Rabu, 22 Juni 2011

06.22 Wed

June 22, 2011
Don Gagliardo & C. C. Burnikel

Theme: The Racer's Edge — Each theme answer is a familiar three-word phrase with the initials STP.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Makes an offer more desirable (SWEETENS THE POT).
  • 27A: Hopelessly ruined (SHOT TO PIECES).
  • 36A: Stock trader's goal (SHORT-TERM PROFIT).
  • 44A: "Satisfaction guaranteed" catchphrase (SURE TO PLEASE).
  • 58A: Editor's "Whoa!" (STOP THE PRESSES).
  • 58D: Auto additives co. that hints at this puzzle's theme (STP).
Wow. Don and CC have been busy! Here's another solid puzzle with a tried-and-true theme concept. Was I complaining about a financial theme answer being boring the other day? Because today SHORT-TERM PROFIT kinda just sits there. But SURE TO PLEASE and STOP THE PRESSES are both awesome, so all in all I'd give the theme answers a win.

The fill, as I said, is solid. The only real clunkers I found were EYERS and RE-EXPOSE (21A: Lookers / 37D: Uncover again) which, yes, are technically words but that doesn't mean I have to like them. STUPE (35A: Dumbbell) is a word I've seen in crosswords but I can't say I've ever actually heard anyone use that particular slur. Regional? Generational? Whatever. Oh, and AX JOB (51A: Editor's ruthless overhaul, informally) is unfamiliar to me. Is that the same thing as a HATCHET JOB? Cuz that's the way I've heard it.

Good stuff:
  • 14A: Used cars (RODE). I'm a fan of clues that make you think about a word as more than one part of speech. Here, you need to flip the switch in your brain from "adjective" to "verb." Love it.
  • 19A: Entertain at one's loft (HAVE UP). Okay, here's what I don't get. What exactly is a loft? When I lived in New York, I thought it was just a big garage-kinda apartment. But I always wondered if there was a part of the apartment that was actually The Loft. Like it was up higher than the rest of the place. It makes sense to me that a loft is, somehow, up. So this clues makes sense in that way. But I've always felt confused about the technical details.
  • 22A: Org. that provides handicaps (USGA). I tried LPGA here first.
  • 65A: Multicolored (PIED). This term is usually used to refer to horses, right? How exactly was the PIED Piper PIED? I've never thought of him as particularly colorful. I guess maybe it's just his clothes?
  • 2D: Network marketing giant (AMWAY). They still have AMWAY?
  • 7D: Paper back items? (ADS). Another good clue. ADS are items you might find in the back of a newspaper. Actually, you find them throughout the paper, but there are more of them in the back, don't you think?
  • 17D: Fanny (TUSH). Oh sure, why not?

  • 26D: Lukewarm (TEPID). TEPID is an awesome word. This is my standout entry of the day.
  • 52D: "Friday the 13th" villain (JASON). PuzzleSon has been bugging me about watching a bunch of horror movies lately. I think I'm going to turn that one over to PuzzleHusband. I used to love those movies back in high school but I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle them now.
  • 53D: Ferrell's partner in "SNL" Spartan Cheerleaders bits (OTERI). I know she's crosswordese, but I still like the look of her name in the grid.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Jacob's twin (ESAU).
  • 22D: __ Reader: eclectic bimonthly (UTNE).
  • 45D: Brewery oven (OAST).
  • 53D: Ferrell's partner in "SNL" Spartan Cheerleaders bits (OTERI).
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Everything Else 1A: Religious ritual (MASS); 5A: Bell sound (PEAL); 9A: Like freshly washed hair (DAMP); 13A: Skip (OMIT); 20A: Big rig (SEMI); 24A: They appear before U (R-S-T); 31A: Digital comm. method? (ASL); 34A: Santa __ winds (ANA); 41A: Former country on its own peninsula (KOREA); 42A: Little piggy, so to speak (TOE); 43A: Govt. Rx watchdog (FDA); 49A: Ranch handle (TEX); 50A: Votes of support (AYES); 55A: Blog comment (POST); 57A: Take to the air (AVIATE); 62A: Shock with a stun gun (TASE); 63A: Cookie since 1912 (OREO); 64A: Ripped (TORE); 66A: Geeky type (NERD); 67A: Foul mood (SNIT); 1D: Mideast statesman Dayan (MOSHE); 3D: Strainer (SIEVE); 4D: Takes the helm (STEERS); 5D: SAT practice (PREP); 6D: Long time, even in the singular (EON); 8D: "Time to leave" ("LET'S GO"); 9D: Regard (DEEM); 10D: Aim for (ASPIRE TO); 11D: Statesman on a 100-yuan note (MAO); 12D: Delay, with "off" (PUT); 18D: Clunker (HEAP); 23D: Surprise with a "Boo!" (STARTLE); 25D: Shoe mark (SCUFF); 28D: Brittle cake grain (OAT); 29D: 1-Down's land: Abbr. (ISR.); 30D: Words with date or record (SET A); 31D: Seeks, as permission (ASKS); 32D: Loud tone (SHOUT); 33D: Moto player (LORRE); 38D: What Tweety tawt he taw (TAT); 39D: "The Simpsons" bar (MOE'S); 40D: Green shade (PEA); 46D: Long boa (PYTHON); 47D: Keep for later (SAVE); 48D: Lives (EXISTS); 54D: Harass (BESET); 56D: Guest columnist's piece (OP-ED); 57D: 2007 signer of the richest contract in MLB history (A-ROD); 59D: Mai __ (TAI); 60D: Long beginning? (ERE); 61D: By authority of (PER).

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