Selasa, 31 Mei 2011

05.31 Tue

May 31, 2011
Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Every Tom, Dick, and Harry (except without Dick and Harry) — Theme answers are each a familiar phrase, the first word of which is the last name of a well-known person named Tom.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Port of call (CRUISE STOP).
  • 24A: Readily interchangeable, fashionwise (MIX AND MATCH).
  • 35A: Office fund for minor expenses (PETTY CASH).
  • 49A: Head locks (HANKS OF HAIR).
  • 58A: Horseplay, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 24-, 35- and 49-Across (TOMFOOLERY).
Cute idea for a theme. Not crazy about the theme answers chosen though. PETTY CASH is awesome and MIX AND MATCH is good, but the other two? CRUISE CONTROL would have been a better choice (believe me, I know sometimes you have to settle because you can't find a matching entry, so maybe it wasn't possible, but I'm just sayin'). And HANKS OF HAIR is downright ugly. Do you guys remember that puzzle Doug and I made with the clues "good place for a run" and "bad place for a run"? Doug suggested PAIR OF PANTYHOSE for one of the theme answers. I vetoed that one right off the bat. HANKS OF HAIR reminds me of that. Only worse. And there are other Toms that might have worked better than Hanks: Tom Waits, Tom DeLay, Tom Brady.

Lots of people in the grid today. I actually like seeing people in my grid, but I'm sure some will complaing about it. Here's who showed up today:
  • 1A: McCartney bandmate (STARR). Weren't we just talking about him?
  • 16A: Armstrong on the moon (NEIL). We had a Realtor in Iowa whose last name was Armstrong and my kids thought it was hilarious to ask her if NEIL was her husband.
  • 29A: "Rabbit, Run" author (UPDIKE). Can't say I've read the Rabbit books, but I might get to them some day.
  • 48A: Ochoa of the LPGA (LORENA).
  • 62A: "Fame" singer David, 1975 (BOWIE).
  • 2D: "Separate Tables" dramatist Rattigan (TERENCE). Can't say I've ever even heard of this guy. Sadly, TERENCE Trent D'Arby would have been a better clue for me.
  • 3D: Four-time Indy 500 winner (AL UNSER). Timely clue.
  • 4D: Senate majority leader Harry (REID).
  • 24D: Dada pioneer (MAX ERNST). Nice to see his whole name in the grid for a change.
  • 48D: Disney girl who adopted Stitch (LILO). Does she count as a person?
  • 52D: Actress Woodard (ALFRE).
  • 14A: Fax predecessor (TELEX). I'm just barely old enough to remember actually using one of these.
  • 27A: Bygone deliverer (ICEMAN). Definitely not old enough to remember having one of these though.
  • 54A: Bozo, in Bath (TWIT). Hmmm. I guess I've never really thought of TWIT as a British-ism. Is there a point where a word like that ceases to be "imported" and just becomes an American word?
  • 8D: Beatles concert reaction, often (SWOON). Another wink to us oldsters.
  • 25D: Russian assembly (DUMA). New to me.
  • 31D: R-V connectors (S-T-U). Ouch. I never really understand why you would choose to clue STU as a random letter string, when you could clue it as a person's name. Like STU Ungar, for example.
  • 32D: Lille lily (LYS). As in "fleur-de-lys," which I often confuse with "Für Elise." (I think I've posted these guys before, but maybe not this exactly video.)

  • 40D: Craft using the element Sn (TINWORK). Any time I see a "[whatever]WORK" word it reminds me of the time PuzzleHusband and I bought a John Deere lawn tractor when we lived in Iowa. The guy at the store asked us if we were going to do any "dirtwork" with it. We were all, "Well that would totally depend on what the heck 'dirtwork' is."
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 19A: Hindu royal (RAJA).
  • 22A: Inner Hebrides isle (IONA).
  • 34A: Original Dungeons & Dragons co. (TSR).
  • 64A: Terrier type (SKYE).
  • 7D: Insurance giant (AETNA).
  • 18D: Ireland, in poetry (ERIN).
  • 24D: Dada pioneer (MAX ERNST).
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Everything Else 6A: Minimal effort (EASE); 10A: "It seems to me," online (IMHO); 15A: Makes collars, say (SEWS); 20A: Rip to shreds (REND); 21A: City near Lake Tahoe (RENO); 23A: Switch settings (ONS); 30A: Office copy (XEROX); 31A: Aid for a ref's review (SLO-MO); 38A: Held a hearing, say (MET); 41A: Give a rude awakening to (ROUST); 42A: African capital contained in its country's name (TUNIS); 46A: Easily bent (PLIANT); 53A: Upsilon follower (PHI); 55A: Take it easy (LOLL); 56A: Place for a snow blower (SHED); 57A: Barrel of laughs (RIOT); 60A: Pacific island half? (BORA); 61A: Masterful server (ACER); 63A: Attends to, as a dry stamp pad (INKS); 65A: Jokes around (JESTS); 1D: Largest of the Virgin Islands (ST. CROIX); 5D: Prescriptions, for short (RX'S); 6D: County northeast of London (ESSEX); 9D: Uncanny gift, for short (ESP); 10D: Encroachment (INROAD); 11D: Wasn't kidding (MEANT IT); 12D: Takes by force (HIJACKS); 13D: Ending for pay (-OLA); 22D: Identity thief, e.g. (IMPOSTOR); 26D: "I've Grown Accustomed to __ Face" (HER); 28D: Swabbing tool (MOP); 33D: Mo. to see Dracula at your door? (OCT.); 36D: Pooch in Oz (TOTO); 37D: "Ben-__" (HUR); 38D: Dashboard abbr. (MPH); 39D: Walking-on-air feeling (ELATION); 43D: Reunion attendees (NEPHEWS); 44D: Come into some money, maybe (INHERIT); 45D: Answered affirmatively (SAID YES); 47D: Tough watchdogs (AKITAS); 50D: Shepherd's charge (FLOCK); 51D: Comfy-cozy (HOMEY); 56D: Plumlike fruit (SLOE); 57D: Baseball stat (RBI); 58D: Coll. helpers (TA'S); 59D: Word after a transitive vb. (OBJ.).

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