Sabtu, 22 Januari 2011

01.22 Sat

January 22, 2011
Barry C. Silk

[Note from PuzzleGirl: This is the one week out of the year where I'm going to just mention that there is a donation button over in the sidebar. Please read my pitch for donations at the beginning of Monday's write-up here. And thanks so much for being here and for all the kind notes I've received in the last couple days.]
Theme: None

I solved this puzzle while watching college wrestling on TV, so I didn't give it my full attention and can't really tell how hard it is, but I know I liked it. Lots of good sparkly fill and only a couple groaners. I'm looking at you, DARERS! You too, C-D-E! (33A: Challengers / 22A: Letter run.) I can't decide how I feel about SCRATCH AWL (28D: Point maker). I've never heard of it, but I think it might be kinda cool. With only some of the letters in place (and without looking at the clue), I thought it was going to be SCREECH OWL. Ha! Make sure never to use your SCRATCH AWL on your SCREECH OWL! They hate that! But SCRATCH AWL was an entry in one of the four triple-ten stacks in this grid. And every other entry in those sections is solid, if not awesome. The only one I don't really like is ELECTORATE (67A: Voters), but that's just because it looks too much like EXPECTORATE to me which is obviously a personal problem.

HAha! PuzzleHusband just asked if I needed help with the blog. He told me that he recently won Blogger Magazine's Blogger of the Year Award. Pretty sure he's making that up. Ya know what, though? One day I'm gonna let him write a blog post and then you all will just appreciate me that much more. Now he's watching a show about the Mexican drug trade and says he wants his new nickname to be "El Chapo." And he's going to work on a nickname for me. This is what my life is like, in case you were wondering.

  • 15A: Like some avian plumage (IRIDESCENT). I'm sure peacocks aren't the only ones with IRIDESCENT plumage, but that was the first picture that came to my mind.
  • 20A: Union requirement (DUES). I had a bad feeling for a minute that the "union" in the clue meant "wedding" and that the answer might be RING, which would be … bad. Since, ya know, a RING isn't actually required. I was ready to get all self-righteous and fire off a snippy email to Rich, but then I decided to just chill and it turned out my first instinct was wrong anyway. Funny how often that happens.
  • 23A: Aid for making columns (TABS). Yes, yes, yes, Thank You! TABS are what you should use to make columns. TABS! Not spaces! If you use spaces your columns won't line up properly. And if they're not going to Line Up Properly then why the hell bother having columns? (Maybe you can tell I'm something of a word processing snob.)
  • 26A: Flu treatment, at times (INHALER). Huh. I've only heard of INHALERs used for asthma, not for the flu. But hey, if it works, I'm all for it.
  • 34A: Three-time Grammy Award winner for comedy (CHRIS ROCK). I can't believe I was able to find this clip. I thought for sure I'd have to send SethG out for it. (And no worries, it's clean.)
  • 37A: "Same here" ("ME TOO"). Tried DITTO first.
  • 44A: Michigan city where the first Domino's Pizza opened (YPSILANTI). Well, it's got that going for it.
  • 57A: Holly portrayer (BUSEY). Did Natalie Wood play Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"? Nope, that was Audrey Hepburn. Well, that wouldn't have helped me anyway since this clue is referring to Buddy Holly. I once saw a really funny tweet from Gary Busey, but just now when I went back to find it, it turns out it's not really Gary Busey, it's just a fake Gary Busey. Damn.
  • 1D/7D: Something read during a lecture? (RIOT ACT). That's all kindsa awesome.
  • 9D: Lecture reaction, perhaps (ENNUI). Again! I'm getting really bored with ENNUI showing up in the puzzle every day! (See what I did there?) Also Casey KASEM (36D: 1985 National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee). Was he just in yesterday's puzzle? Or is that some other puzzle I'm thinking of? Well, it was recently anyway.
  • 29D: "That's news to me!" ("I HAD NO IDEA!"). With some of the crosses in place, I first tried "I DIDN'T KNOW." I like the real answer better.
  • 51D: Silvery food fish (SMELT). Wait, does "food fish" mean it's fish that people eat or that it's fish you use to, I don't know, feed animals or something? I'm confused. In any case, SMELT doesn't sound like something a human should eat. But maybe it's not something humans eat, so it's all good.
  • 64D: "Lookin' Out My Back Door" band, briefly (CCR). Yessiree.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 48A: First name in architecture (EERO).
  • 61A: Court edge (AD IN).
  • 2D: First name in humor (ERMA).
  • 11D: Turkish bigwig (AGA).
  • 40D: Former Maltese currency (LIRA).
  • 60D: River of Flanders (YSER).
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Everything Else 1A: Vacation destination (RESORT AREA); 11A: Invoice nos. (AMTS.); 16A: Sikh leader (GURU); 17A: Almighty (OMNIPOTENT); 18A: Rush order (ASAP); 19A: Café container (TASSE); 28A: Sample, in a way (SIP); 31A: Flights (LAMS); 38A: 69-Across source (RAIN); 39A: Popular toast (SKOAL); 41A: Morning or evening, e.g. (NOUN); 42A: Let in (ADMIT); 46A: One- to ten-yr. investments (T-NOTES); 49A: Org. that included the Benelux countries (EEC); 50A: Waist management items (CORSETS); 52A: Big mouths (MAWS); 54A: Covered up (HID); 55A: 19-Across prefix (DEMI-); 63A: Special treatments (RED CARPETS); 66A: Sport (WEAR); 68A: Singing syllables (LA LA); 69A: Urban runoff cause (STORM WATER); 3D: Some are deadly (SINS); 4D: Lyric poet (ODIST); 5D: Nullifies (REPEALS); 6D: General on a menu (TSO); 8D: Marsh stalk (REED); 10D: Be present (ATTEND); 12D: It helps maintain posture (MUSCLE TONE); 13D: Silk Road component (TRADE ROUTE); 14D: Like some fast planes (SUPERSONIC); 21D: Bedroom accessory (SHAM); 24D: They need tending (BARS); 25D: Like some 24-Down (SMOKY); 27D: Play area (ARENA); 30D: Existing at the beginning (PRIMORDIAL); 32D: Reach (SCOPE); 35D: FDR, HST, etc. (INITS.); 43D: Miffed, with "off" (TEED); 45D: Uncultivated (LOWBROW); 47D: Roughly 35-cubic-foot measures (STERES); 53D: Old Toyota (SUPRA); 56D: Logical beginning? (IDEO-); 58D: Pants part (SEAT); 59D: Usher ending, once (-ETTE); 60D: River of Flanders (YSER); 62D: Gp. with many pieces (NRA); 65D: Bill source (ATM).

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