April 9, 2011
Barry C. Silk
Theme: None — It's Saturday, remember?
Well, this puzzle was sure a nice way to wrap up the week. A little on the easy side for a Saturday, but lots of sparkle and, for the most part, a smooth solve. I'm not entirely convinced this is really a Barry Silk puzzle though. Sure, there's the 15A: 1962 Brenda Lee hit (ALL ALONE AM I), which you would expect. And there are a couple of baseball players in the grid, like 24A: 2003 Cy Young Award-winning reliever Eric (GAGNE) and 2D: 1953 A.L. MVP (AL ROSEN). But, you see, the baseball answers were actually the tip-off. Yes, you expect baseball in a Silk puzzle but … they're not Phillies. HA! You've been unmasked! Who are you and what have you done with Barry Silk?!
Entries worth highlighting include:
- 1A: Site of many a wet bar (BACHELOR PAD).
- 29A: There are 300 feet between them (END ZONES).
- 1D: It's under Wayne Manor (BATCAVE).
As usual for a late-week puzzle, there were a few things that I just flat-out didn't know:
- 16A: __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone (LIA).
- 49A: Hindu "Destroyer" (SIVA).
- 30D: Customizable online avatar (ZWINKY).
- 51D: Den __, Nederland (HAAG).
- 18A: Pres. Obama received an honorary one from Notre Dame (LLD). Some type of law degree.
- 25A: Flight formation (VEE). Please tell me I'm not the only one who misread the clue as "flight INformation."
- 47A: Riskily off base (AWOL). And here's where you end up feeling like a real sucker when you finally get the answer. It's a Barry Silk puzzle. You've already seen a few baseball clues so you reasonably assume this clue is about baseball too. And then BAM! Something completely different.
- 54A: Washington attraction (NATIONAL ZOO). Been there a couple times. It's, well … it's a zoo. I don't love zoos. Except the monkeys. I could watch the monkeys all day.
- 8D: Give another memory jog to (RECUE). I think this is the only thing in the grid that I really didn't like. Maybe it's legit, but it sure doesn't sound like something I would ever say.
- 10D: Double agent Aldrich (AMES). Thank you for not using that other clue for this answer.
- 13D: Chalk feature? (SILENT L). "You cannot trick me with these types of clues any longer! I am much too savvy!" (That's what I hope your reaction was to this one.)
- 14D: Gloom (SADNESS). First I had BAD NEWS, then when I figured out the W had to be an S I tried BADNESS which would be a terrible entry. Thank goodness it wasn't right.
Everything Else — 12A: Long-eared critter (ASS); 17A: Protected company asset (TRADE SECRET); 19A: Sine's reciprocal, in trig (COSEC); 20A: Petitions (SUES); 21A: Observed (SEEN); 22A: Egyptian hazards (ASPS); 23A: Look (MIEN); 26A: It holds the line (ROD); 27A: Vacation souvenirs (T-SHIRTS); 32A: Bike power sources (PEDALS); 33A: Novelist, e.g. (WORDSMITH); 35A: Nunavut native, formerly (ESKIMO); 38A: Spanish for "little cake" (TORTILLA); 42A: Cockapoo pop, perhaps (SPANIEL); 44A: Asian "path" (TAO); 45A: 39-Down article (EIN); 46A: Early transport (TRIKE); 50A: Like some breezes (EASY); 51A: Frost (HOAR); 52A: Wide zoot suit feature (LAPEL); 53A: View (EYE); 56A: Côte d'Azur view (MER); 58A: Old leftist gp. revived in 2006 (SDS); 59A: Very long time (AGES AND AGES); 3D: Held tight (CLASPED); 4D: It's guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus (HADES); 5D: Util. bill item (ELEC.); 6D: California's __ Gatos (LOS); 7D: Biased (ONE-SIDED); 9D: Rear (PARENT); 11D: Code sound (DIT); 12D: Hay fever treatment brand (ALLEGRA); 21D: Greeted, with "to" (SAID HI); 23D: Last president to wear a powdered wig (MONROE); 24D: Renewal target (GHETTO); 26D: College cohort (ROOMIE); 28D: Nice pass (SPIRAL); 31D: Bygone flier (SST); 34D: Droid maker (MOTOROLA); 35D: Treasures (ESTEEMS); 36D: Dealt with bugs, in a way (SPRAYED); 37D: German leaders (KAISERS); 39D: Home of the Bach-Archiv (LEIPZIG); 40D: Con man's dream (LIVE ONE); 41D: Parallels (ANALOGS); 43D: Philosopher associated with 44-Across (LAO-TSE); 48D: Serves, with "on" (WAITS); 49D: Lively Cuban dance (SALSA); 52D: Touch down (LAND); 54D: PBS supporter (NEA); 55D: Asian flatbread (NAN).