Rabu, 05 Januari 2011

01.05 Wed

January 5, 2011
Donna S. Levin

Theme: Horse Sense — It's a quote by the talking horse, Mr. Ed!

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Start of a quote (TIME TO).
  • 27A: More of the quote (HIT THE HAY).
  • 46A: More of the quote (OH I FORGOT).
  • 61A: End of the quote (I ATE IT).
  • 63A: Speaker of the quote, whose show premiered in syndication 1/5/1961 (MISTER ED).
  • 7A: 63-Across, for one (PALOMINO).
Good morning, everybody, and happy anniversary to Mr. Ed! I'm not going to be able to talk about this puzzle without also talking about today's New York Times puzzle, so if you plan to solve the NY Times and haven't done so yet, you should think about doing that now. In fact, let me see if I can find Rex's spoiler kitty just to give us some extra room before the spoiling begins.

Whoa. Did that freak you out? No, not the spoiler kitty — the puzzles! I solved the LAT puzzle first and started putting this write-up together, then decided I needed to get to bed and would finish in the morning. So I printed out the NYT and took it to bed with me. When I looked at the NYT constructor's name, it said "Mr. Ed Sessa." I thought, "Well, that's odd. They don't usually use courtesy titles in the… heeeeey, wait a minute!" And sure enough. Same theme. I find that bizarre. I wonder if it's happened before. I haven't been doing both puzzles long enough to know. I mean, I'm sure they've both run Valentine's Day puzzles or Thanksgiving puzzles or whatever, but Mr. Ed?!? That's pretty random. And then to use the exact same quote. I tell you one thing, it made solving the NYT quite a bit easier.

But I don't want to take anything away from Donna's puzzle. Both Donna and Ed treated the theme differently and I think they both did a very good job with it. For more details about Ed's version of the theme, you should check out Rex's blog. Over here, we're gonna get right to the bullets.

  • 8A: "Casablanca" star (BOGART). The typical "Casablanca" answer is ILSA, so it was kinda fun to see Bogey here today.
  • 16A: 2009 sci-fi movie that is the highest-grossing film in history (AVATAR). I find this sad.
  • 19A: Biblical queen's land (SHEBA). I can't see the word SHEBA without thinking about the Bonnie Raitt song where she rhymes SHEBA with AMOEBA. That's some great songwriting there, is what that is.
  • 23A: __Kosh B'Gosh (OSH). Also a clue/answer in the NYT puzzle today. It just keeps getting weirder.
  • 25A: Swipe (STEAL). Familiar to Dora the Explorer fans.
  • 38A: Make damp (MOISTEN). I can't remember who it is, but one of my friends really hates this word. Say it out loud. It's kind of icky, right?
  • 57A: Dispatch boat (AVISO). And this is one of those words that seems like it should mean something altogether different than what it actually means. Shouldn't this mean, like, "written warning"?
  • 66A: Intimate confidante (ALTER EGO). Can't say I've ever thought of an ALTER EGO as an "intimate confidante," but okay.
  • 67A: Three sheets to the wind (STINKO). Out in the real world, drunks are trashed, loaded, and shit-faced. In CrossWorld, SOTS are STINKO and SOZZLED.
  • 33D: Hawaiian crooner (DON HO). Love it that we get two people entries where both names are used. See also ….
  • 39D: 2008 Harvey Milk portrayer (SEAN PENN).
  • 46D: Buckeyes' sch. (OSU). I guess they won last night. Ugh. I tell you one thing, Coach Brands would never put up with that mess from his wrestlers. (I actually asked PuzzleHusband last night, "What do you think Coach Brands would do if his wrestlers did that stuff?" and he said, "Probably make them run the stairs at Carver-Hawkeye Arena a couple times. I think a lot of time wrestlers get punished with extra workouts." But my point is, they wouldn't be playing in a Bowl game that's for sure. If wrestling had Bowl games. You know what I mean!)
  • 50D: Dustin's "Midnight Cowboy" role (RATSO). RATSO Rizzo. One of the greatest character names of all time.
  • 59D: Super Monkey Ball publisher (SEGA). Crosswordese 101 to the rescue!
Crosswordese 101: I ROBOT is the name of a 1950 classic collection of short stories in the science-fiction genre written by Isaac Asimov. One of the stories is titled "Robbie." (I haven't read the book, but I think I get it — Robbie? Get it?) The book was made into a movie starring Will Smith in 2004.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 69A: Villagers' tormentor in "Fiddler on the Roof" (TSAR).
  • 36D: Hugely successful, in Variety (BOFFO).
  • 41D: NY campus that's home to the Engineers (RPI).
  • 54D: Yours, in Tours (À TOI).
  • 59D: Super Monkey Ball publisher (SEGA).
  • 64D: RR depot (STA.).
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Everything Else — 1A: "Truth in Engineering" automaker (AUDI); 5A: Low-risk fin. investments (CD'S); 14A: Kirk's Enterprise, for one (STARSHIP); 20A: Enthuse (GUSH); 22A: Red root veggie (BEET); 31A: More than salty (LEWD); 34A: Game with Skip cards (UNO); 35A: Actor Gibson (MEL); 36A: Workman's wheeled cart (BARROW); 41A: "William Tell" composer (ROSSINI); 42A: Load up with, as work (PILE ON); 43A: Coppertone letters (SPF); 44A: Org. with Ducks and Penguins (NHL); 45A: Bit of foliage (LEAF); 49A: Sip slowly (NURSE); 51A: Vein find (ORE); 52A: Trade (SWAP); 55A: Luminous glow (AURA); 65A: Bucking beasts (BRONCS); 68A: Super-secret intelligence gp. (NSA); 1D: Nile slitherers (ASPS); 2D: Six-sided state (UTAH); 3D: Chip's buddy (DALE); 5D: Scoreboard letters for "Da Bears" (CHI); 6D: Parking lot mishap (DING); 7D: __ support: alimony (SPOUSAL); 8D: Enjoy a soak (BATHE); 9D: Prefix with duct (OVI-); 10D: Risk takers (GAMBLERS); 11D: Fits to __ (A TEE); 12D: Distance ÷ time (RATE); 13D: Harness race pace (TROT); 15D: Shatter (SMASH); 21D: Place to wallow (STY); 24D: Macho guys (HE-MEN); 26D: "Sorry to say ..." ("ALAS …"); 27D: A dromedary has one (HUMP); 28D: Packed like sardines (IN OIL); 29D: Patterned fabric (TOILE); 30D: Cooped-up layer (HEN); 32D: Clasp tightly in distress, as one's hands (WRING); 37D: Droop (WILT); 40D: Bean curd (TOFU); 43D: Civil War general who captured Atlanta (SHERMAN); 47D: Emulate Cicero (ORATE); 48D: Go back (REVERT); 52D: A boy and his sis (SIBS); 53D: Witch blemish (WART); 56D: Troubles (AILS); 58D: Infuriates (IRES); 60D: Olfactory stimulus (ODOR); 62D: "Ugh" relative (ICK).

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