Selasa, 29 Maret 2011

03.29 Tue

March 29, 2011
Joon Pahk & Andrea Carla Michaels

Theme: Pack It In — The first word of each theme answer can be a type of "pack." And there are six of them! Get it? Six-pack!

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Completely dark (JET BLACK).
  • 21A: Getting-to-know-you party activity (ICE BREAKER).
  • 26A: Dirty fighting? (MUD WRESTLING).
  • 39A: Wearisome routine (RAT RACE).
  • 47A: "Wow, she's good-looking!" sounds (WOLF WHISTLES).
  • 58A: "Funny Girl" leading role (FANNY BRICE).
  • 66A: Some sculpted abs ... and what the starts of 17-, 21-, 26-, 39-, 47- and 58-Across are altogether? (SIX PACKS).
I had heard Joon and Andrea had a puzzle coming out and must admit my expectations were pretty high. Thank goodness they didn't disappoint! Seven theme answers. That's incredible! You'd think with that many theme answers they would have to resort to a funny-looking grid. Oh wait, it is a funny-looking grid. But that's okay. There's actually nothing wrong with a funny-looking grid. What you really hate to see is when high theme density necessitates crap fill. And while I can't say the grid is completely crap-free, it's pretty darn clean considering. In fact, the only entries that really jumped out at me as clunkers were RARES (29D: Filet mignon requests) and the Random Roman Numeral MCCC (6D: Cornerstone 1300). Other than that, I dare say Joon and Andrea were able to sneak in several entries that are a little on the hard side for a Tuesday, but because they have solid crosses I'm definitely not going to complain. All in all, a great Tuesday puzzle.

It's fun to solve a puzzle by someone you know and see their personality in it. These are the entries that screamed ANDREA at me:
  • 10D: Its anthem is "Hatikvah" (ISRAEL).
  • 24D: Music to a cat lover's ears (PURR).
  • 62D: Giovanni's good-bye (CIAO).
As for Joon, well, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that BLOOP (23A: Soft baseball hit) is all his.

  • 1A: Lea low (MOO). I got off to a horrible start right here at 1-Across where I plopped in BAA without even thinking. Oops!
  • 16A: Sci-fi author __ K. Le Guin (URSULA). Ya know how I've told you about how writing this blog sometimes throws me off onto tangents sometimes for hours? Usually it's YouTube that does it, but this time I went off on a search for a former college professor who got me interested in women's literature, including URUSLA K. Le Guin.
  • 33A: "Weeds" airer, in TV listings (SHO). Weren't we just talking about this show? It's awesome. And the woman who played the school guidance counselor in some of the earlier episodes is a friend of Andrea's. I can't remember her name and I can't find her on imbd. I want to say her name is Amy, but I'm having no luck confirming.
  • 45A: "Zounds!" ("EGAD!"). Does this make anyone else think of Scooby-Doo?
  • 65A: Orbital extreme (APOGEE). I came across this word last week reading about the whole Super Moon thing, which I don't really understand, but I think it's just because I didn't really focus while I was reading.
  • 2D: Nancy who's slated to replace Mary Hart on "Entertainment Tonight" (O'DELL). O'DELL said she is "honored to be the one to fill a TV legend's seat." I'm going to refrain from saying something mean here.
  • 11D: Wagnalls's partner (FUNK). I knew these two names went together, but I had to look them up just now to remember that Funk & Wagnalls is a publisher of reference books.
  • 13D: 1980-81 Iranian president Bani-__ (SADR). Um … what?
  • 41D: Berkeley school, familiarly (CAL). We often see references to college nicknames that are just so wrong. It's nice to see a good one today.
  • 50D: __ corpus (HABEAS). Had a little spelling issue here.
  • 55D: Bologna ball game (BOCCE). Raise your hand if you pictured lunchmeat being batted into the air.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 20A: It's not butter (OLEO).
  • 43A: Expressive rock genre (EMO).
  • 53A: Wrath, in a classic hymn (IRAE).
  • 69A: Depilatory brand (NAIR).
  • 73A: Tolkien tree creature (ENT).
  • 35D: Stone for many Libras (OPAL).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 4A: Rocket interceptors, briefly (ABM'S); 8A: Doesn't tip (STIFFS); 14A: DJ's array (CD'S); 15A: Atahualpa, notably (INCA); 19A: Took an intersecting road (TURNED); 25A: Facility (EASE); 36A: Latvian capital (RIGA); 37A: Eastern principle (TAO); 38A: Liven (up) (PEP); 44A: __ of Good Feelings (ERA); 46A: Old boys? (MEN); 54A: Fat cat (NABOB); 64A: Quayle's successor (GORE); 68A: Mother with a Nobel prize (TERESA); 70A: AFL partner (CIO); 71A: Turns over, as an engine (STARTS); 72A: Film pooch in a tornado (TOTO); 1D: Low-paying position (MCJOB); 3D: Bone: Pref. (OSTEO-); 4D: Have a bug (AIL); 5D: __ B'rith (B'NAI); 7D: Benefit (SAKE); 8D: Hindu aphorisms (SUTRAS); 9D: Most loyal (TRUEST); 12D: Make a run for it (FLEE); 18D: Bust's opposite (BOOM); 22D: Spelling contest (BEE); 27D: Day in Durango (DIA); 28D: Lb. or oz. (WGT.); 30D: Couple in People (ITEM); 31D: Tom, Dick or Harry (NAME); 32D: Continue (GO ON); 33D: Eject, as lava (SPEW); 34D: Medal recipient (HERO); 40D: Rep. with a cut (AGT.); 42D: First lady's home? (EDEN); 48D: Identify, as a perp (FINGER); 49D: Most ironic (WRYEST); 51D: Suffix with hotel (-IER); 52D: "Beowulf" or "Star Wars" (SAGA); 56D: Pest control name (ORKIN); 57D: Stupefy with drink (BESOT); 58D: Pool legend Minnesota __ (FATS); 59D: In __: peeved (A PET); 60D: Director Ephron (NORA); 61D: Fails to be (ISN'T); 63D: Stage direction (EXIT); 67D: Tour golfer (PRO).

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