June 11, 2011
Doug Peterson & Barry C. Silk
Theme: None — Saturdays are traditionally themeless.
This one fell together for me exactly the way I like it to on a Saturday. (Except I kinda wish it was a little harder. Sorry!) I started reading through the across clues and didn't seem to know anything, but I picked away at it here and there until it was all filled in. Surprisingly, my first break came with what I think has to be the worst clue in the whole puzzle — 26A: Non-coml. interruption (PSA). For some reason, I didn't just breeze right past it like I usually do when it doesn't come to me right away. Instead, I sat there for a few seconds trying to figure out what the heck "coml." could possibly mean. I was actually making words up in my head: "Non-comeril? Non-comestible? Non-comlition?" Oh, "non-commercial." Big ugh to that. But it did give me some traction in a tough puzzle, so I guess I can't be too hard on it.
I had the most trouble in the northeast corner. Had I only known that OPHELIA was the 16A: Daughter of Polonius, I'm sure it all would have fallen into place easily but … I didn't. I also tried GET BACK for BACK OFF (8A: "That's too close!") and AMT for APR (9D: Loan letters). Who knew KEVIN Bacon was from Philly? (Oh yeah, Barry Silk did. Duh.) I put him in, took him out, put him back in. I thought, "No it couldn't be KEVIN Bacon. There must be some Founding Father named Bacon that I'm just not remembering…." Once I got BACK OFF into place, I tried OWEN for OLEN (12D: Author Robert __ Butler), so yeah, it was just a big mess up there for quite a while.
There wasn't much that I just flat-out didn't know: Both TRU and SUE were mysteries to me (41A: "__ Calling": 2003-'05 supernatural drama / 42A: Will's "Glee" adversary), but everything else was gettable. Other missteps for me included PULLS ON for YANKS ON (61A: Jerks, as a bell rope) and … I think that was about it. Oh wait, I misspelled MAGUIRE (22D: 1996 Cruise title role) at first, giving me TCT where TAT was supposed to be (29A: Body image, briefly). Awesome clue, by the way, and I don't think people will try to argue that TAT refers to making lace in this instance, although you never really know.
- 1A: Chia Pet, perhaps (GAG GIFT). I don't think I've ever seen an actual Chia Pet in real life. I guess maybe that's not a bad thing.
- 21A: Handles abroad (NOMS). NOMS is French (French!) for "names." Speaking of French (French!), we don't only have Normal French (Normal French!) in today's puzzle, we also have Science French (Science French!): 6D: Tableau Périodique #26 (FER).
- 38A: "Right on!" ("NOW YOU'RE TALKING!"). I say this all the time. You: "We have time to take a nap before dinner." Me: "Now you're talking!" You: "Let add some more butter to that." Me: "Now you're talking!"
- 44A: Word in some school names (PREP). This answer reminded me to check on the fate of a kids' show I like: "Tower PREP." Turns out it's not coming back. Suck.
- 5D: Song sung by Pinocchio (I'VE GOT NO STRINGS). Fun, fresh entry.
- 8D: Dizzy music? (BOP). I knew this clue was referring to Dizzy Gillespie but it was hard for me to go from the general JAZZ to the specific BOP.
- 10D: Lab synthesis substance (CHEMICAL REAGENT). This could have been anything and I wouldn't have gotten it. Anything.
- 11D: Bacon from Philadelphia (KEVIN). He was on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" last weekend. Pretty funny. I met Paul Newman once. And he was in "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" with Kyra Sedgwick. And she's married to KEVIN Bacon. So there: three degrees.
- 25D: Decorator's suggestion (AREA RUG). This tripped me up a little bit. I had the second AR in place so I thought the answer was going to be something-AREA. Took me a minute to flip that back around.
- 53D: Netherworld flower (STYX). I am so embarrassed to admit this to you, but this clue totally tricked me. Argh! I've seen this so many times! Damn you Doug and Barry! (For the uninitiated, you have to pronounce "flower" as in "something that flows.")
Doug will be with you tomorrow. I'll see you back here Monday.
Everything Else — 15A: Stop flowing, in a way (ICE OVER); 17A: Drawing room? (GALLERY); 18A: Foil (PREVENT); 19A: Security item (I.D. TAG); 20A: Fancy wraps (MINKS); 24A: Key (MAIN); 30A: __ lamp (ARC); 31A: American leader? (ALL-); 34A: Copyright, e.g. (INTANGIBLE ASSET); 39A: It can help you carry a tune (TRANSISTOR RADIO); 40A: Anthem elision (O'ER); 43A: Bill holder: Abbr. (ENV.); 45A: Quaint interjection (EGAD); 47A: "Romeo Must Die" star (JET LI); 50A: Power systems (GRIDS); 54A: Shake up (UNHINGE); 57A: Curse (SWEAR AT); 62A: Wind in a combo (ALTO SAX); 1D: 1958 film with the song "The Parisians" (GIGI); 2D: Sch. (ACAD.); 3D: Yiddish dough (GELT); 4D: __ Heights: disputed Mideast territory (GOLAN); 7D: Effort (TRY); 13D: Rat (FINK); 14D: Nuts are rich in them (FATS); 23D: Provokes (STIRS UP); 24D: Brewery sugar (MALTOSE); 26D: Mottled horse (PINTO); 27D: "Boring" (SNORE); 28D: Not just squabbling (AT WAR); 31D: Out of the way (ASIDE); 32D: Red head (LENIN); 33D: Statehouse official: Abbr. (LT. GOV.); 35D: First name in objectivism (AYN); 36D: It's made by one who doesn't go out (BET); 37D: Jamaican genre (SKA); 44D: Xylophone sound (PLINK); 46D: Liquid lye brand (DRANO); 47D: Pioneer Day month, in Utah (JULY); 48D: "Watermark" musician (ENYA); 49D: Watery (THIN); 51D: Romance novelist Johansen (IRIS); 52D: Excel fodder (DATA); 55D: Song from the same era as "Little Deuce Coupe" (GTO); 56D: Quite a stretch (EON); 57D: Oldie syllable (SHA); 58D: Retail store opening? (WAL-).