Kamis, 02 Juni 2011

06.02 Thu

June 2, 2011
Ed Sessa

Theme: Oh yeah? Let's see you do that with New Hampshire! — The first several letters of each theme answer is an anagram of a U.S. state.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Words of regret (HAD I ONLY KNOWN). [IDAHO]
  • 32A: Samaritan's assurance (I MEAN NO HARM). [MAINE]
  • 43A: Classic kids' wagons (RADIO FLYERS). [FLORIDA]
  • 58A: Paddy Chayefsky novel, and literally, what the beginnings of 20-, 32-, and 43-Across all are (ALTERED STATES).
Good morning, everyone, and happy Thursday. I don't know what it's like where you live, but it's hot here. Like in the 90s hot and way more humidity than you really want to be having when the temperature is in the 90s. Ran into a friend last night who said, "It's supposed to be really nice tomorrow. Only 86." Whatevs. Did I mention that the air conditioning is out in my mini-van? Argh! With any luck, I'll get it fixed next week. Meanwhile I'm a little whiny. (PuzzleHusband: "A little?")

This puzzle was a good distraction for me today though. Lots of good stuff. The theme didn't help me at all during the solve, but I enjoyed figuring it out once I was done. I'm really terrible at anagrams so it didn't come easy, but I did eventually put it all together.

COOL CAT and CHALLAH were my favorite entries today (42D: Hipster / 7D: Traditional Jewish bread). But I don't love RESINY (67A: Like pine pitch). And even though I got it right way, I'm not crazy about the plural PASTAS (1A: Elbows and bow ties) — isn't the plural of PASTA … PASTA?

Stuff that gave me trouble includes:
  • 7A: Floppy-eared "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" demon (CLEM). Can't say that I could name any character on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" besides Buffy herself.
  • 11A: RMN's first veep (S.T.A.). Ooh, ouch. Spiro T. Agnew. Not a politician typically referred to by initials, but okay.
  • 16A: Gist (NUB). I pretty much needed every cross for this one. I get it now, but it wasn't coming to me At All at the time.
  • 36A: Freq. performer at Tanglewood (B.S.O.). That would be the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Perfectly legit. The fact that I had to look it up afterwards says more about me than it does about the puzzle.
But you know what? All of those three-letter entries that gave me trouble allowed the side-by-side entries SNOW JOB and TURN-ONS (11D: Flattering trickery / 12D: Excitement generators). And that's just funny, I don't care who ya are. So all is forgiven.

  • 24A: Martial arts schools (DOJOS). Love this word. I want to take a martial arts class so I can talk about my DOJO MOJO.
  • 52A: Responded to a bailiff's request (STOOD). Tricky! The bailiff says "All rise," right? (Well, that's what he says on TV anyway.) So ROSE might have been the first thing that came to your mind.
  • 62A: Piker's nickname (EL CHEAPO). Apparently, I have no idea what a "piker" is.
  • 5D: Wiesbaden wheels (AUDIS). Hmmm, AUDIS in the puzzle again. Do you think it's a sign?
  • 30D: Plum's title, briefly (PROF.). Clue!
  • 44D: Cook's announcement (IT'S DONE). Oh this one was such a disappointment to me. I so so so wanted the answer to be IT'S SOUP. But, unfortunately ….

Crosswordese 101: Ya know, we haven't had a real CW101 lesson for a while now. That's mostly because when I look over the grid, all I usually see is entries that we've already covered. Every once in a while, I'm surprised though. Like today I'm surprised to see we haven't covered SESE yet (69A: Africa's Mobutu __ Seko). This entry is only clued one way. Oh sure, sometimes you'll be informed that he was a president/dictator/autocrat/leader/ruler and sometimes (like today) he'll be generically African, while others you'll learn he was specifically from Zaire. But you'll always get his first and last name, with a blank right there in the middle. So hang onto this one, kids. You will definitely need it again.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 9D: The Phantom of the Opera (ERIK).
  • 55D: Arcade games leader (ATARI).
  • 62D: Summer in the cité (ÉTÉ).
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Everything Else 14A: Pre-deal demand (ANTE UP); 15A: Roll call response (HERE); 17A: City on the Rio Grande (LAREDO); 18A: Plane folks? (AVIATORS); 22A: Lair (DEN); 23A: Vodka brand that sounds like a toast (SKOL); 26A: TV's Mrs. Peel (RIGG); 28A: Oil holder, perhaps (LAMP); 31A: Hawaiian coffee region (KONA); 37A: Lauderdale neighbor (BOCA); 38A: Bleachers sound (ROAR); 40A: Non-Rx (OTC); 48A: Good time (BOOM); 50A: Memo starter (AS TO); 51A: Physical, e.g. (EXAM); 54A: Brittle cookie (SNAP); 57A: Actress Zadora (PIA); 63A: Nailed the test (ACED IT); 65A: Earl or Lady Grey (TEA); 66A: Rodent control brand (D-CON); 68A: N.C. summer hrs. (EDT); 70A: Things on strings (I.D. TAGS); 1D: Sidekick (PAL); 2D: Angels' home (ANAHEIM); 3D: Off-the-wall (STRANGE); 4D: Fit to be tied, with "off" (TEED); 6D: Scare (SPOOK); 8D: Assess (LEVY); 10D: "__ My Shadow": 1927 song (ME AND); 13D: Six-pack __ (ABS); 19D: Had the desired effect (TOOK); 21D: Some mutual funds (NO-LOADS); 22D: Soft & __: deodorant (DRI); 25D: __ Paulo (SÃO); 27D: Jabber (GAB); 29D: Abandons at sea (MAROONS); 33D: Postal motto word (NOR); 34D: Sweet Sixteen gp. (NCAA); 35D: __ de mer (MAL); 39D: Catcher's place? (RYE); 40D: Dictionary cousin of arch. (OBS.); 41D: Unsalvageable after an accident (TOTALED); 45D: "Where you book matters" online service (EXPEDIA); 46D: Barn ritual (RAISING); 47D: "He'll hae misfortunes great an' __": Burns (SMA); 49D: Adult silkworm (MOTH); 53D: Some sealed documents (DEEDS); 56D: Took measured strides (PACED); 59D: America's Cup competition, say (RACE); 60D: Poetic saga (EPOS); 61D: Drill (TEST); 64D: TV host Pennington et al. (TYS).

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