Rabu, 11 Mei 2011

05.11 Wed

May 11, 2011
Mike Peluso

Theme: Parlez-vous français? — Theme answers end with French words for the colors of the French flag.

Theme answers:

  • 3D: Stuffed chicken dish (CORDON BLEU).
  • 5D: Loire Valley grape (CHENIN BLANC).
  • 25D: Paris nightspot (MOULIN ROUGE).
  • 31D: Its colors appear in proper sequence at the ends of 3-, 5- and 25-Down (FRENCH FLAG).
So here's what happened to me yesterday. It was a great day. The puzzle Doug and I constructed ran in the L.A. Times (see what I did there?) and from what I can tell was well received pretty much everywhere so I was on a puzzle high all day. When I got back to my computer after dinner I decided to update my spreadsheet (I keep track of what puzzles I've submitted, etc.) I realized that I have no puzzles out there in the pipeline right now. None. So I started working on puzzles and once I start working on puzzles it's basically over. Nothing else gets done and I don't go to bed until I can't hold my eyes open any more. I tell you all that to explain why it's now 7:05am and I haven't started the blog post. 22A: "Gadzooks!" ("YIKES!") We better get to it!

Theme answers are all downs today, which is unusual. Livin' on the edge! Also … French! The theme definitely helped me today. I'm not a wine-drinker so CHENIN BLANC was completely unknown to me. But once I had the BLEU and ROUGE in place, I was pretty sure I knew what was going on and could fill in the BLANC and get the rest through crosses. At that point, FRENCH FLAG plopped right down into the grid too and it didn't take long to finish the whole thing off.

  • 1A: Letters on some pre-1992 Olympic uniforms (CCCP). Back in the '80s I remember hearing that all Russian diplomat license plates started with FU. I don't know if that's true or not.
  • 34A: Stand waiter (CAB). Weird clue. I couldn't even figure out what the parts of speech were until I filled the answer in through crosses. I guess a CAB waits at the CAB stand, so it could be said to be a "stand waiter."
  • 50A: Empties upon arrival (UNPACKS). You will be happy to know that the PuzzleFamily is completely unpacked from our move only two weeks ago. Pretty impressive, right? Believe me, it's not because of anything I did. PuzzleHusband kicked butt.
  • 59A: Title of respect (HONORIFIC). This always seems like a made up word to me. Like how you would look at a big bowl of fruit and go, "That's fruit-tastic!" That's an extremely lame example, but I think you know what I'm talking about.
  • 63A: Coming or going word (ALOHA). Took the PuzzleKids to see "Soul Surfer" this past weekend. I recommend it.
  • 10D: Early Grand Canyon settlers (HOPI). I have a lithograph (serigraph? something like that) called "Hopi" by my favorite artist, Amado Peña. It's not actually up on a wall yet, but it will be soon!
  • 27D: One of eight, now (EARTH). Poor Pluto.
  • 28D: Merry (GAY). Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • 32D: Soviet moon program (LUNIK). No idea. Totally got this through crosses. The LUNIK program existed between 1959 and 1976, so I'm gonna guess that I'm just barely too young to have this one stored in my brain.
  • 51D: Italian cheese (ASIAGO). Mmm … cheese.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 38A: Woody's boy (ARLO).
  • 43A: Medit. spouter (MT. ETNA).
  • 47A: Never, to Heinrich (NIE).
  • 52A: Some VCRs (RCA'S).
  • 64A: Baseball family name (ALOU).
  • 71A: Ornate molding (OGEE).
  • 33D: __ Park, Colorado (ESTES).
  • 39D: Polo Grounds legend (OTT).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 5A: Suze Orman's network (CNBC); 9A: Bygone Mideast leaders (SHAHS); 14A: Landlocked Asian country (LAOS); 15A: Take on (HIRE); 16A: Best Supporting Actress before Paquin (TOMEI); 17A: Other, in Oaxaca (OTRA); 18A: Verve (ELAN); 19A: To the left, at sea (APORT); 20A: Divinity (GODLINESS); 23A: '70s-'90s Atlanta Hawks home (OMNI); 24A: __ day: Wednesday (HUMP); 26A: Intuiting (SENSING); 29A: Puffed-up fare (SOUFFLÉ); 35A: Obsolescent slope conveyance (T-BAR); 37A: Embryo's home (UTERUS); 40A: Germ-killing brand (LYSOL); 42A: Left (WENT); 45A: eBay caveat (AS IS); 48A: Convalescents, maybe (SHUT-INS); 54A: Like some orders (RUSH); 55A: Fox series with Alfred E. Neuman in the opening credits (MAD TV); 65A: Food for Fido (ALPO); 66A: Sure to end badly (NO-WIN); 67A: Criminal group (RING); 68A: Astonished reaction (GASP); 69A: Medicinal plant (SENNA); 70A: Chick follower? (-ADEE); 1D: Stop up (CLOG); 2D: Opponent of Caesar (CATO); 4D: Longest Bible book (PSALMS); 6D: River through Sudan (NILE); 7D: Foolhardy (BRASH); 8D: Population profile (CENSUS); 9D: Remain in place (STAY PUT); 11D: Out of control (AMOK); 12D: The Beatles' "__, There and Everywhere" (HERE); 13D: Is in session (SITS); 21D: Not out of contention (IN IT); 26D: Puts one over on (SCAMS); 30D: Not a whole lot (FEW); 36D: Pretoria's land: Abbr. (RSA); 41D: Corvallis sch. (OSU); 44D: Kurt Cobain's group (NIRVANA); 46D: Boot attachment (SPUR); 49D: Much of Libya (SAHARA); 53D: Well-built (SOLID); 55D: Provides with personnel (MANS); 56D: Burn balm (ALOE); 57D: Consume (DOWN); 58D: Slender (THIN); 60D: Zero (NONE); 61D: __ dixit: assertion without proof (IPSE); 62D: Manage (COPE).

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