Jumat, 06 Mei 2011

05.06 Fri

May 6, 2011
Peter Koetters

Theme: ZZZZzzzzzz — The letter string DD is changed to ZZ in familiar phrases.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Moving like a dog in a narrow tube? (MUZZLING THROUGH).
  • 27A: Dud sparklers? (FIZZLE STICKS).
  • 41A: One solving several crosswords simultaneously? (PUZZLE JUMPER).
  • 50A: Brilliant bees? (BUZZING GENIUSES).
This theme didn't thrill me, but how can you not like a puzzle full of Zs? When I realized we were changing Ds to Zs, it literally put a smile on my face. The grid is good — not a lot of crosswordese and some cool entries like ADDIS ABABA, JUBILEE, and (thanks to the abundance of Zs) PIAZZA (14A: Capital at the foot of Mount Entoto / 44A: Anniversary gala / 41D: Italian square). It seemed like there were a lot of plurals in the grid (ACORNS, ROOKS, RIOTS, JOINTS, SORBETS — I don't count TEARS because TEARS are usually referred to in the plural). And, as I said, the theme? Changing DDs to ZZs. Why again? It definitely seems more like a Monday theme than a Friday theme (if we're going to have themes at all on Friday, which I wish we wouldn't and I'm sorry to bring that up again because I know I sound like a broken record).

  • 1A: Make sound (HEAL). Tricky clue. "Sound" in this case means healthy not, like, a noise.
  • 5A: Fictional elephant (BABAR). I seem to recall people were mentioning other fictional elephants here the other day, but this is always the first one I think of. Oh yeah, DUMBO is the another.
  • 19A: Spots on cartes (ILES). I first thought "cartes" was referring to menus, but then I remembered carte is the French word for map. (And ILE is the French word for island.) (French!)
  • 40A: Wonder Woman weapon (TIARA). See now that's a TIARA I can get behind.
  • 48A: Words after take or save (A SEAT). I am horrible — horrible! — at figuring out these kinds of clues.
  • 49A: Z-zebra link (AS IN). Hey look! The clues are getting into the Z-fest too!
  • 59A: __ breve (ALLA). If you were here yesterday, this shouldn't have been a problem.
  • 4D: Songwriter Phair (LIZ). I had this song going through my head all day yesterday.

  • 8D: NYC dance co. (ABT). American Ballet Theatre.
  • 18D: Rank and file movers (ROOKS). I didn't know until a couple years ago that "rank" and "file" are words that refer to the columns and rows on a chessboard, but there you go.
  • 44D: Sluglike alien strangled by Leia (JABBA). Lots of Star Wars this week.
  • 55D: Money VIPs (EDS.). This is a reference to Money magazine and its EDitorS.
Crosswordese 101: We've talked about UAE before, so today it's UAR's turn. As we learn from today's clue, 53D: Syr. seceded from it in 1961, leaving only Egypt, which continued to be known as the "United Arab Republic" until 1971. So today no UAR exists and that's what you need to remember because the clues for UAR will pretty much always use words like "old," "bygone," and "former." And that's how you know you need UAR and not UAE. But how do you remember that UAR is the bygone one and UAE is current? I always say in my head "UAR Not" (so it sounds like "U. A. Are Not"), which reminds me that it "are not" around any more. Hey, if you have a better idea, by all means share!

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered includes:
  • 34A: Razor brand (ATRA).
  • 49D: Bacteriologist's supply (AGAR).
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Everything Else 10A: Pine (ACHE); 16A: Gambler's marker (CHIT); 20A: Straight opening? (ORTHO-); 21A: Kennel worker (GROOMER); 25A: Greek sphinx, from the neck down (LIONESS); 29A: Good for growing, as soil (LOAMY); 30A: Traps (WEBS); 31A: Pick up (GET); 35A: Contempt (ODIUM); 37A: Stadium level (LOGE); 38A: Sigh relative (TSK); 39A: Othello, for one (MOOR); 47A: Häagen-Dazs array (SORBETS); 57A: Performer of many Dylan songs (BAEZ); 58A: San Diego Zoo attraction (GIANT PANDA); 60A: Folklore threats (OGRES); 61A: Not at all bleak (ROSY); 1D: It may be glazed (HAM); 2D: URL ending (EDU); 3D: Woodworking tool (ADZ); 5D: One holding property in trust (BAILEE); 6D: Li'l __: old-themed restaurant (ABNER'S); 7D: Traveling companions? (BAGS); 9D: Word of support (RAH); 10D: Cache crop? (ACORNS); 11D: Laundry conveyor (CHUTE); 12D: Good times (HIGHS); 13D: Group values (ETHOS); 15D: By a narrow margin (SLIMLY); 21D: Key of Schubert's Impromptu Op. 90, No. 3 (G-FLAT); 22D: Popular party people (RIOTS); 23D: Arkansas's ___ National Forest (OZARK); 24D: Baum princess (OZMA); 25D: Stead (LIEU); 26D: Warhead vehicle, briefly (ICBM); 28D: Pirouette (TWIRL); 31D: Blow one's top (GO APE); 32D: Coastal wader (EGRET); 33D: They may signify joy (TEARS); 35D: Exude (OOZE); 36D: Nap (DOZE); 37D: Branch (LIMB); 39D: Media lead-in (MULTI-); 40D: Source of some greens (TURNIP); 42D: Ascetic of yore (ESSENE); 43D: Articulations (JOINTS); 45D: Standard (USUAL); 46D: Chisel's edge (BEZEL); 51D: IHOP '__: takeout food program (N GO); 52D: Short job (GIG); 54D: __-cone (SNO); 56D: Mention (SAY).

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