Selasa, 05 April 2011

04.05 Tue

April 5, 2011
Donna S. Levin

Theme: Surf's Up! — Theme answers are phrases that end with a word that can describe moving water.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Chocolate-ribboned ice cream flavor (FUDGE RIPPLE).
  • 27A: One setting a new high (RECORD BREAKER).
  • 49A: Salon treatment (PERMANENT WAVE).
  • 56A: "Nifty, huh?" ("ISN'T IT SWELL?").
I have a few thoughts I could share about this theme and the crosswordese and other general stuff, but I'm honestly too busy laughing at this clue/answer pair:
  • 23A: Two-outs-in-a-single-AB stats (DP'S).
Let me explain why this is hilarious. I met Donna Levin at the ACPT last month. I didn't get to talk to her much, but we spent part of our time together participating in a conversation about sports references in crossword puzzles. Here's the thing. Puzzle editors are all men, and it's not uncommon for women to find many sports references obscure. Women constructors also find on occasion that editors question (or reject) entries that are perfectly reasonable but fall outside of what would typically be considered men's knowledge base. Yes, I know these are wild generalizations. There are women right here on this blog that I would consider baseball experts (hi, Hazel!) and my girlfriend who writes for Yahoo Sports can definitely hold her own in football and absolutely knows more than you about MMA, I don't care who you are. But that was the gist of the conversation. One thing I didn't go into much, though, was that sports clues/answers don't usually bother me. I'm a casual sports fan and feel like I know quite a bit about, for example, professional basketball and tennis in the 1980s. So when those clues come up it makes me feel really smart. The other thing I've been thinking about since that conversation with Donna is that the sports world has really opened up for women in the last 40 years or so (thank you, Title IX). It's been a slow process, but it's still creeping along. I won't be a bit surprised over the next few decades to see (a) women becoming more comfortable with sports references and (b) sports references encompassing more women in sports.

Anyway! I say all that to say that seeing DP'S in a Donna Levin puzzle really cracked me up. I couldn't even make sense of the clue while I was solving! And I like baseball! As it turns out, DP means Double Play and AB means At Bat, which now makes total sense to me but I've gotta believe that clue is not Donna's. LOL!

  • 14A: Kareem's alma mater, briefly (UCLA). More sports!
  • 17A: Custardy Spanish dessert (FLAN). Mmmm, flan.
  • 34A: "All By __": Celine Dion hit (MYSELF). I can only hear Paul McCartney singing "All By Myself." Is Celine's hit a remake? I'm not interested enough to actually go look it up.
  • 52A: Aptly named boss at the quarry where Fred Flintstone works (MR. SLATE). I've been catching up on some old puzzles and seems like I've seen a lot of MR. SLATE lately.
  • 66A: Capone henchman (NITTI). Not Walter Mitty. Totally different guy.
  • 68A: Sask. neighbor (N. DAK.). Shout-out to the Fargo girl!
  • 26D: Big butte (MESA). Excellent, excellent clue.
  • 29D: Tightwad (CHEAPSKATE). Isn't MR. SLATE something of a CHEAPSKATE?
  • 31D: Sometime ally of Godzilla (RODAN). I got this totally through crosses. No idea.
  • 43D: Dried Ocean Spray treat (CRAISIN). My favorite mistake I ever made in a puzzle was entering CRAISIN where CRAWDAD was supposed to go.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Airline with famously tight security (EL AL).
  • 37A: Spread in a dairy case (OLEO).
  • 41A: Inter or et follower (ALIA).
  • 67A: Vaulted cathedral part (APSE).
  • 70A: Inner Hebrides isle (SKYE).
  • 6D: Jai __ (ALAI).
  • 27D: P-like Greek letters (RHOS).
  • 28D: Perry's creator (ERLE).
  • 38D: Turow's Harvard-based story (ONE-L).
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Everything Else 1A: Shoppers' aids (BAGS); 5A: Chantilly product (LACE); 9A: Religious subgroups (SECTS); 16A: Hackneyed (TRITE); 18A: O'Hara homestead (TARA); 19A: Nattered away (RAN ON); 24A: Mai __ (TAI); 25A: Asian cat breed (SIAMESE); 32A: Windsor Castle initials (HRH); 33A: Fabled fiddler (NERO); 39A: Spots on a screen? (ADS); 42A: Setting where a medium isn't rare (SEANCE); 45A: Nepal's continent (ASIA); 48A: Pioneered (LED); 54A: Livy's "I love" (AMO); 55A: Mouse spotter's shriek (EEK); 62A: Stockpile (AMASS); 64A: __'acte (ENTR); 65A: Thought (IDEA); 69A: Isaac with a bow (STERN); 71A: "... the slithy toves / Did __ and gimble ...": "Jabberwocky" (GYRE); 1D: Fit and muscular (BUFF); 2D: Bill of Rights-defending org. (ACLU); 3D: Pleased (GLAD); 4D: Serenaded (SANG TO); 5D: Leave on the casino table (LET RIDE); 7D: Kvetch (CARP); 8D: Pass by (ELAPSE); 9D: Like poorly cleaned windows (STREAKY); 10D: Important time (ERA); 11D: Gal with a fairy godmother (CINDERELLA); 12D: Sporty car roofs (T-TOPS); 13D: Good judgment (SENSE); 21D: Merit (EARN); 22D: Jodie's co-star in "Nell" (LIAM); 30D: Bikini part (BRA); 35D: Actor Schreiber (LIEV); 36D: Tire near the finish (FADE); 40D: Atlanta-to-Miami dir. (SSE); 44D: CPR providers (EMT'S); 46D: Where Alice saw the Cheshire cat (IN A TREE); 47D: Bank foyer conveniences, for short (ATM'S); 50D: Virgil's epic hero (AENEAS); 51D: Knocking the socks off (WOWING); 52D: Ways partner (MEANS); 53D: Send payment (REMIT); 57D: Toll rd. (TNPK.); 58D: Part of a spout-climbing spider's description (ITSY); 59D: Whirlpool (EDDY); 60D: Father of Cordelia (LEAR); 61D: Dam site (LAKE); 63D: Orch. section (STR.).

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