Kamis, 24 Februari 2011

02.24 Thu

February 24, 2011
Harvey Estes

Theme: Goooooooooooooooole! Huh? — The first words of familiar phrases are misspelled using a rhyming word with the pattern *OLE. Then? It's all wackiness from there.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Money for the Warsaw government? (POLE TAXES).
  • 25A: Foot-tapping songs? (SOLE MUSIC).
  • 35A: Songwriting, to Porter? (COLE FIELD).
  • 49A: Actor's messages from an agent? (ROLE CALLS).
  • 58A: Grain for bagels? (HOLE WHEAT).
I really enjoyed this fun theme today. It was at the perfect difficulty level for me: not so hard that I couldn't figure out the trick and got frustrated, and not so easy that I could fill them all in without crosses. The six- and seven-letter downs in the corners range from acceptable (SELECT) to awesome (ONE-STOP). Even the three-letter words didn't bother me today. Sure there are a few stale three-letter entries (ET'S, -ENE, EEO), but those are countered with some Scrabbliness in REX, LOX, and OWL. An overall enjoyable solve today.

  • 9A: Gets ready (PREPS). I recall somebody complaining earlier this week about shortened answer words not being indicated by shortened clue words. Whoever that was doesn't like this one.
  • 15A: Role for Carrie (LEIA). Star Wars! Princess Leia was, of course, played by Carrie Fisher.
  • 19A: Letter alternative (LEGAL). If you're going to try to trick me, you're going to have to do it with something other than paper sizes. 'Cuz I know my paper sizes.
  • 27A: "1984" protagonist __ Smith (WINSTON). It's been so long since I've read this book that I didn't get this answer until WINST was already in place. And then I guessed the ON.
  • 31A: French mystic Simone (WEIL). No idea.
  • 38A: G-note (THOU). This is a money reference. One thousand dollars is sometimes referred to as a "G," sometimes as a "thou."
  • 56A: Rob of "90210" (ESTES). Any relation, Harvey??
  • 62A: Old Boston Bruin nickname (ESPO). Phil Esposito, a professional hockey player from 1963–81, played most of those years for the NHL's Boston Bruins.
  • 2D: Vacation for the vain? (EGO TRIP). Great clue.
  • 3D: Smoked deli meat (BOLOGNA). With the B in place, I tried BRISKET first. Is a brisket even smoked? I don't know.
  • 8D: Drawing support (EASEL). It took me a minute to shift from thinking of "drawing" as a verb to realizing it's a noun in this clue.
  • 12D: Rachmaninoff, e.g. (PIANIST). I suffered from over-thinking here. I know Rachmaninoff was Russian and composed during the Romantic period, but I thought the fact that he was a PIANIST was too simple to be the right answer. Sigh.
  • 25D: Look from Snidely Whiplash (SNEER). If you can't appreciate the name "Snidely Whiplash," then there's something wrong with you.
  • 32D: "__ picture paints ...": song lyric (IF A). I was going to post a video here, but ya know what? I'm going to have enough trouble getting this song out of my head.
  • 36D: Shunned ones (OUTCASTS). Maybe this will help.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 53A: TV's Alf and others (ET'S).
  • 63A: Newbies (TYROS).
  • 57D: Fair-hiring abbr. (EEO).
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Everything Else 1A: Lee followers (REBS); 5A: Works in the Uffizi Gallery (ARTE); 14A: "__ Rhythm" (I GOT); 16A: Singer Gorme (EYDIE); 20A: They may be precious (STONES); 21A: Divulge (TELL); 23A: Hydrocarbon suffix (-ENE); 24A: Fluorescent bulb filler (ARGON); 29A: Cut it out (DESIST); 30A: Place to be pampered (SPA); 34A: Maundy Thursday period (LENT); 40A: Increase in intensity, with "up" (RAMP); 41A: Previously (AGO); 44A: Weather map features (FRONTS); 46A: Ardor (PASSION); 52A: __ asada (Mexican meat dish) (CARNE); 54A: Skin-soothing stuff (ALOE); 55A: Bouquets (POSIES); 60A: Sport with clay pigeons (SKEET); 61A: Auth. of many quotes? (ANON); 64A: Following (NEXT); 65A: Remarriage prefix (STEP-); 1D: With-the-grain cutters (RIPSAWS); 4D: Dictators' aides (STENOS); 5D: Wistful word (ALAS); 6D: "Wonder Dog" of comics (REX); 7D: Relate with (TIE TO); 9D: Willy-nilly (PELL-MELL); 10D: 3-Down might be on it (RYE); 11D: Enters carefully (EDGES IN); 13D: Prime (SELECT); 18D: Certain caterpillar's creation (TENT); 22D: Was in front (LED); 26D: Broken in (USED); 28D: Rice University mascot (OWL); 33D: Walks with a cane, perhaps (LIMPS); 35D: Road marker (CONE); 37D: Clean air org. (EPA); 38D: October Revolution leader (TROTSKY); 39D: It can facilitate drawing (HOLSTER); 41D: With the most open windows (AIRIEST); 42D: Flipped (GONE APE); 43D: Convenient, shoppingwise (ONE-STOP); 44D: Least constrained (FREEST); 45D: Erie Canal mule (SAL); 47D: Flat-bottomed boat (SCOW); 48D: Ornamental bands (SASHES); 50D: Lindsay of "Labor Pains" (LOHAN); 51D: Sierra __ (LEONE); 55D: Cooped (up) (PENT); 59D: Bagel topping (LOX).

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