June 18, 2011
Peter A. Collins
Another tough puzzle. I might just get used to this! This one actually felt like a real Saturday to me. I scanned through the across clues and it didn't look like I was going to get anything. But I entered a few short answers here and there — some more tentatively than others — and it all came together in the end.
This puzzle has some fantastic long entries. My favorites are NUMBERS GUY, CHEAP SEATS and, of course, BLACK MAGIC WOMAN (5A: Bean counter / 29A: They're not near the action / 17A: Top 10 single on the 1970 album "Abraxas").
NUMBERS GUY especially made me laugh because PuzzleSon was just explaining to me tonight that he's a "Donut Guy." Apparently, that means he's not interested in pie. Whatever.
Missteps for me today included:
- 20A: Tub contents (BATH). I tried OLEO.
- 21A: Depend (REST). RELY seems like a reasonable guess.
- 27A: Wane (SAG). Wanted EBB here.
- 12D: Letter on a dreidel (GIMEL). Tried the only Hebrew letter I know: ALEPH.
- 48D: John Denver album with an eagle's silhouette on the cover (AERIE). I included this entry in today's Crosswordese 101 list, but the clue on this one is pure evil. Even knowing AERIE as crosswordese didn't help me today. Please tell me I'm not the only one who tried ANNIE first.
- 50D: Cashier's counter bowlful (MINTS). My first thought was CENTS.
- 28A: 1992 gold medal-winning Dream Team coach Chuck (DALY). This one was so frustrating for me. I could picture the guy. He's actually, like, my least favorite basketball coach of all time, so I knew immediately who he was, I just couldn't come up with his name. Oh, and I was guessing that SOLAR HALO (2D: Phenomenon caused by ice crystals between the Earth and sun) was [something]-HOLE, so that O wasn't helping me out at all.
- 36A: Six-pack alternative? (BEER GUT). That's pretty cute. The six-pack in this clue refers to six-pack abs.
- 44A: Takes it slow (LOLLS). Remember how I was looking for this word yesterday?
- 5D: Camus, for one (NOM). French!
- 7D: Kid-lit Judy Moody series author McDonald (MEGAN). Pretty sure there's a Judy Moody movie in my future.
- 41A: Picker-upper's concern: Abbr. (ETA).
- 14D: "Fiddler on the Roof" matchmaker (YENTE).
- 45D: Hops driers (OASTS).
- 48D: John Denver album with an eagle's silhouette on the cover (AERIE).
Everything Else — 1A: Old Eurasian letters (USSR); 15A: Home of H. Rousseau's "The Sleeping Gypsy" (MOMA); 16A: How travelers' bags are screened (ONE AT A TIME).