Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

06.23 Thu

June 23, 2011
Bill Thompson

Theme: "Don't worry dear, I'm sure it's just a big ape" — The letter string YETI is hidden in each theme answer.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: When to say night-night (BEDDY-BYE TIME).
  • 28A: Ohio Stadium purchase (BUCKEYE TICKETS).
  • 42A: Advance sale teaser line (NOT YET IN STORES).
  • 47A: Dubious Himalayan headlineóand phenomenon in 20-, 28- and 42-Across (YETI SIGHTING).
Good Thursday morning, everybody. Before we get started, I just want to put in another plug for Lollapuzzoola 4, which will take place in New York on Saturday, August 6. It's an annual tournament that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and is sillier and wackier than your typical crossword puzzle tournament (which, admittedly, doesn't take much). I've heard rumors that Rex Parker and Doug Peterson and even Andrea Carla Michaels (!) will be there. (Amy: Are you coming this year?) You should definitely pop right over to the registration page and sign yourself up. Now for the puzzle.

Looks like we're just barreling through this week with relatively uninspired theme concepts executed solidly. The ramp up of the degree of difficulty seems to be progressing smoothly as well. Today we're seeing less crosswordese (good) and some trickier cluing (also good). I have a feeling some people are not going to be particularly happy about BUCKEYE TICKETS as a theme answer. It's obviously not a common phrase, but it sure looks legit to me. They're pretty into football in Ohio, so I can imagine this phrase being used. My biggest beef with the phrase is that it starts with BUCK and not HAWK. But that U makes UPPITY possible, which is actually one of my favorite words in the grid, so maybe I'll get over it.

  • 1A: Improvise at the jazz club (VAMP). Read this clue and had to move right along. Wanted RIFF, which obviously wasn't going to work with the crosses, and couldn't get my brain to think of anything else.
  • 9A: Oncle's spouse (TANTE). French! (See also NEUF (64A: Pont __: Paris bridge)).
  • 14A: River to the Fulda (EDER). One of these days I swear to God I'm gonna learn my rivers.
  • 24A: Author of the Yiddish memoir "And the World Remained Silent" (WIESEL). We usually see his first name (ELIE) in the grid, which as I'm sure you know is pretty standard crosswordese.
  • 35A: Chinese tea (CHA). Huh? This is a new one on me.
  • 37A: Georgia of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (ENGEL). She played Ted Baxter's girlfriend, Georgette, who was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, to put it mildly.

  • 38A: "Cinque, dieci, venti, trenta" in "The Marriage of Figaro," e.g. (DUET). You are forgiven for plopping in ARIA without really thinking.
  • 54A: Peer in a box (JUROR). Anytime I see a "___ in a box" phrase, I can only think of Justin Timberlake on SNL. I would tell you why, but it would be totally inappropriate. You can Google it if your interested.
  • 33D: Magician's secret cohort (PLANT). This is the kind of late-week tricky cluing I was talking about. Think of all the various ways you can clue PLANT. This one is great.
  • 43D: He has a cello named Petunia (YO-YO MA). Awwww.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 23A: Former Mideast org. (UAR).
  • 58A: Golfer Aoki (ISAO).
  • 61A: Sommelier's prefix (OENO-).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 5A: Butt (in) (HORN); 15A: Its French name means "high wood" (OBOE); 16A: Sun Valley locale (IDAHO); 17A: Move, briefly (RELO); 18A: Monument Valley sight (MESA); 19A: Many a Justin Bieber fan (TWEEN); 33A: Swiss Guard charges (POPES); 34A: Quick (AGILE); 36A: Prunes (LOPS); 39A: Yellowfin tuna (AHI); 40A: Estate home (MANOR); 41A: Sounds content (PURRS); 45A: "I love what you do for me" automaker (TOYOTA); 46A: Big-house link (AS A); 57A: Relinquish (CEDE); 59A: Japanese art genre (ANIME); 60A: Oregon Trail team (OXEN); 62A: Lose it (GO MAD); 63A: Distance swimmer Diana (NYAD); 1D: 3-Down, e.g. (VERB); 2D: "Zip-__-Doo-Dah" (A-DEE); 3D: Blend (MELD); 4D: Yields (PRODUCES); 5D: Man of La Mancha (HOMBRE); 6D: Mind (OBEY); 7D: See 12-Down (ROSE); 8D: Bourbon order (NEAT); 9D: They may be tufted (TITMICE); 10D: Magazine that highlights Clio winners (ADWEEK); 11D: "Sorry, laddie" ("NAE"); 12D: With 7-Down, Bette Midler classic (THE); 13D: Quite a span (EON); 21D: Goes on and on (YAKS); 22D: Volunteer's offer (I WILL); 25D: Like an encrypted transmission, in theory (SECURE); 26D: Old anesthetics (ETHERS); 27D: Future J.D.s' exams (LSAT'S); 28D: Melodramatic cry (BOO-HOO); 29D: Haughty (UPPITY); 30D: Greek New Ager (YANNI); 31D: Goad (EGG ON); 32D: Feature of some fancy cakes (TIERS); 37D: Really worry (EAT AT); 38D: Term (DURATION); 40D: Like some mail (METERED); 41D: Sumptuous (POSH); 44D: Remnant (TAG END); 48D: Tiny trash can, e.g. (ICON); 49D: Hot (SEXY); 50D: Thought (IDEA); 51D: "Mm-hmm" ("I SEE"); 52D: Half a sitcom sign-off (NANU); 53D: Flub (GOOF); 54D: Spree (JAG); 55D: The loneliest numero? (UNO); 56D: Drum edge (RIM).

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