two pairs of pants — one pair I thought was black, but is really grey, and the other is brown. I can get away with black shoes with the grey pants, but not with the brown. Well, PuzzleHusband, who's the fashion expert around here, told me that it was probably okay to wear black shoes with these particular brown pants, but it makes me self-conscious, so I really need to get some brown shoes. The good news is I got a paycheck today, so the shoes might actually be in my future! Yee-haw!

I could probably talk about shoes all day, but let's talk about the puzzle instead. Um, let's see. The puzzle is fine. Pretty easy, serviceable theme, the sparkliest answers to me are RED SALMON, FLASHERS and GO PRO (11D: Fish also called a sockeye / 38D: Hazard lights, e.g. / 26D: Give up amateur status). The clue for FENCE (38A: Stolen goods dealer) makes that ordinary word kind of cool, which is always a good thing. And other than that … man, sometimes it's just really hard to keep coming up with stuff to talk about — especially on the early-week puzzles. Maybe we should talk about shoes some more.

Oh no, I remember what I was going to tell you. I was thinking that with the new year, maybe we could use a new look here at LACC. I thought I might have it ready yesterday — first workday of the new year and all — but turns out it's more work than I anticipated. Or maybe I'm just lazy. One of those two things, anyway. But you can just consider this a heads up: Don't freak out if you click over here one day and things look a little different! Everything's going to be okay! Change is good!

  • 42A: Less, in La Paz (MENOS). Spanish!
  • 46A: Duds in a lot (LEMONS). Cute clue. You might find some LEMONS (i.e., duds) in a used car lot. I suppose you could find one in a new car lot too, but that's not as likely. I don't think. (Look at me, acting all like I know something about buying cars.)
  • 48A: Tiny power source (ATOM). Last week Rachel Maddow interviewed the head of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (part of the Department of Energy), who is in charge of the massive task of securing loose nuclear material around the world. It's like actual super-secret spy stuff — really interesting! Rachel said this guy's title should be "Undersecretary for Saving the World."
  • 59A: Mound stats (ERA'S). Mound as in pitching mound. E.R.A. = Earned Run Average, a statistic kept on pitchers.
  • 60A: Golf rarities (ACES). The tennis references were getting kind of old for ACES, so the golf clue is welcome. (For the sports-challenged, an ACE is the same thing as a hole-in-one.)
  • 36D: Lone Star State sch. (UTEP). University of Texas at El Paso. But you knew that.
  • 41D: Type specification (FONT). Mmmmm, fonts ….
Crosswordese 101: SEGA is a video game company famous for games such as "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Super Monkey Ball" and "Mortal Kombat," and two game consoles called Genesis and Dreamcast. The company is often described as a Nintendo competitor/rival in crossword clues.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 19A: Arabian Peninsula port (ADEN).
  • 30A: Mauna __ (LOA).
  • 21D: Patron saint of Norway (OLAV).
  • 35D: Tolkien tree creature (ENT).
  • 54D: K-12 catchall (ELHI).
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Everything Else — 1A: Like serious collectors (AVID); 5A: Ristorante staple (PASTA); 10A: Bristol baby carriage (PRAM); 14A: Fishing need (LINE); 15A: Turn red, as tomatoes (RIPEN); 16A: Genesis creator (SEGA); 17A: It may be enough (ONCE); 18A: Keats, e.g. (ODIST); 23A: Mule's parent (ASS); 24A: __ majesty (LESE); 25A: Adjustor's assessment (DAMAGE); 28A: Sought office (RAN); 29A: Dent or scratch (MAR); 31A: Israeli desert (NEGEV); 37A: Door-to-door company (AVON); 39A: Went like the wind (TORE); 43A: Do the math, in a way (ADD); 44A: Rowing implement (OAR); 45A: With it (HIP); 50A: Drama featuring a DNA lab (CSI); 56A: Course list (MENU); 58A: Spanish folk hero (EL CID); 61A: River through France (RHONE); 62A: Earth tone (ECRU); 63A: Sit for a shooting (POSE); 64A: Located (SITED); 65A: Fashionable way to arrive? (LATE); 1D: Hilo hello (ALOHA); 2D: Jungle growth (VINES); 3D: Pizarro victims (INCAS); 4D: Certain title (DEED); 5D: No longer in doubt (PROVEN); 6D: Helpers (AIDES); 7D: Kremlin feature (SPIRE); 8D: New Age musician John (TESH); 9D: Precede (ANTEDATE); 10D: Biblical hymn (PSALM); 12D: Candle count, on many cakes (AGE); 13D: Isle of __ (MAN); 22D: Wild West lawman (EARP); 27D: Lets up (EASES); 28D: Tenants' strike leverage (RENT); 29D: PC alternatives (MACS); 31D: Twangy (NASAL); 32D: Get around (EVADE); 33D: Places with valuable veins (GOLD MINES); 34D: Catch wind of (HEAR); 42D: Actor with nothing to say (MIME); 45D: Like some sweatshirts (HOODED); 47D: Helpful (OF USE); 48D: Fancy tie (ASCOT); 49D: Biblical possessive (THINE); 50D: Approximately, in dates (CIRCA); 51D: Onset (START); 52D: Debate subject (ISSUE); 55D: Sense (FEEL); 56D: It may be topographical (MAP); 57D: "The Name of the Rose" author Umberto (ECO).

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