Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

03.30 Wed

March 30, 2011
James Sajdak

Theme: L.A. Law — Theme answers are familiar two-word phrases where each word begins with the letters LA.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Whip-cracking cowboy of old films (LASH LARUE).
  • 21A: Ethel, to Lucy (LAND LADY).
  • 35A: Sky blue (LAPIS LAZULI).
  • 51A: Wax-filled illumination (LAVA LAMP).
  • 56A: Victor's chuckle (LAST LAUGH).
  • 29D: '80s-'90s legal drama, and this puzzle's title (L.A. LAW).
Seems like we're off to a good start this week. Today we have another well-executed cute theme that's pretty much exactly the difficulty level it needs to be for the day. I noticed quite a bit of crosswordese in the grid, so let's get that out of the way first. If you click on a link in this list, you'll be transported back in time to the first time we covered that particular crosswordese word. You might find some good information there, so check it out if you're interested.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 20A: Venetian arch shape (OGEE).
  • 64A: Prince Valiant's son (ARN).
  • 13D: DDE predecessor (HST).
  • 33D: To be, to Brutus (ESSE).
  • 37D: Pitts of "The Gale Storm Show" (ZASU).
  • 52D: Banned orchard spray (ALAR).
My sparkly answers of the day include:
  • 23A: Canyon-crossing transport (TRAMWAY).
  • 28A: Hong Kong harbor craft (SAMPAN).
  • 11D: Persian Gulf emirate (ABU DHABI).
That last one is pretty fun to say. Just say it out loud a couple times. See?

I had one of those days yesterday where it just felt like I was treading water all day and today is looking like it might be a long one too, so let's jump straight to bullets.

  • 14A: Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect (LIN). Can't say enough about this awesome memorial. If you're ever in the DC area, it's definitely worth a look. I actually went downtown yesterday to see the cherry blossoms. Here's a picture of the Jefferson Memorial.
  • 16A: Local cinemas, colloquially (NABES). I remember this word creating quite a stir over at Rex's place quite a while back. I guess it's a common term for people whose jobs entail film distribution and it might have been more widely used back in the day. Me? I learned it from a crossword puzzle.
  • 29A: Field for the fold (LEA). Where, as you know, the animals might say either BAA or MOO.
  • 34A: Sign before Scorpio (LIBRA). I think one of my kids might be a LIBRA. No wait, that's October, isn't it? I used to know all that zodiac mumbo-jumbo, but I sure don't any more. Plus I heard they changed it all recently so, honestly, who can keep up? (Not really sure who "they" are, but that's what I heard.)
  • 43A: Titan is its largest moon (SATURN). I actually remembered this from all the times TITAN has been in the grid clued as Saturn's largest moon.
  • 55A: Artist's topper (BERET).
  • 24D: Mud nest builders (WASPS). With the W in place, I first tried WRENS which is … pretty dumb.
  • 27D: It surrounds Lesotho: Abbr. (RSA.). Ooh, ouch. We've found our clunker of the day.
  • 55D: Setting for many a joke (BAR). Love this. I have a hard time remembering jokes well enough to actually tell them, but even the phrase "So a guy walks into a bar…" makes me giggle.
  • 58D: Majors in acting (LEE). PuzzleSon was sitting here a minute ago and asked me what this clue/answer pair meant. I explained it to him and thought this might be my chance to get him hooked on crosswords, but when I offered to teach him more crossword solving tricks he just groaned. Sigh.
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 1A: Beginning for the birds? (AVI-); 4A: Shaq on the court (O'NEAL); 9A: Beat __ to one's door (A PATH); 15A: Ramadi resident (IRAQI); 19A: Weight room sound (GRUNT); 26A: Fridge raider (NOSHER); 31A: Remote power sources? (AAA'S); 32A: Thing to blow off (STEAM); 38A: Postgrad hurdle (ORALS); 40A: "Cosmos" host (SAGAN); 41A: Lotto relative (KENO); 42A: Assure, with "up" (SEW); 48A: Most foxy (SLYEST); 50A: Landmass encompassing the Urals (EURASIA); 54A: Bombast (RANT); 59A: Conductor Previn (ANDRE); 60A: Came up (AROSE); 61A: Sargasso or Coral (SEA); 62A: Parks and others (ROSAS); 63A: Zellweger of "Chicago" (RENEE); 1D: Doles out (ALLOTS); 2D: Cialis competitor (VIAGRA); 3D: Tailor's measure (INSEAM); 4D: Van Gogh work (OIL); 5D: Gun lobby org. (NRA); 6D: Ahead of time (EARLY); 7D: Shade in the Caribbean (AQUA); 8D: Bank holding (LIEN); 9D: Saxon start (ANGLO); 10D: Chute above the beach (PARASAIL); 12D: Like some mortgages (TEN-YEAR); 18D: Rope fiber (HEMP); 22D: Paternity proof, briefly (DNA); 25D: Naysayer (ANTI); 30D: The Daily Beast, e.g. (E-MAG); 34D: Like the Islamic calendar (LUNAR); 35D: Refs' whistle holders (LANYARDS); 36D: Natural burn balm (ALOE VERA); 38D: Signs off on (OK'S); 39D: Chile __: stuffed Mexican dish (RELLENO); 42D: N.L. team managed by Tony La Russa since 1996 (STL); 44D: Scarlett's home (TARA); 45D: World Cup chant (USA USA); 46D: Horseshoes feat (RINGER); 47D: Revolutionary Hale (NATHAN); 49D: Fully fills (SATES); 50D: Hewlett-Packard rival (EPSON); 53D: Full-grown filly (MARE); 57D: Taoist Lao-__ (TSE).

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