Selasa, 26 April 2011

04.26 Tue

April 26, 2011
Dave Sarpola

Theme: Pro & Con — Three two-word phrases. The first words start with PRO; the second words start with CON.

Theme Entries:
  • 17A: What an inflammatory statement is intended to do (PROVOKE CONFLICT).
  • 38A: What a restraining order is designed to do (PROHIBIT CONTACT).
  • 59A: What a band PR man is paid to do (PROMOTE CONCERTS).
  • 5D/61D: Both sides (and this puzzle's title) (PRO) and (CON).
Hey, puzzle fans. This is Doug again. PuzzleGirl will be back tomorrow, rain or shine. We (Seth, Sam, Neville, and I) love filling in for her, but we love reading her write-ups even more.

As far as I know, this is Mr. Sarpola's debut. Congratulations! I thought the theme was fresh. I can't recall seeing anything quite like this one before. Since the L.A. Times daily puzzles don't have titles, Mr. Sarpola had to fit PRO and CON into the grid somewhere to explain the theme. I like the way they're tucked into the corners. On the con side, PROVOKE CONFLICT & PROHIBIT CONTACT don't make me think happy thoughts. But we finish on a positive note with PROMOTE CONCERTS. Whaddya think? I'm running late, so let's get to the bullets.

  • 1A: Head covering (SCALP). This one grossed me out a little because I was thinking of answers like SCARF, BERET, DO-RAG, etc.
  • 16A: XIX x III (LVII). OK, I'm going to admit it. I don't mind a random Roman numeral from time to time. That said, I never do the Roman math problems. I let the crossing entries fill them in.
  • 36A: Lost film fish (NEMO). Cool. I've been waiting for NEMO to show up so I could post this video. (I'm sure PuzzleGirl is rolling her eyes right now.)

  • 46A: Meetings of lips (KISSES). That's an utterly unromantic clue for KISSES. I guess they don't want us getting too excited while solving a Tuesday puzzle.
  • 47A: Rodeo shouts (YEEHAWS). Love this entry.
  • 28D: __ Hopkins University (JOHNS). I can think of another way to clue JOHNS. (PuzzleGirl is rolling her eyes again.)
  • 8D: Ike's WWII command (E.T.O.). This is bit of familiar crosswordese that you can read about here: ETO. The initials stand for the European Theater of Operations in World War II. Its commander was General Dwight Eisenhower a.k.a. Ike a.k.a. DDE.
  • 9D: Author of muchas epístolas (SAN PABLO). Saint Paul, in español.
  • 39D: Bird that dines on stinging insects (BEE EATER). I hate bees, and I love bee eaters. Look at how cute that little guy is. That bumblebee is toast.
  • 58D: Personnel IDs (SSNS). I trust the readers of this blog, so I'm going to give you my Social Security Number: 078-05-1120. OK, it's not really mine. It used to belong to a lady named Hilda Schrader Whitcher. Back in the '30s, when Social Security cards were still a novelty, a New York wallet manufacturer decided to print up sample cards to insert in each of their wallets. Believe it or not, they used the actual card of one of the secretaries who worked there, Mrs. Whitcher. Thousands of people ended up adopting the number. By 1943, a reported 5,755 Americans were using Mrs. Whitcher's number as their own. For the whole story, check out

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