Senin, 21 Februari 2011


February 21, 2011
Angela Olson Halsted & Doug Peterson

Theme: Three Petes. (Not to be confused with "Three-peat", which is a term trademarked by Pat Riley). Each of the long answers starts with a word that is also the last name of someone named Pete. Speaking of which, this is Pete Mitchell guest-blogging for PuzzleGirl, as she didn't have the heart to dis her own puzzle. Well, okay, it's not that bad, but for the sake (Pete's sake?) of full disclosure, I don't really care much for Monday puzzles to begin with, so don't expect a rave. Also, I really, really, really dislike Pete Rose. He and Don King are the two vilest creatures in sports, in my opinion, and I have felt this way long before any gambling scandal came to light. So, please bear with me if I come across a little on the grumpy side.

Here, click on this. It'll be good background as you read the rest.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Legendary spring that creates spring chickens? (FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH). Pete Fountain is the world-reknowned jazz clarinet player that you're listening to right now if you clicked the above link.
  • 38A: Grammy revoked from Milli Vanilli (BEST NEW ARTIST). Pete Best is best known as the original pre-Ringo drummer for the Beatles. The friend that got kicked out of the band before they became the biggest thing since sliced bread. Would they have been as successful with Pete instead of Ringo? Here, judge for yourself. Milli Vanilli achieved infamy when it was discovered that the front-"men" weren't actually singing on the Grammy-winning songs; they had been lip-syncing the whole time.
  • 60A: Portland Trail Blazers' home (ROSE GARDEN ARENA). Pete Rose played baseball.
  • 71A: Name that can precede the first word of 17-, 38- or 60-Across (PETE).
So, my first gut reaction here was "Really, those are the best Petes you could come up with?" But when I started thinking about it, most famous Peters go by Peter, not Pete. My second thought was "Why two musicians and a baseball player?" Ideally, themes tie a little tighter than that. But while there are other famous Pete musicians (Townshend, Seeger, etc.), none of them lend easily to a theme phrase. So, we'll give a pass to the theme and look at the rest of the puzzle.

  • 30D: Girl group with the 1986 #1 hit "Venus" (BANANARAMA). Done originally, and more famously, by Shocking Blue, in 1970. But I love the band name and the 80's reference. Nice fill.
  • 15A: Old Geo model (PRIZM). Cool way to get a Z into the puzzle.
  • 42A: Polite "Ready to go?" ("SHALL WE?"). In-the-language phrases like this always punch things up more than straight dictionary answers. Same with 54D: "Obviously!" ("NO DUH!") and, to a lesser extent, 19D: ''I agree, however ...'' ("YES, BUT"). 21A: "I'll treat!" ("ON ME!") fell a little flat for me, as it feels like it's missing an "It's...". The only way I can make it work as written is as a continuation: "Let's go to dinner. On me."
  • 4D: Hawaiian who sang "Pearly Shells" (DON HO). Can you name another singing Hawaiian? Me neither.
  • 1D: DOJ division (ATF). It's now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but they still use the ATF acronym. DOJ is, of course, Department of Justice.
  • 11D: Justice replaced by Sotomayor (SOUTER). Souter is from New Hampshire, so I gotta give him props.
  • 27A: Mighty long time (EON). Occasionally spelled AEON, as well.
  • 28A: Stat for Mariano Rivera (ERA). Funny that these two show their heads side by side. Many times you'll have a vague clue like "Span of time" that's three-letters beginning with E, and you don't know whether it's EON or ERA. Here, we already have EON, so ERA was clued as Earned Run Average. Sometimes it's a detergent ("Tide rival"), which throws those 'Bama fans for a loop. Oh, and here's a bit of trivia for you: In 1972, the Dodgers retired Jackie Robinson's #42. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired it across all teams, the only number for which this has ever been done. There were a dozen players currently wearing the number, and they were grand-fathered. Today, there is only one active player left wearing the #42 — Mariano Rivera.
Not much else to talk about. This is one of the problems with Monday puzzles. 78 words, but 23 of them are 3-letters long and another 22 are 4-letters long, and one of the two longest non-theme answers is AM/FM STEREO (9D: Car sound system). This means a lot of boring fill for only three theme answers. The only way to make short words sparkle is with tougher clues, but you can't do that on Monday, so you're basically hosed.

Crosswordese 101: Even if you know nothing of foreign languages, you should learn how to count to at least three (preferably ten) in the major European languages, French (un, deux, trois), Spanish (uno, dos, tres), German (eine, zwei, drei), and Italian (uno, due, TRE [22A: Three, in Turin]). These show up a ton.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 10A: Employee protection org. (OSHA).
  • 50A: Paranormal showman Geller (URI).
  • 6D: Magnate Onassis (ARI).
  • 10D: El Dorado gold (ORO).
  • 61D: Heart test letters (EKG).
Well, that's it for me. I've probably overstayed my welcome as it is. Thanks, PuzzleGirl, for having me. It's been a while since I've done this kind of thing and I must say, I don't really miss it that much. :)

- Pete M.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else1A: Grew older (AGED); 5A: American __: Pacific territory (SAMOA); 14A: Chore list heading (TO DO); 16A: Carrot or turnip (ROOT); 20A: Garment border (HEM); 23A: College concentration (MAJOR); 26A: Pungent salad green (CRESS); 29A: CEO's degree (MBA); 31A: Ford classics (T-BIRDS); 33A: Carvey of "Wayne's World" (DANA); 35A: Karaoke singer, usually (AMATEUR); 43A: Linger in the tub (SOAK); 45A: Start to melt (SOFTEN); 48A: Bordeaux brush-off (NON); 51A: "Fresh Air" airer (NPR); 52A: Rear end (FANNY); 55A: Political aficionado's station (C-SPAN); 57A: Absorbed, as a cost (ATE); 58A: Circular cookie (OREO); 59A: Stable tidbit (OAT); 66A: Good fortune (LUCK); 67A: Cursor controller (MOUSE); 68A: Diabolical (EVIL); 69A: Fawn's father (STAG); 70A: Campfire remains (ASHES); 2D: Bit of baby babble (GOO); 3D: Academic URL ender (EDU); 5D: Inbox junk (SPAM); 7D: 23-Across opposite (MINOR); 8D: Atmospheric layer (OZONE); 9D: Car sound system (AM/FM STEREO); 12D: Souped-up ride (HOT ROD); 13D: Aegean capital (ATHENS); 18D: Time in office (TERM); 23D: __ school (MED); 24D: Part of U.A.E. (ARAB); 25D: Dick's storybook partner (JANE); 26D: Caravan creature (CAMEL); 32D: Spring blossom (IRIS); 34D: Admin. aide (ASST.); 36D: Pointy tool (AWL); 37D: Like a lion's coat (TAWNY); 39D: It "comes on little cat feet," in a Sandburg poem (THE FOG); 40D: Campbell's product (SOUP); 44D: Reunion group (KIN); 45D: Entangles (SNARLS); 46D: Decline to participate (OPT OUT); 47D: Grapefruit-flavored diet drink (FRESCA); 49D: Academic sports org. (NCAA); 53D: Detective Wolfe and an emperor (NEROS); 56D: Throat bacteria (STREP); 59D: Tip jar bills (ONES); 62D: Suffix with Canton (-ESE); 63D: Anticipatory time (EVE); 64D: Trivial point (NIT); 65D: Drink by a dartboard (ALE);

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