Senin, 16 Mei 2011

05.16 Mon

May 16, 2011
Jeff Chen

Theme: I'm not scared of you — First words of the theme answers make the phrase "all bark no bite."

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Dusk-to-dawn cramming session (ALL-NIGHTER).
  • 22A: Training neckwear for noisy dogs (BARK COLLARS).
  • 36A: "Definitely!" ("NO DOUBT!").
  • 46A: Suffer defeat (BITE THE DUST).
  • 55A: Toothless menace described by the starts of 16-, 22-, 36- and 46-Across (IDLE THREAT).
Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday. I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine started out pretty good, but then yesterday I broke both my phone and my garbage disposal (thankfully, not at the same time). I'm glad both of those things didn't happen on Friday, though, or I'd have to become superstitious and that seems like it would just take up too much time.

Nice, smooth puzzle today. Very little crosswordese — which is always a nice surprise on a Monday — and some pretty sparkly long entries including:
  • 3D: Archie's pet insult for Edith (DINGBAT).
  • 10D: Great Plains burrower (PRAIRIE DOG).
  • 27D: Agricultural phenomenon sometimes linked to UFOs (CROP CIRCLE).
  • 40D: Vegas supervisor (PIT BOSS).
The theme isn't anything to write home about, but there's certainly nothing wrong with it either. I'm not familiar with BARK COLLARS, but I'm sure that's just because I'm not a dog person. And the other theme entries range from perfectly adequate to kinda cool, so all in all I'd say we're off to a good start this week.

  • 4A: Complete chaos (HAVOC). Are you supposed to wreak HAVOC or wreck HAVOC? Or maybe you're just supposed to chill out.
  • 14A: "Don't be ___!" (A HERO). Oh man, you guys are gonna hate me for this.

  • 32A: Quaking trees (ASPENS). Seems like there's always somebody confused by this clue/answer. Because of the way ASPEN trees' leaves shake in the breeze, they are sometimes referred to as "Quaking ASPENS."
  • 41A: The Trojans of the NCAA (USC). I very confidently entered MSU, thinking that Michigan State's mascot was a Trojan. Alas, they're the Spartans. Don't know what I was thinking.
  • 45A: Digit on a "Magic" ball (EIGHT). I don't get the quotation marks. I mean, it is magic, right?
  • 50A: "A Streetcar Named Desire" woman (STELLA). It's kind of sad that I can't see this reference without also thinking about Rocky. I'm sure Tennessee Williams would be thrilled.
  • 13D: Big D hoopster (MAV). The nickname of the city in the clue hints that the answer will also be a nickname.
  • 24D: Go on a bender (CAROUSE). With the CA in place, all I could think of was CAVORT, which really isn't the same thing at all now that I think about it.
  • 26D: Half of Mork's farewell (NANU). Oh good. Another Mork & Mindy reference.
  • 42D: Nonmetaphorical (LITERAL). Here's a fun blog that posts examples of people using the word "literally" incorrectly.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 61A: Summer quaffs (ADES).
  • 2D: Jazz great Fitzgerald (ELLA).
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Everything Else 1A: Self-indulgent place for breakfast (BED); 9A: Opinion column, briefly (OP-ED); 13A: Algeria neighbor (MALI); 15A: Herr's mate (FRAU); 18A: Top pick, slangily (FAVE); 19A: Bayer : Levitra :: Pfizer : __ (VIAGRA); 20A: Holy messenger (GABRIEL); 25A: Early Peruvian (INCAN); 28A: Bond creator Fleming (IAN); 29A: Bordeaux buddy (AMI); 30A: Sharp to the taste (TART); 31A: HST predecessor (FDR); 35A: __ Balls: Hostess snacks (SNO); 38A: John or Jane, anonymously (DOE); 39A: Materialistic thirtysomething (YUPPIE); 42A: Bank offer (LOAN); 43A: Like some rights and engrs. (CIV.); 44A: Opposite of NNW (SSE); 49A: Longtime "20/20" co-host Walters (BARBARA); 54A: With the bow, in music (ARCO); 58A: "Kiss my grits" TV diner (MEL'S); 59A: Mary Tyler __ (MOORE); 60A: Assistant (AIDE); 62A: Weapon for Zorro (SWORD); 63A: Place, as bricks (LAY); 1D: Vacation island south of Borneo (BALI); 4D: Comics Viking (HAGAR); 5D: Sound at a sauna (AHH); 6D: Doggie doc (VET); 7D: Crater Lake's locale (OREGON); 8D: Salmonesque color (CORAL); 9D: Turnpike exit (OFF-RAMP); 11D: Hangover locales? (EAVES); 12D: Hamilton vs. Burr, e.g. (DUEL); 17D: Shah's domain, once (IRAN); 21D: Turn way up, as radio volume (BLAST); 23D: Captain hanged for piracy in 1701 (KIDD); 25D: Teensy (ITSY); 31D: Antagonist (FOE); 32D: "Easy as" letters (ABC); 33D: Ark-itect? (NOAH); 34D: Shipped (SENT); 36D: Skin care giant (NIVEA); 37D: Like hand-me-downs (USED); 44D: It lengthens toward evening (SHADOW); 45D: O.T. book before Job (ESTH.); 46D: Revealed (BARED); 47D: Minimal haircuts (TRIMS); 48D: "¿Cómo está __?" (USTED); 49D: Crimson Tide, to fans (BAMA); 51D: "Star Wars" princess (LEIA); 52D: Lord's mate (LADY); 53D: Absorbed, as costs (ATE); 56D: Bath bathroom (LOO); 57D: Flub the shot, say (ERR).

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