Jumat, 18 Februari 2011

02.18 Fri

F R I D A Y February 18, 2011
Dan Naddor

Theme: Happy President's Day! I got you some puns! — Theme answers are puns on U.S. Presidents' names.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Presidential putdown? (GRANT SLAM). [grand slam]
  • 23A: Presidential advisers? (MADISON CABINET). [medicine cabinet]
  • 32A: Presidential ATM sign? (FORD DEPOSIT ONLY). [for deposit only]
  • 48A: Presidential university? (COOLIDGE CAMPUS). [college campus]
  • 53A: Presidential belt-tightening? (NIXON CUTS). [nicks and cuts]
I started this puzzle, as I'm wont to do, at 1 Across. I glanced at the clue (1A: Timeworn observation), thought to myself "ADAGE," checked 1 Down to see if it would work and … ugh. AGA. Remember how yesterday I said even the crosswordese seemed more on the high end of the scale? AGA is not on that particular end. I'm making a mental note right now for any puzzles I construct in the future: "Do not use tired old crosswordese at 1A or 1D." It really just turned me off immediately. But, ya know what? Sometimes I'll start off with a negative thought like "oh my God, this puzzle is going to be full of crosswordese" and then the puzzle redeems itself by proving me wrong. Not so in this case, unfortunately.

I guess the puns are okay if you like puns. The only one that really gave me a chuckle was COOLIDGE CAMPUS, but I'm not a big pun fan in general. The fill? Lots of abbreviations, suffixes, and other three-letter words. Nothing particularly sparkly except maybe GOOD DEEDS, BONIER, and I'M OKAY and the Sparkle-Meter isn't exactly jumping for joy with those. All in all a puzzle that's way too easy for a Friday with an okay theme that wasn't a complete waste of time to solve.

  • 6A: "Pronto!" (ASAP). Ran into a little trouble here because with ***EN in place, I tried yesterday's VIXEN for 7D: Femme fatale, but it needed to be SIREN. That V did not help at all. Obviously.
  • 20A: 1926 channel swimmer (EDERLE). When I first started solving puzzles compulsi– on a regular basis, Gertrude EDERLE showed up in the puzzle a lot. It's been a while though, so I needed some crosses today.
  • 30A: People person? (CELEB). The question mark gives you a hint something fishy is going on. In this case, the word "People" is a reference to the magazine. I caught onto the trick right away, but wanted the answer to be EDITOR. Which it wasn't.
  • 52A: Title subject of a G.B. Shaw play (ST. JOAN). I clicked on over to Wikipedia to find out the title of this play so I could share it with you and guess what. The title is "St. Joan." Huh.
  • 59A: Prefix with "Language" in a 1993 comedy best-seller (SEIN-).
  • 60A: Gaston's god (DIEU). The name used in the clue is French, which hints at the fact that the answer will also be French. French!
  • 63A: U. of Maryland athlete (TERP). Fear the Turtle! Maryland's mascot is the terrapin. The abbreviation "U." in the clue is a hint that the answer will also be a shortened form.
  • 10D: Mubarak of Egypt (HOSNI). Timely. I would have needed crosses for this one a month ago.
  • 19D: Typewriter feature (TAB SET).

  • 36D: Like some workers in an open shop (NON-UNION). Also timely, given the events in Wisconsin this week.
  • 49D: Interpol headquarters (LYONS). I did not know that.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 27A: Trains on supports (ELS).
  • 28A: "Discreet Music" composer (ENO).
  • 29A: Movie beekeeper (ULEE).
  • 62A: Scraps (ORTS).
  • 64A: Streisand title role (YENTL).
  • 1D: Turkish honorific (AGA).
  • 24D: Psychic couple? (CEES).
  • 50D: Glyceride, e.g. (ESTER).
I'll be back tomorrow, you'll see Doug on Sunday, and then on Monday we've got a guest blogger lined up for the holiday. Hope you'll all come on back and see what he has to say.[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 10A: Party person (HOST); 14A: Paganini's birthplace (GENOA); 15A: One of an historic seagoing trio (NIÑA); 16A: Not deceived by (ONTO); 17A: Los __: city near San Jose (ALTOS); 22A: Bernardo's girl in "West Side Story" (ANITA); 26A: Trademark cousins (PATENTS); 39A: "Contact" author (SAGAN); 40A: "Uh-uh" ("NOPE"); 41A: Ex-Saudi ruler __ Saud (IBN); 44A: Managed (RAN); 45A: Onetime California gubernatorial candidate Huffington (ARIANNA); 51A: Biblical words before and after "for" (AN EYE); 56A: Blitz attachment (-KRIEG); 61A: Perform penance (ATONE); 2D: Wilmington's st. (DEL.); 3D: Lover of armies? (ANTEATER); 4D: Acts of kindness (GOOD DEEDS); 5D: Enter cautiously (EASE IN); 6D: Americans in Paris, e.g. (ANGLOS); 8D: Book collector's suffix (-ANA); 9D: Put down in writing? (PAN); 11D: Surfing without a board, maybe (ONLINE); 12D: New York's __ Island (STATEN); 13D: T in a sandwich (TOMATO); 21D: Queue after Q (R-S-T); 23D: Opposite of bueno (MALO); 25D: "That's __ ask" (ALL I); 26D: Sta-__: fabric softener (PUF); 30D: Hoodwink (CON); 31D: Ruling family name in 19th-century Europe (BONAPARTE); 33D: Connecticut coastal town near Stamford (DARIEN); 34D: "Yikes!" ("EGAD!"); 35D: Qualm (PANG); 37D: HMO employees (LPN'S); 38D: Thumbs-up vote (YEA); 41D: Response to a doubting Thomas (I CAN SO); 42D: More scrawny (BONIER); 43D: Prohibitive door sign (NO EXIT); 45D: Misbehaves (ACTS UP); 46D: British rule in India (RAJ); 47D: Post-fall reassurance (I'M OKAY); 54D: Setting on the Mississippi: Abbr. (CDT); 55D: A lost driver may hang one, briefly (UIE); 57D: M.D.'s specialty (ENT); 58D: Styling stuff (GEL).

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