July 2, 2011
Barry C. Silk
Holy Z-Fest, Batman! Did you get a load of all those Zs? Near the end of my solve, it actually started to help. I'd read a clue and go, "Hmm. Let's pretend it's a word with a Z in it — now can I think of anything?" I admit I've never heard the phrase ZOMBIE BANK (56A: Insolvent bailout beneficiary), but I'm glad I know it now. YOWZAH! (32A: Cry of delight.)
- 1A: Extraterrestrial factor in creating much of Earth's carbon-14 (COSMIC RAYS). I tried COSMIC RAIN first because I was flailing around with those two three-letter downs at the end and I didn't have 15A in place yet. Is there such a thing as COSMIC RAIN? Have I mentioned that science isn't exactly my strong suit?
- 15A: "The Defense Never Rests" co-author (F. LEE BAILEY). It's kind of sad that I could come up with about six "celebrity lawyer" names before I finally got this answer. Also, I filled it in from the front and I wasn't sure about the cross on that second E, so I had FLEA for a while and thought "The Red Hot Chili Peppers guy wrote a book?"
- 18A: Five-time Wimbledon winner (BORG). Ah, the good old days.
- 20A: Firenze field (CAMPO). (!!!)
- 21A: "__ to Canaan": Carole King hit (BEEN). I've always thought of myself as a big Carole King fan but, as it turns out, I really only know the "Tapestry" album. And this song's not on it. So I had a little trouble here is what I'm saying.
- 47A: Miss Hungary of 1936, familiarly (ZSA ZSA). I had no idea.
- 61A: Michelle Phillips was one in the '60s (MAMA). Lots of "oldies" music in today's puzzle. You know that's one of the hallmarks of Barry's puzzles, right? (See also, 33D: 1962 chart topper whose title subject "doesn't do what everybody else does" (HE'S A REBEL)).
- 64A: Coconut-flavored cocktail (PIÑA COLADA). I'm including other music in the post today so that you won't get this song stuck in your head. I'm not even going to say what song I mean. But you can already hear it in your head, right? Quick! Go listen to something else. (And, for God's sake, do not — I repeat NOT — listen to "Copacabana.")
- 11D: Word from the Turkish for "roasted meat" (KEBAB). Again with the learning!
- 21D: Coach of Nadia and Mary Lou (BELA). More good old days of sports. BELA Karolyi coached gymastics Olympians Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton.
- 25D: Martin's partner (ROWAN). Laugh-in!
- 37D: "__ With a 'Z'": 1972 TV special (LIZA). We had this album when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure I could sing you every single song it. If you wanted me to. Which you don't.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 63A: Hot times in 48-Across (ÉTÉS).
- 5D: Spoonbill's cousin (IBIS).
- 32D: Busybody (YENTA).
- 60D: Mauna __ (KEA).
Everything Else — 11A: '90s TV toon therapist (KATZ); 16A: You may bid on it (EBAY); 17A: Circulation aid (CEILING FAN); 19A: American Fur Company founder (ASTOR); 24A: Harris trickster (BR'ER RABBIT); 27A: Sin tax, e.g. (EXCISE); 29A: Take-charge type (DOER); 30A: __ Genevieve: Missouri county or its seat (STE.); 31A: __-ovo-vegetarian (LACTO); 34A: Low life? (AMOEBAE); 36A: Remote drivers? (AA CELLS); 40A: Attached, as some decals (SEWN ON); 42A: Certain elephant (ASIAN); 43A: Dander (IRE); 46A: Pro __ (RATA); 48A: Where Massenet's "Don Quichotte" premiered (MONTE CARLO); 51A: Grate (RASP); 52A: Obscured (HAZED); 53A: Edge (SIDLE); 1D: Ozone-threatening compound (CFC); 2D: Word of support (OLÉ); 3D: Half of dodici (SEI); 4D: Black garnets (MELANITES); 6D: "No way!" ("CAN'T BE!"); 7D: Inflexibility (RIGOR); 8D: Served with a creamy cheese sauce (ALFREDO); 9D: Word of support (YEA); 10D: Lexicon abbr. (SYN.); 12D: Subj. of Cold War tests (A-BOMBS); 13D: Asphalt trap (TAR PIT); 14D: Fallopian tube traveler (ZYGOTE); 20D: Bolívar's birthplace (CARACAS); 22D: Physical, e.g. (EXAM); 23D: Danish shoe brand (ECCO); 26D: Iran's Mohammad Shah __ Pahlavi (REZA); 28D: Dried out, with "up" (SOBERED); 35D: "Never Wave at __": 1952 film (A WAC); 38D: Miss (LASS); 39D: Breeze (SNAP); 41D: Crew members (OARSMEN); 43D: Arrival announcement (I'M HOME); 44D: Find very funny (ROAR AT); 45D: Catalytic protein (ENZYME); 47D: Group of signs (ZODIAC); 49D: Gulf state (TEXAS); 50D: 47-Down member (LIBRA); 54D: Block brand (LEGO); 56D: Reheat, in a way (ZAP); 57D: Duct opening? (OVI-); 59D: Doze (NOD).