Senin, 24 Januari 2011

01.24 Mon

January 24, 2011
John Lampkin

Theme: ROFLMAO — Okay, not really ROFLMAO. Just LOL. Theme answers are familiar three-word phrases with the initials L.O.L.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Comfortable situation to live in, with "the" (LAP OF LUXURY).
  • 56A: Low-paying but rewarding project (LABOR OF LOVE).
  • 11D: Minnesota-based dairy cooperative (LAND O' LAKES).
  • 29D: "Like that's going to work!" ("LOTS OF LUCK!").
  • 41A: Cyberchuckle, and a hint to this puzzle's four longest answers (LOL).
Good morning, everyone. Looks like we're starting out the week with a smooth solve from Mr. Lampkin. I usually expect something tricky from John, but today's puzzle is pretty straightforward. Well, it is Monday after all. Did you notice how many of the clues seemed to be "paired"? For example:
  • 44A: "Romeo and Juliet" city (VERONA).
  • 46A: Before, to Shakespeare (ERE).

  • 6D: Brand over spaghetti (RAGU).
  • 7D: Brand under the sink (AJAX).
I think of that type of cluing as Bob Klahn-esque, and it doesn't surprise me that we're seeing quite a bit of it from John.

As for the theme, it's a perfectly solid theme for Monday. Theme phrases are not particularly sparkly, but they don't just lie there either. The only nit I would pick is that three of the theme answers use OF as the O part of the phrase, while the fourth is the contraction O'. That didn't affect my solving experience, but it does detract somewhat from the theme's elegance. And I admit that's being awfully picky.

Grid entries that spice up this Monday fare include:
  • 14A: Ballerina's rail (BARRE).
  • 27A: A deuce used as an ace, say (WILD CARD).
  • 5D: Showing shame (RED-FACED).
  • 42D: Like a stroller at the shore, shoewise (BAREFOOT).
That last clue made me LOL. "Shoewise"? Had no idea what was going on there and only figured it out from crosses.

  • 39A: Went to the polls (VOTED). When PuzzleSon was just a toddler, we took him with us to vote one time. Our polling place was an elementary school in the neighborhood, and they used machines where you make your choices and then push a big green button clearly marked with the word VOTE. As we went through the process, I explained it to PuzzleSon, the way parents do with little kids (knowing that none of it probably made a bit of sense to him). After that, every time we'd drive by that school he would yell out "Push green button say boat!"
  • 66A: Nuts (LOCO). One of the few relatively tricky clues in the grid because the answer could have gone in a number of directions. Nuts like peanuts and walnuts? Nuts like a group of nutty people? Nope, it's not even a noun in this case. I had the same sort of hesitation with 13D: Relaxed (EASED). There, my first thought was to read the clue as a verb.
  • 8D: Spanish toast (SALUD). Add this to your list of toasts, which should include SKOAL from the other day.
  • 21D: Angle iron (L-BAR). Ane here, once again, ladies and gentlemen, a perfect example of how doing crossword puzzles regularly can help you become a better solver. I wouldn't have had the foggiest idea on this one if we hadn't just had L-BAR as a theme (and, if I recall correctly, the reveal answer was clued as "angle iron").
  • 28D: People magazine focus (IDOL). Have y'all been watching "American Idol" this season? I'm a big Aerosmith fan, so I was afraid seeing Steven Tyler on the panel would make me cringe like crazy. Now, I haven't watched a whole episode all the way through, but the bits and pieces I've seen of him have been palatable. I understand that he sometimes tends a little toward the pedophile end of the spectrum, and that doesn't sit well with me at all, but from what I've seen, he's pretty entertaining.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 17A: Twisty-horned antelope (ELAND).
  • 34A: Beethoven's Third (EROICA).
  • 43A: "Born Free" lioness (ELSA).
  • 46A: Before, to Shakespeare (ERE).
  • 47A: "Free Willy" critter (ORCA).
  • 59D: Chief Norse god (ODIN).
  • 61D: Gaelic language (ERSE).
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Everything Else 1A: Where many knots are tied (ALTAR); 6A: Tabula __: blank slate (RASA); 10A: Elmer's product (GLUE); 15A: In __: stuck (A JAM); 16A: Bear with too-hot porridge (PAPA); 18A: Powerful wind (GALE); 19A: Tiny army marchers (ANTS); 23A: Anonymous Jane (DOE); 24A: Research facility (LAB); 25A: Songwriter Neil (DIAMOND); 32A: Store, as a hose (COIL); 33A: "Much __ About Nothing" (ADO); 36A: Li'l Abner's creator Al (CAPP); 42A: Cake maker (BAKER); 49A: Turns on, as an engine (STARTS UP); 51A: What mirrors do (REFLECT); 54A: Golfer's support (TEE); 55A: Dot-com's address (URL); 62A: Very dry, as Champagne (BRUT); 64A: Musical quality (TONE); 65A: __ but wiser (OLDER); 67A: Ending for exist (-ENCE); 68A: Leaves out (OMITS); 69A: Actress Sommer (ELKE); 70A: Nut, e.g. (SEED); 71A: Past or present (TENSE); 1D: Adam's second son (ABEL); 2D: Refrain syllables (LA LA); 3D: Mouse catcher (TRAP); 4D: Golfer Palmer (ARNOLD); 9D: Part of USA (AMERICA); 10D: 4.0, for one: Abbr. (GPA); 12D: Pulitzer author Sinclair (UPTON); 22D: NBA's __ Ming (YAO); 26D: Glittery mineral (MICA); 27D: Breaker at the shore (WAVE); 30D: Romeo or Juliet, e.g. (ROLE); 31D: Christian's dresses? (DIORS); 35D: Coagulate, as blood (CLOT); 37D: Lima's country (PERU); 38D: Get ready, briefly (PREP); 40D: British peer (EARL); 44D: Moves out (VACATES); 45D: Peacekeeping gp. since 1949 (NATO); 48D: Animation collectible (CEL); 50D: "Out with it!" ("TELL ME!"); 51D: Moscow money (RUBLE); 52D: Filmdom's Flynn (ERROL); 53D: Steakhouse steak (T-BONE); 57D: Grimm beginning (ONCE); 58D: Oboe or bassoon (REED); 60D: Docs for doggies and dogies (VETS); 63D: Stubbed digit (TOE).

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