Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

01.27 Thu

January 27, 2011
Dan Naddor & Doug Peterson

Theme: Seething resentment! Four phrases end with nouns that double as verbs that partner with GRUDGE.

Theme answers:
  • 45d. A GRUDGE is a [Feeling of resentment associated with the last words of the starred answers]. Can you honestly say there is no one or nothing you hold a grudge against? Just a little bit?
  • 17a. The GRIZZLY BEAR is a [*Yellowstone Park beast]. In each of the theme phrases, the final word is a noun that doubles as a verb that is often paired with "grudge," as in "bear a grudge."
  • 28a. [*Fort McHenry defended it in 1814] clues BALTIMORE HARBOR. This is not the sort of trivia I have at my command, but I don't harbor a grudge against learning American history.
  • 43a. A REGISTERED NURSE is a [*Medical professional]. I would rather nurse a beer than a grudge, but I feel like an idiot when I nurse a Diet Coke. Why is that?
  • 55a. [*Feature of many customer service calls] is MUSIC ON HOLD. Phrase feels a little awkward to me. Wrestling fiend PuzzleGirl could tell us all the wrestling hold names that might've worked here, but I don't know any.
I bring tidings from PuzzleGirl, whose electricity went out Wednesday night. Doug co-constructed this puzzle and Seth is out sick, so she was forced to reach to the back of the bench and call me into the game. (Do the Chicago Bears have another backup quarterback after Caleb Hanie? That's my equivalent.) Forgive me for deviating from the usual format—I'm basically copying my Diary of a Crossword Fiend post as is. I could add photos and videos and whatnot but I am lazy. Sad but true.

  • 51a. [Seasonal pharmacy offering] is a FLU SHOT. I got a flu shot in September. I've had a cold since then, but nothing bad.
  • 3d. [Forensic test site] clues CRIME LAB, which I suspect is much more "in the language" than the DNA LAB that keeps popping up in crosswords.
  • 4d. I don't watch TMZ ON TV, but boy, what a fresh entry that is. It's a [Celebrity gossip show].
  • 37d. [Inexpensively] clues FOR A SONG. Isn't that a terrific entry? I like it.
  • 42d. [Sam Spade, e.g., slangily] is a GUMSHOE.
A few more clues:
  • 40a. [Curly smacker] is MOE of the Three Stooges. That Moe was so abusive. He really needed therapy.
  • 9d. HEALTH FOOD is clued as a [Nutritionist's recommendation]. Not necessarily. Depending on your medical status, you may be warned away from many of the healthiest (fine, fine, pedants: "most healthful") foods. True story!
  • 25d. ["We get letters" '50s-'60s TV singer/host] clues Perry COMO. I had no idea that phrase had a Perry Como connection.
  • 29d. [Group that goes through the motions?] is a MIME TROUPE. I've been leery of mimes ever since I saw The Aristocrats.

Note from Doug:

Benchwarmer? Hardly! Amy's the franchise.

When Rich offered me the chance to construct a puzzle using one of Dan's themes, I jumped at it. Then I got worried. What if it's a "seven-banger" (seven theme answers)? Fortunately, this was one I could handle. As most of you know, Dan loved to cram as many theme entries as possible into his grids. One of my favorite Naddor crosswords was a Sunday L.A. Times puzzle called "California Pros" that included 14 theme entries(!), one for each major sports team in California. Awesome.

I met Dan a couple of times, and of course, we talked puzzles. His face lit up when we started discussing themes. He seemed to have hundreds of themes, half-themes, and theme concepts buzzing around in head. And yes, I was a little jealous, because coming up with a theme is often the toughest part of the process for me. So I'm glad I got to dip into Dan's theme reservoir today. It's an honor to share a byline with him.

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