Jumat, 07 Januari 2011

01.07 Fri

January 7, 2011
Gary Steinmehl

Theme: And sometimes Y (but not this time) — Familiar phrases have a vowel tacked onto the front. The vowels progress from top to bottom — A, E, I, O, U.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Proof of quartz sales? (AGATE RECEIPTS).
  • 30A: Brewery's best? (ELITE BEER).
  • 38A: "Mad Max" and "Twelve Angry Men"? (IRATE MOVIES).
  • 46A: One of many at a Syracuse University football game? (ORANGE TOP).
  • 58A: Making a mess at the warehouse? (UPENDING CASES).
I'm not going to lie and tell you I understood the theme while I was solving. I definitely didn't. I tried. Lord knows, I tried! But it didn't make any sense to me until I saw it all laid out. I'm not exactly crazy about the "I" entry. I guess the base phrase is "rate movies," and that's weak. But the rest of them are pretty good. ORANGE TOP actually made me chuckle. I found the rest of the puzzle just crunchy enough to be interesting, but not really hard enough for a Friday. (I know, I know, it's like I'm beating that dead horse that was sliding into home plate in that Mr. Ed video the other day.)

I did have a couple trouble spots. The first was that whole 13D: Before and 22D: Before, before? thing. I popped ERE in where PRE- was supposed to go, but realized I had been tricked pretty quickly. Also SCENA was rough (5A: One usually includes an aria and a recitative). My first thought was "opera" but that seemed a little too simple so I waited for some crosses. Eventually, it looked like the answer was supposed to be "scene," so I threw that on in. But "Esti" really didn't look right to me and I know ASTI from past puzzles (see CW101 below), so it was an easy enough fix.

  • 1A: Lip (BRIM). Oh, I really wanted this to be "sass."
  • 10A: Rhode Island's motto (HOPE). Short and to the point. I like it.
  • 16A: Clue in a hunt (ODOR). Okay, this is funny. When I entered this answer I thought, "Wouldn't 'scent' be more appropriate? I mean, ODOR has such a negative connotation …." Like, what do I think the smell actually is out there in the woods? Cinnamon and rose petals?
  • 34A: Is after you? (ARE). Conjugation trickiness. (And isn't that the best kind of trickiness?)
  • 36A: Oscar-winning role for Forest (IDI). If you're gonna have an evil oppressive leader in the puzzle, this is the way to clue him. (And not with a little joke like "Mean Amin?" Haha! Get it? He was a tyrant that had hundreds of thousands of people killed! So he was mean! And that rhymes with his name! Haha!)
  • 45A: Sweet ending (-OSE). -OSE is a suffix used with different types of sugars (fructose, glucose, etc.).
  • 65A: Law partner (ORDER). DUN dun! (Wasn't sure how to spell that, but you get my drift.)
  • 8D: Roger Maris wore it (NINE). Home town boy does good.
  • 11D: Adventures (ODYSSEYS).

  • 29D: Stirrup site (EAR). Who decided to name all those parts of the EAR all wacky?
  • 42D: Anteater's sound effect in the comic "B.C." (ZOT). This answer came to me immediately. I guess I used to pay attention to "B.C."
  • 49D: Some judges sit on them (PANELS). Because "butts" wouldn't fit.
Crosswordese 101: It's hard to believe we haven't covered ASTI yet. ASTI is an "Italian wine province" — in fact, you're likely to see exactly that clue in early-week puzzles. Today's clue is similar — 9D: Wine town near Turin. Other words that will tip you off to ASTI are Piedmont, spumante, vineyard, and Martini & Rossi. Later in the week, the clue might not mention wine at all, so tuck it away in your head as simply an Italian province too, and that will come in handy.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 13D: Before (ERE).
  • 27D: Scrap (ORT).
  • 41D: Head lines? (EEG).
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Everything Else — 14A: Jim-dandy (A-ONE); 15A: Kachina carvers (HOPIS); 17A: Amounting to nothing (NULL); 18A: "Give me __" (A HINT); 19A: Texters do it (TYPE); 23A: __ moon (NEW); 24A: Ballot marker (X'ER); 25A: "One Good Cop" actress (RUSSO); 28A: Money in the bank, e.g. (ASSET); 37A: However (YET); 42A: Self-realization sect (ZEN); 44A: Bill (TAB); 50A: Lit up (AGLOW); 54A: Resort area near Reno (TAHOE); 55A: Org. offering jumps (AAA); 57A: First mate? (EVE); 63A: Pure and simple (MERE); 66A: Some are noble (FIRS); 67A: Head line (PART); 68A: City where de Gaulle was born (LILLE); 69A: Cameo, maybe (ROLE); 70A: Fellows (GUYS); 71A: Like Falstaff (OBESE); 72A: Cameo material (ONYX); 1D: Yogurt flavor (BANANA); 2D: They make you red in the face (ROUGES); 3D: Wedding creations (INLAWS); 4D: Get all mushy (MELT); 5D: Slice (SHARE); 6D: Hold together (COHERE); 7D: Work with a wide scope (EPIC); 10D: Place to chill (HOT TUB); 12D: Top 40 genre (POP); 21D: Hollywood "spear carrier" (EXTRA); 26D: Take in (SEE); 31D: People bend over backwards for it (LIMBO); 32D: Promising words (I DO); 33D: Save for later viewing (TIVO); 35D: Feminizing ending (-ETTE); 38D: Rushed (IN A HURRY); 39D: Put away (EAT); 40D: Composer Albéniz (ISAAC); 43D: Chunk of time (ERA); 47D: Apartment caveat (NO PETS); 48D: "My stars!" ("GEE!"); 51D: Skin wound (LESION); 52D: Too (OVERLY); 53D: Setting for many Thomas Hardy novels (WESSEX); 56D: Go along (AGREE); 59D: __ contendere (NOLO); 60D: Small quantity (DRIB); 61D: Like doodling (IDLE); 62D: Full coif (AFRO); 63D: Automaker's concern, briefly (MPG); 64D: Water under le pont (EAU).

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