Kamis, 17 Februari 2011

02.17 Thu

T H U R S D A Y February 17, 2011
Elizabeth A. Long

Theme: Making Ends Meet — In six places in the grid, the letter string END intersects with another letter string END.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Fancy greens dish (ENDIVE SALAD).
  • 1D: Supplementary items (ADDENDA).

  • 32A: #1 tennis player for much of the '80s (IVAN LENDL).
  • 26D: Binge (BENDER).
  • 38A: In reverse position (END FOR END).
  • 31D: Corrects, as text (EMENDS).
  • 50A: Feminist's concern (GENDER GAP).

  • 49D: Hanging (PENDENT).
  • 58A: Bit of modern folklore (URBAN LEGEND).

  • 71A/72A/73A: What this puzzle does literally at six different intersections (MAKES / ENDS / MEET).
Very ambitious theme today with slight points deducted because I've never heard the phrase "END FOR END." END TO END? Yes. END OVER END? Yes. END FOR END? Not so much. It sounds like it might be a regional thing like … well I can't think of an example now. I'll try to come up with one by the end of the write-up. (See what I did there?) Other than that, though, the theme answers are all interesting and the fill definitely shows some sparkle here and there. (Here = NINJA. There = VIXEN.) Even the crosswordese is more of the high-end variety. If that makes any sense. AGAVE and NACRE? Seems classier than ERN and ATRA somehow. Yes, I'm evaluating the classiness of crosswordese. Maybe I've been at this too long ….

  • 14A: Merrill in movies (DINA). So you heard I went to the John Mellencamp concert last night, right? Well let me tell you something. That audience was full of Old People. Then it occurred to me that I fit right in. Yikes! Luckily, today I did this puzzle and realized I've only just vaguely heard of DINA Merrill. Whew!
  • 16A: "__ Smith and Jones": 1970s TV Western (ALIAS). I'm not familiar with this particular show. Is ALIAS a person's first name here? Or are there two people and they go by the ALIASes "Smith" and "Jones"? Or is it just one person who uses both "Smith" and "Jones"? I don't know anything about this show except that it's very confusing.
  • 35A: "I can help" ("ASK ME"). I tried LET ME first, which seems more like something I would actually say in place of "I can help." I wasn't thinking about those ASK ME buttons that people wear. Now that I think about it, though, where have I seen those? Department stores?
  • 36A: 2012 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love __ (III). I've never understood why he's always listed as "Love III" on the leaderboard. I mean, unless his dad is playing too, I don't think we're going to get him confused with "Love II." But the point is, this is a great clue for an entry that we might otherwise think of as sub-par. (Thank you very much. I'll be here all week.)
  • 53A: __ myrtle: tree or shrub in the loosestrife family (CRAPE). With the CR in place, the word finally came to me but it was spelled wrong. CREPE =/= CRAPE apparently.
  • 2D: He plays Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter films (FIENNES). Do Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson look alike at all? Because in my head they do.
  • 3D: Where the teacher might casually sit (ON A DESK). Random!
  • 10D: Clay, today (ALI). Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad ALI in 1964.
  • 27D: A quarter of cuatro (UNO). Spanish!
  • 33D: Instrument in Schubert's "Trout Quintet" (VIOLA). So yeah, about the Mellencamp concert. You know the violin plays a prominent part in his band, right? I guess he would probably call it a fiddle. Well PuzzleDaughter started playing violin this year but wants to quit because it causes her to miss art class every week and she loves art. I was thinking that I would let her quit because she's not really enjoying it and I don't feel like pushing her. But then at the concert last night the violin player was so awesome that I could barely keep my eyes off her and I thought "That could be PuzzleDaughter!" I mean, if you think about it, touring with John Mellencamp is a pretty good gig for a violin player. (P.S. Yes I know that the violin and the VIOLA are different instruments.)
  • 39D: Provocative sort (DARER). If you were looking for a clunker in this grid, you've found your winner. You thought it might be ON A DESK, didn't you? Maybe it's a tie.
  • 44D: "Jeopardy!" ques., really (ANS.). The puzzle community has been all abuzz this week about "Watson," the Jeopardy-playing computer. I, on the other hand, have forgotten to set my DVR and have completely missed it. So far. Things could change tonight. But don't count on it.
  • 62D: Bit of Lagasse lingo (BAM). I glanced at this clue the first time through, decided I had no idea what it meant, moved on, and then must have finished it up through crosses because it even took me a minute as I was preparing for this write-up to figure out what the heck it means. It's a reference to Emeril Lagasse, the TV chef.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 68A: Tequila plant (AGAVE).
  • 4D: Rajah's wife (RANI).
  • 41D: Mother-of-pearl (NACRE).
  • 63D: Turkish title (AGA).

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Everything Else 1A: __ effort (A FOR); 5A: Without restraint (AMOK); 9A: "__ luego" (HASTA); 15A: Microwave (NUKE); 17A: List maker (DEAN); 18A: Swank's "Amelia" co-star (GERE); 19A: Stealthy Easterner (NINJA); 23A: Storm hdg. (NNE); 24A: Out of sorts (ILL); 25A: Cloud in Orion (NEBULA); 30A: Spay or neuter (DESEX); 37A: News organ? (NOSE); 42A: Cross over (SPAN); 45A: Be less than healthy (AIL); 46A: Greek with lessons (AESOP); 54A: Skirmish (TUSSLE); 55A: Where Eth. is (AFR.); 57A: Chess pieces (MEN); 62A: Howled (BAYED); 66A: Upscale hotel chain (OMNI); 67A: Without thinking, with "by" (ROTE); 69A: It often involves steady losses (DIET); 70A: Privy to (IN ON); 5D: Guardian, maybe (ANGEL); 6D: Vegan's morning meal (MUESLI); 7D: Cajun staple (OKRA); 8D: Stabilizing part (KEEL); 9D: "Water Music" composer (HANDEL); 11D: Offense (SIN); 12D: Atlantic City casino, with "The" (TAJ); 13D: "__ matter of fact ..." (AS A); 21D: Sly female (VIXEN); 22D: Musical based on a comic strip (ANNIE); 28D: Mormons, initially (LDS); 29D: Bar option (ALE); 34D: __ conditioning (AIR); 40D: __ leaf (FIG); 42D: Certain NCO (SGT.); 43D: Little, in Lille (PEU); 47D: Identical item (SAME ONE); 48D: Summer shoe style (OPEN-TOE); 51D: Gets by (ELUDES); 52D: Gave one star, say (PANNED); 56D: Moves like a moth (FLITS); 59D: Portend (BODE); 60D: Exiled African tyrant (AMIN); 61D: Dreadful (GRIM); 64D: Asian ox (YAK); 65D: First lady? (EVE).

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