Senin, 28 Februari 2011

02.28 Mon

February 28, 2011
Jeffrey Lease

Theme: Captain, My Captain — The first word of each theme answer is a well-known captain.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: *1968 sci-fi classic remade in 2001 (PLANET OF THE APES).
  • 23A: *Chili competitions (COOK-OFFS).
  • 50A: *Reason for rhinoplasty (HOOK NOSE).
  • 58A: *1980 Disney comedy about an all-night puzzle-solving race (MIDNIGHT MADNESS).
  • 38A: Rank that goes with the first parts of the answers to starred clues (CAPTAIN).
Welcome to today's edition of "Excellent Theme Idea With Iffy Execution." I have to say I don't understand how these theme answers made it past Quality Control. CAPTAIN PLANET? Who the heck is that? CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT isn't any better and, to add insult to injury, it's clued with a movie nobody's heard of. I realize sometimes a constructor gets stuck for theme answers (believe me, I know!) but just off the top of my head, both KANGAROO COURT and AMERICA ONLINE are 13 letters and reference Captains most people have heard of, which makes them perfectly acceptable (dare I say better?) entries for this theme. I'm sincerely baffled by the choices made in this puzzle.

There were, however, a couple entries in this grid that seemed particular colorful and made me smile:
  • 43A: Jump (on) suddenly (POUNCE).
  • 25D: Lacking strength (FEEBLE).
  • 27D: Bug-hitting-windshield sound (SPLAT).
  • 20A: Jewish (SEMITIC). When I hear the word SEMITIC, it's most often in the context of something that's "anti-SEMITIC" so even without the "anti" my instinctual response is to flinch.
  • 22A: Conference including Duke and UNC (ACC). The Blue Devils and the Tar Heels are part of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • 28A: Liver secretion (BILE). This is another one of those words that I'd rather not see in my puzzle. Hello? Breakfast test?
  • 47A: Band-Aid and Barbie, e.g.: Abbr. (TM'S). Band-Aid and Barbie are both trademarks.
  • 53A: Corn unit (EAR). I miss Iowa.
  • 54A: Inexpensive brand (CHEAPIE). Personally, I would say "CHEAPO." You?
  • 64A: Wrinkle remover (IRON). HAha! The visual I got here was an old woman taking an iron to her face. Yeah, okay, the old woman was me. It was still funny.
  • 34D: Occurrence (HAP). Not a fan of this entry. See also 56D: "This __ silly!" (IS SO).
  • 49D: Farm (GRANGE). Thank goodness we're going to end on a rockin' note.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 5A: Double reed instrument (OBOE).
  • 68A: School attended by many princes and prime ministers (ETON).
  • 8D: Tolkien's Treebeard, for one (ENT).
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Everything Else 1A: One with a degree (GRAD); 9A: Bit of campaign nastiness (SMEAR); 14A: Assistant (AIDE); 15A: Course of action (PLAN); 16A: Croatian-born physicist Nikola (TESLA); 21A: Rotten (BAD); 30A: "What's up, __?" (DOC); 31A: Clean the floor (SWEEP); 32A: Was victorious (WON); 33A: Dissertations (THESES); 36A: It can be airtight or waterproof (SEAL); 37A: Fishing pole (ROD); 40A: Support garment (BRA); 41A: Slightly (A BIT); 44A: Tennis call (LET); 45A: Keg party attire (TOGAS); 48A: Like much wine and cheese (AGED); 52A: Rover's warning (GRR); 63A: Overindulge, as kids (SPOIL); 65A: Fight for air (GASP); 66A: Wedding dresses (GOWNS); 67A: Fey of "30 Rock" (TINA); 1D: Spaces (GAPS); 2D: Annoy (RILE); 3D: TV Batman West (ADAM); 4D: "I did not!" is one (DENIAL); 5D: __ nerve (OPTIC); 6D: Voting group (BLOC); 7D: Palooka (OAF); 9D: Texas Roadhouse fare (STEAKS); 10D: Grassy fields (MEADOWS); 11D: Sixth sense, briefly (ESP); 12D: Pub pick (ALE); 13D: Dorm supervisors: Abbr. (RA'S); 18D: "And so on and so forth," for short (ETC. ETC.); 19D: "True Blood" airer (HBO); 23D: Party disguise (COSTUME); 24D: Indian and Arctic (OCEANS); 26D: Dreaded (FEARED); 28D: Owie (BOO-BOO); 29D: Spectrum color between blue and violet (INDIGO); 30D: Train stations (DEPOTS); 32D: Ire (WRATH); 35D: Start of a guard dog command (SIC); 39D: Approached (NEARED); 42D: Deceived (TAKEN IN); 46D: Slow mollusks (SNAILS); 51D: Nonprofit's URL ending (ORG); 52D: The Gold Coast, since 1957 (GHANA); 54D: "Let's roll!" ("C'MON!"); 55D: __ moss (PEAT); 57D: "Monday Night Football" channel (ESPN); 58D: Chinese food additive (MSG); 59D: Wall St. debut (IPO); 60D: Wall Street index, with "the" (DOW); 61D: Smack (HIT); 62D: Prefix with athlete (TRI-).

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