Jumat, 08 Juli 2011

07.08 Fri

July 8, 2011
Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Take As Directed — Theme answers are familiar two-word phrases where the first word is a direction. Instead of including the direction word, the second word of the phrase is oriented in the grid so that you have to read it in that "direction."

Theme answers:

  • 1A: Aptly, Chinese, e.g. (ASIAN). [East Asian]
  • 6A: Aptly, Park Avenue area (SIDE). [East side]
  • 10A: Aptly, New Jersey beach phenomenon (WIND). [East wind]
  • 67A: Aptly, Israeli-occupied territory (KNAB). [West Bank]
  • 68A: Aptly, Oval Office site (GNIW). [West Wing]
  • 69A: Aptly, Hollywood locale (TSAOC). [West Coast]
  • 1D: Aptly, about 5 percent of the Earth's surface (ACIREMA). [North America]
  • 46D: Aptly, Pyongyang resident (NAEROK). [North Korean]
  • 13D: Aptly, Pierre's state (DAKOTA). [South Dakota]
  • 45D: Aptly, "Happy Talk" musical (PACIFIC). [South Pacific]
  • 37A: "Apt" geographical element needed to complete the answers to 10 of this puzzle's clues (DIRECTION).
Interesting theme today. And I'm glad I didn't try to solve this on the computer. When you have words going every which way, it's very confusing to the fingers. In fact, when I filled out the grid in AcrossLite so I could post it at the top of this blog, I typed in WING instead of GNIW at 68A. It's hard to type words backwards! It didn't take me too long to figure out what was going on here. The whole northwest corner came pretty easily and when it was obvious that 1D was nonsense read the normal way, I figured it would have to be read some other way. That made the rest of the theme answers fun to figure out. Can't say that I've ever heard reference to New Jersey's East WIND, and embarrassed to say I needed a couple crosses before "remembering" that Pyongyang is in one of the KOREAs (have I mentioned that geography isn't my strong suit?).

Nobody likes to see EEE in the grid (55A: Width measure), but that probably couldn't be helped. Also, SEA BOAT? I assume that's a real word, but it doesn't mean it's a good word (26A: Main vessel). But there was a lot I liked in this grid. For example, I enjoyed the questions/exclamations:
  • 50A: "So soon?" ("ALREADY?").
  • 60A: "Shoot!" ("RATS!").
  • 44D: "Are we in?" ("IS IT A GO?").
There were two points during this solve when I completely cracked myself up. First of all I can never get Prado and Prada straight, so when I saw [65A: Prado display] I'm thinking "Shoes? Purses?" Um, no. Prado is actually a museum. That displays art. Or rather, in Italian, ARTE. Then I read the word "morels" as "morays" and couldn't figure out why EELS wouldn't fit where FUNGI was supposed to go (66A: Morels, e.g.).

  • 18A: Tour de force (FEAT).

  • 11D: Succinctly (IN A WORD). Another great colloquial phrase. Love it.
  • 30D: Quebec's Sept-__ (ILES). Never heard of this. It sounds vaguely … French! doesn't it?
  • 41D: '70s Robert Blake cop show (BARETTA). I just had a question about BARETTA tonight when I was playing Facebook Jeopardy. It had something to do with this:

  • 51D: Trendy headgear (DO-RAG). Trendy? Okay.
  • 54D: Foot bone (TALUS). I tried TARSI first and then wondered where the hell I came up with that. Turns out the TALUS is part of the TARSUS. The fact that I tried to enter a plural for a singular clue? Well, that's another story.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 16A: Conscription category (ONE-A).
  • 59A: European wine area (ASTI).
  • 9D: Big name in compacts (ESTÉE).
  • 35D: Thames landmark (ETON).
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Everything Else 14A: Treinta ÷ seis (CINCO); 15A: Some Neruda works (ODES); 17A: "What else __?" (IS NEW); 19A: Terrible (WACK); 20A: Bona fide (REAL); 21A: Wall makeup, maybe (STONES); 23A: Intl. commerce group (WTO); 24A: Anger (ENRAGE); 28A: '60s chic (MOD); 29A: Virgil contemporary (OVID); 32A: Earth, to 29-Across (TERRA); 33A: 29-Across's "__ amatoria" (ARS); 34A: Contradict (BELIE); 36A: Pop-ups, perhaps (ADS); 40A: Diamond stat (RBI); 42A: Assault (STORM); 43A: Spot in a poker game (PIP); 46A: Isn't far from reaching (NEARS); 48A: Like some blog comments: Abbr. (ANON.); 49A: Peruvian pronoun (ESA); 53A: Kind of acid (NITRIC); 56A: Relax (GO EASY); 62A: Relative position (RANK); 63A: "... __ of Bread ..." (A LOAF); 64A: "__ take arms against a sea ...": Hamlet (OR TO); 2D: Latin agreement (SÍ SENOR); 3D: Machine makeup, informally (INNARDS); 4D: Amtrak's bullet train (ACELA); 5D: Word of impatience (NOW); 6D: Lax (SOFT); 7D: Prefix with logical (IDEO-); 8D: Heads with lists (DEANS); 10D: Eye-popper response (WOW); 12D: Bee drawers (NECTARS); 21D: Break off (SEVER); 22D: Warmed the bench (SAT); 25D: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" setting (GOBI); 27D: Certain counter's unit? (BEAN); 31D: Orders (DICTA); 37D: Urgent (DIRE); 38D: It may be dramatic (IRONY); 39D: Luxury hotel (OMNI); 40D: Freshen one's familiarity with (RELEARN); 43D: Public projection (PERSONA); 47D: Slump (SAG); 52D: Long (YEARN); 57D: Objector (ANTI); 58D: Slant, as to a specific audience (SKEW); 61D: Graveside sound (SOB); 63D: Popeye's behind? (AFT).

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