Jumat, 14 Januari 2011

01.14 Fri

January 14, 2011
Dan Naddor

Theme: K? — Familiar two-word phrases where the first word ends in CK have the K removed, creating new wacky phrases, clued wackily.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Apple delivery vehicle? (MAC TRUCK).
  • 19A: Lobbying gp. bigwig? (PAC LEADER).
  • 39A: Trap for large reptiles? (CROC POT).
  • 58A: Coalition celebration? (BLOC PARTY).
  • 61A: Court dispute over footwear? (MOC TRIAL).
  • 3D: Movie with style? (CHIC FLICK)
  • 35D: Employee using a word processor? (DOC WORKER).
First, the obligatory griping: This puzzle isn't hard enough for a Friday. I can't get used to Friday puzzles having themes. Okay, now that that's out of the way. Seven theme answers is a lot of dang theme answers. I know it's pretty much what we expect from Dan Naddor, but it's worth noting that the typical themed puzzle contains four theme answers and we see plenty with only three. Packing seven theme answers into the grid really restricts your fill options, but Dan often managed to overcome that obstacle and give us solid puzzles anyway.

There's some downright sparkly fill in this grid including STEP ASIDE, ONE ON ONE, SARONG, and AMARILLO. I'm 99.9% sure I've used this video before, but I honestly never get sick of this song.

Trouble spots (i.e., things I didn't know):
  • 17A: Baroque composer Cavalieri (EMILIO).
  • 42A: Glacial ridges (ESKERS).
  • 5D: Luyendyk of auto racing (ARIE).
  • 30D: Biological bristles (SETAE).
  • 47D: Cricket violation (NO BALL).
All of those were pretty easy to figure out with the help of crosses and I'm pretty sure I've seen every single one of them in a puzzle before. Except for NO BALL. That's a new one for me. I really need to study my cricket terms. Or not.

  • 21A: Great Seal symbol (EAGLE). I really thought the answer would be something on the seal that's not quite so … obvious. Sometimes overthinking an answer is a real problem!
  • 26A: "S" on an invitation (S'IL). RSVP = Répondez S'il Vous Plaîs. It's French.
  • 27A: Label for many Elton John hits (MCA). So now we know two recording artists on the MCA label. I'm sure that knowledge will come in handy.
  • 45A: Radar's rank: Abbr. (CPL.). Is there anyone who doesn't tear up remembering the episode where Radar informs the rest of the gang in the OR that Col. Blake's plane had been shot down?
  • 46A: Fish-eating bird (LOON). The state bird of Minnesota, dontcha know.
  • 55A: Cartoonist Walker (MORT). Walker gave us Beatle Bailey and one of CrossWorld's favorite pets, OTTO.
  • 63A: Prepare for a break (RACK UP). Pool! Or "billiards," if you prefer.
  • 14D: Hockey ploys (DEKES). Learned it from crosswords.
  • 33D: Mountain West Conf. team (TCU). I believe they were involved in a big game recently, so maybe you had them on your mind.
  • 37D: Sends, obsolescently (TELETYPES). I think this one is even before my time. I remember using a TELEX, but I'm pretty sure that came later.
  • 4D: Magnalium, e.g. (ALLOY).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 29A: Ready-to-mail item: Abbr. (SASE).
  • 44A: It parallels the radius (ULNA).
  • 6D: Greek colonnade (STOA).
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Everything Else — 1A: Illustrative words (SUCH AS); 7A: Burst (RUPTURED); 15A: Casual top (T-SHIRT); 16A: Intimate meeting (ONE ON ONE); 22A: Lab complaints (ARFS); 23A: CD-__ (ROMS); 25A: Hardy's "Pure Woman" (TESS); 31A: Ristorante suffix (-INI); 32A: Pittypat, in "Gone With the Wind" (AUNT); 34A: Aiming aid in some gun sights (RED DOT); 38A: Fourth-qtr. month (DEC.); 41A: Reveal, poetically (OPE); 48A: Pollster's query (AGE); 49A: Heartache (WOE); 50A: Homer Simpson's mom (MONA); 53A: Chestnut horse (ROAN); 56A: Nailing, as a test (ACING); 64A: Texas city on I-40 (AMARILLO); 65A: Colorless gas (ETHENE); 66A: With composure (SEDATELY); 67A: "__ Waldo?" (WHERE'S); 1D: Make way (STEP ASIDE); 2D: Dept. of the Navy component (U.S. MARINES); 4D: Black __ (HILLS); 7D: Rival of Paris (ROMEO); 8D: Takes pieces from? (UNARMS); 9D: Workout target (PEC); 10D: Carry (TOTE); 11D: Like some films (UNRATED); 12D: Compact item (ROUGE); 13D: Things with ltrs. (ENCLS.); 20D: Pipe cleaner (DRANO); 24D: Wrapped garment (SARONG); 27D: Prefix with economics (MACRO-); 28D: Insertion point indicator (CURSOR); 36D: Auspicious (OPPORTUNE); 40D: Dallas suburb (PLANO); 43D: Hyundai model (ELANTRA); 50D: Family nicknames (MAMAS); 51D: Carol opening (O COME); 52D: Battery acronym (NICAD); 55D: Papier-__ (MACHE); 57D: Pluck (GRIT); 59D: Captain's underlings (CREW); 60D: Step on it (PATH); 62D: __ du Diable: former French penal colony (ILE).

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