Selasa, 14 Juni 2011

06.14 Tue

June 14, 2011
Donna S. Levin

Theme: Boxes — Theme answers all have boxes.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: FedEx, for one (SHIPPING SERVICE).
  • 33A: What many a game of Battleship is played on (GRAPH PAPER).
  • 45A: Stamp seller (POST OFFICE).
  • 65A: Manhattan's Minskoff, e.g. (BROADWAY THEATER).
  • 71A: Spars in the ring, and features of the four longest puzzle answers (BOXES).
I'm not going to lie to you. It's very difficult for me to concentrate on this puzzle. Why? Because I'm in the New York Times today! Doug and I constructed a puzzle that Will Shortz accepted for publication almost a year ago (!!) and it's finally running today. It's very exciting. I'm getting lots of emails and Facebook messages and tweets from people and I'm checking out the comments on some of the blogs and, well, it's just kinda hard to concentrate right now. So let me just take a few deep breaths … center myself … and focus on this Tuesday gem. … Squeeeee!! Sorry about that. Let me try that again.

So okay, the theme. The theme is BOXES. You will find BOXES in every one of the theme answers and that's pretty much a perfect theme for a Tuesday. Nothing particularly flashy about any of the theme answers, and there's not a ton of sparkle to the fill either, but it's all super super solid. The only thing I think I really didn't like in the whole puzzle was URANO (42A: Planet after Saturno). But other than that we've got the Scrabbly SPRITZ and HOAX (9D: Cologne squirt / 61D: Fraud). 53D: "What's it TO YOU?" made me laugh. It seems like such a Merl Reagle clue to me, and the little colloquial partials he uses so often always make me laugh. They always sound kinda crotchety and I'm always amused by crotchety.

Oh, I wanted to say one other thing about the theme. Battleship on GRAPH PAPER? I've never heard of that, but it makes so much sense. Is that, like, how people used to play Battleship before the toy company figured out how to make money on it? Or did it just start as a way for Battleship addicts to play when no board was handy? I really want to know.

Look, I'm so so distracted right now. Donna, I'm sorry. I really like this puzzle but I Just Can't Concentrate. Here's a quick list of the entries that jumped out at me as fresh and/or entertaining.

  • 9A: Descendant (SCION). Is there a car called a SCION? It seems like a car name.
  • 16A: Fencer's deflection (PARRY).
  • 29A: 1983 Woody Allen title role (ZELIG).
  • 47A: Rainbow maker (PRISM). Maybe I'm just thinking of car names because I used to drive a Geo Prizm.
  • 64A: Resignee of 1974 (NIXON).
  • 1D: Fish in a roll, perhaps (SUSHI).
  • 4D: Accuse of misconduct (IMPEACH).
  • 7D: Mystery award (EDGAR).
  • 26D: Calligrapher's flourish (SERIF). I actually had a long conversation about fonts and serifs with some friends the other night over dinner. True story.
And with any luck I'll be back tomorrow with something interesting to say. In the meantime ... go do the New York Times puzzle!

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 41A: Chaplin's last wife (OONA).
  • 12D: Black-and-white sea giant (ORCA).
  • 28D: Tropical tuber (TARO).
  • 60D: Woody's son (ARLO).
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Everything Else 1A: Give in to gravity (SAG); 4A: Louvre Pyramid architect (I. M. PEI); 14A: "Born in the __" (USA); 15A: Cleaning crew (MAIDS); 20A: Skating great Sonja (HENIE); 21A: King Abdullah subject (SAUDI); 22A: Took a load off (SAT); 23A: Tailor's measurement (INSEAM); 25A: Pauses that refresh (RESTS); 27A: Simple bed (COT); 40A: Trevi Fountain city (ROME); 43A: Caspian Sea country (IRAN); 44A: Proverbial sinking ship deserters (RATS); 49A: Schuss, e.g. (SKI); 50A: "... your cake and __" (EAT IT); 54A: Fla. coastal city (ST. PETE); 59A: Response to a doctor (AAH); 62A: Prohibited acts (NO-NOS); 68A: Frighten (ALARM); 69A: Jazzy Armstrong (LOUIS); 70A: River, to Ricardo (RIO); 72A: Quick garage jobs (LUBES); 73A: Abby's twin (ANN); 2D: Wan (ASHEN); 3D: "Capital" profits (GAINS); 5D: __ tai (MAI); 6D: Frat jewelry items (PINS); 8D: Contentious subject (ISSUE); 10D: Cleveland cager, briefly (CAV); 11D: Bearded flower (IRIS); 13D: "My eye!" in Minsk (NYET); 18D: Lemon meringue, e.g. (PIE); 19D: Both Begleys (EDS); 24D: Attend to a spill (MOP UP); 30D: Actress Petty (LORI); 31D: Apple computer (IMAC); 32D: Biological inheritance (GENE); 33D: Trail grub (GORP); 34D: Emulate MGM's lion (ROAR); 35D: Against (ANTI); 36D: Out of date (PASSE); 37D: __ de deux (PAS); 38D: Drs. eliciting 59-Acrosses (ENT'S); 39D: Pieces that castle (ROOKS); 46D: Exercise program goal (FITNESS); 48D: "Melts in your mouth" candy (M AND M'S); 51D: Pull (TOW); 52D: Totally (IN ALL); 55D: Former NBC anchor Lindstrom (PIA); 56D: Spare (EXTRA); 57D: Front-end alignment (TOE IN); 58D: 2000s symbol of corporate financial misconduct (ENRON); 59D: Simple rhyme scheme (ABAB); 63D: Bang, as one's toe (STUB); 66D: Exist (ARE); 67D: Move it (HIE).

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