Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

02.25 Fri

February 25, 2011
Annemarie Brethauer

Theme: Add LA — The letters LA are added to familiar phrases, creating wacky new phrases.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Move from Crystal to Caesar's? (CHANGE OF PALACE).
  • 28A: Antelope of questionable virtue? (LOOSE ELAND).
  • 33A: "Another regulation, sorry to say"? ("ALAS, A RULE").
  • 43A: Greengrocer's grab bags? (SALAD SACKS).
  • 53A: 1997 Kevin Spacey film, and a hint to this puzzle's theme (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL).
I have very mixed feelings about this theme. As add-a-letter(s) puzzles go, the theme answers are funny and well clued (LOOSE ELAND made me LOL). Also, I'm not sure you noticed, but this blog's name is a play on the movie title "L.A. Confidential," so it's fun to see a theme based on that movie. Except … um, how exactly does the movie fit in again? We're adding the letters LA to familiar phrases (which, of course, creates wackiness). But but but … what does confidential have to do with anything? A better movie title for this theme would be something like "L.A. Is Everywhere" or "Forever L.A." or "Have You Seen L.A.?" Sure, those titles suck and the movies would probably be terrible, but you get my point. Also? Wait for it. … Too easy for a Friday.

Highlights for me today include:
  • 36A: Gait between walk and canter (AMBLE).
  • 52A: Repartee (BANTER).
  • 37D: Jackson dubbed "Queen of Gospel" (MAHALIA).

It seems like some of the clues were toughened up a little in an attempt to make this more Friday-ish. Like:
  • 5A: Curve of a cabriole leg (KNEE). I don't know what a "cabriole" is.
  • 7D: "The Silmarillion" being (ELF). I don't know what "The Silmarillion" is."
  • 25D: Jennifer Crusie's genre (ROMANCE). I don't know who Jennifer Crusie is.
See? A bunch of stuff I don't know. But the answers were easy enough to figure out through crosses.

  • 27A: Cliff, Carlos and Derrek of baseball (LEES). Phillies pitcher, Astros left-fielder, and Orioles first-baseman.
  • 30A: Mag wheels? (EDS.). This is one of those clues you've seen before if you do crosswords regularly, but if you're new to solving you have no idea what's going on. The clue is basically pointing you toward toward important people (i.e., "big wheels") at "magazines": EDitorS.
  • 49A: "Cheers" waitress (CARLA). Do you think the "Cheers" creators gave both the waitresses five-letter names just to confound future crossword puzzle solvers? Yeah, I do too.
  • 50A: Sixth rock from the sun: Abbr. (SAT.). Cute clue; terrible abbreviation.
  • 11D: French president Sarkozy (NICOLAS). His last name has never sounded particularly French to me.
  • 29D: 2004 Anne Hathaway title role (ELLA). I know the name of the movie is "Ella Enchanted," but in my head I was actually picturing the Amy Adams movie "Enchanted." I've not seen the former, but the latter is actually pretty interesting. For a princess movie.
  • 35D: Adds to (UPS). Like in the phrase "ups the ante" — something 19A: Danish poker star Gus HANSEN might do. Actually, no. The players don't determine the ante. But you'll forgive me for tying these two answers together. Because you're good like that.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 14A: Anago and unagi (EELS).
  • 58A: "Exodus" novelist (URIS).
  • 10D: Gardner of "Mayerling" (AVA).
  • 28D: Mauna __ (LOA).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 1A: Rigged support (MAST); 9A: Sheet of stamps (PANE); 13A: "So that's how it's going to be" ("I SEE"); 15A: An amulet may ward it off, purportedly (EVIL); 20A: Curling surface (ICE); 21A: Texter's "Heavens!" (OMG); 23A: Oscar night figure (EMCEE); 24A: Small, vocal bird (WREN); 26A: __ market (FLEA); 31A: Pound output (POEM); 32A: Has a powerful desire (for) (LUSTS); 39A: Wine Train valley (NAPA); 40A: MoveOn.org, e.g.: Abbr. (PAC); 46A: Hole maker (MOTH); 47A: Mongol sovereign (KHAN); 48A: Trap, in a way (TREE); 51A: Rye go-with (HAM); 57A: Lowdown (INFO); 59A: Compass __ (ROSE); 60A: Riding (ATOP); 61A: Took off (LEFT); 62A: Dot and Flik, in "A Bug's Life" (ANTS); 1D: "Glee" star Lea __ (MICHELE); 2D: Embarrassed (ASHAMED); 3D: Medium settings (SEANCES); 4D: Time indicators of a sort (TENSES); 5D: Gung-ho (KEEN); 6D: Rebirth prefix (NEO-); 8D: Uses binoculars, say (ESPIES); 9D: Athlete dubbed "O Rei do Futebol" (PELE); 12D: Gold or silver (ELEMENT); 17D: "Hmm ..." ("GEE …"); 18D: Embarrassing marks (ACNE); 22D: Roams (GADS); 24D: Troubles (WOES); 26D: Obstacle for Santa? (FLUE); 31D: Responded in court (PLED); 33D: King of comedy (ALAN); 34D: Shed tool (RAKE); 36D: Sets a price (ASKS); 38D: Sticking out (BLATANT); 40D: Helping (PORTION); 41D: In any case (AT LEAST); 42D: River to Boston Harbor (CHARLES); 44D: Seven-time N.L. batting champ Musial (STAN); 45D: Two or three bags of groceries, say (ARMFUL); 46D: Transforming syllable (MANTRA); 49D: Lockup (CAN); 51D: Stud alternative (HOOP); 52D: As good as it gets (BEST); 54D: Corp. exec (CFO); 55D: Fury (IRE); 56D: "What's the __?" (DIF).

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