Jumat, 22 Juli 2011

07.22 Fri

July 22, 2011
David Poole

Theme: THEME — "ST" is changed to "TS" in familiar phrases, creating new wacky phrases clued "?" style.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Scene in "The Hustler"? (FATS BREAKS).
  • 23A: Adam's apples? (EATS OF EDEN).
  • 38A: Tubby tabbies? (BROAD CATS).
  • 52A: Visitors to the Winter Palace? (TSAR GAZERS).
  • 58A: Tusk warmers? (IVORY COATS).
Big thanks to Doug for stepping in yesterday. I finally got my van into the shop to get the air conditioning fixed. That's right, I've been driving around with no air conditioning in this God-forsaken heat. It's been unbearable. Anyway, with both kids going to camps in different directions we had some logistical "issues" which made yesterday a little stressful (plus the day started rather earlier than I would have liked). The good news is I have AC now. It's like heaven. So let's talk about this puzzle ….

Took me a while to get the hang of this theme. With one or two crosses in place, reading the clues to the first three theme answers allowed me to come up with half the answer, but I didn't know what was going on with the other half. Oh, and that's not totally true because I had the first E on 23A and plopped EDEN down at the front instead of the back of that answer. Created some problems, but it all worked itself out.

Several people I didn't know in today's grid:
  • 9A: "The Maltese Falcon" actress (ASTOR).
  • 15A: 1970 N.L. batting champ Carty (RICO).
  • 8D: Arens of Israel (MOSHE).
Good thing MOSHE looks like an Israeli name to me — it occurred to me that Carty might be a first name and that his last name might be RICE. I'm guessing that cross probably caused problems for some. It would have been much better had RICO been clued as Lola's love interest in "Copacabana," right? Wait, what? That clue would have gotten the song "Copacabana" stuck in your head all day? You wouldn't have been able to stop yourself from singing "Her name was Lola / She was a showgirl / But that was 30 years ago / When they used to have a show …."? Yes. That would have been unfortunate.

No entries jump out at me as particularly sparkly, but the cluing was definitely jazzed up in places to make up for that. My favorites include:
  • 65A: Lima's home (OHIO). I started to enter PERU but I had this nagging feeling ….
  • 10D: Northerners with a lot of pull? (SLED DOGS).
  • 39D: Cheaters, to teachers: Abbr. (ANAG.). The letters in the word "cheaters" can be ANAGrammed to "teachers."
  • 53D: Bar goer's option (STOOL). You wanted this to be a drink, didn't you? I know I did.
  • 61D: Thing that comes to those who wait (TIP). Can't believe I found this clip. The part I was looking for doesn't happen until the end, but it's short (plus this is a great movie — if you haven't seen it, check it out.)

  • 1A: Penicillin source (MOLD). Ew.
  • 17A: Debussy's dream (RÊVE). I assumed this answer would be the word "dream" in French (French!), but I didn't know that particular word off the top of my head. That V might have caused some trouble, but I just thought of the word "reverie" and decided it must be right.
  • 47A: "The Tempest" king (ALONSO). Saw a production of "The Merchant of Venice" last weekend and promptly downloaded a bunch of Shakespeare onto my Kindle. Such good stuff and it's been way too long since I've read it.
  • 66A: Start of an intermission? (ENTR). More French! ENTRE'acte is a French word we use to mean "intermission." So ENTRE is the "start" to an intermission.
  • 1D: His clown alter ego was Bip (MARCEAU). How is it possible that I was just reading something about Marcel MARCEAU the other day and now can't for the life of me remember what it was. Thank goodness the "Bip" part stayed in my head anyway.
  • 7D: The planets, e.g. (OCTAD). Never sure if this word is going to be OCTAD or OCTET so you need to check the crosses.
  • 29D: Roy Halladay or the Red Baron (ACE). For some reason, my brain read "Roy Halladay" or "Doc Holliday." Me: "Did Doc Holliday … fly??"
  • 38D: Voice of Puss in Boots in "Shrek" sequels (BANDERAS). ::Sigh:: It's a crime for him to be in a movie where we can't look at him.
  • 41D: Thrilla in Manila winner (ALI). If you missed the discussion about Muhammad ALI in yesterday's comments, go check it out. Rojo told an awesome story about seeing him in an airport once.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 33A: "A Challenge for the Actor" author Hagen (UTA).
  • 9D: Pearl Mosque setting (AGRA).
  • 54D: Popular Japanese beer (ASAHI).
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Everything Else 5A: Wee bit (ATOM); 14A: Say it's so (AVER); 16A: Gather (GLEAN); 20A: Not wilted (CRISP); 22A: In the future (AHEAD); 26A: Duchamp genre (DADA); 30A: Orlon, for one (ACRYLIC); 31A: Hot and humid (TROPIC); 34A: Grover's veep (ADLAI); 37A: Correspond (AGREE); 40A: Faith symbolized by a nine-pointed star (BAHA'I); 43A: Blemish (TAINT); 44A: Off-rd. transport (ATV); 49A: Canal problem (EARACHE); 51A: Even (TIED); 55A: Gives off (EMITS); 57A: Provide with lodging (PUT UP); 63A: Sommelier's selection (ROSÉ); 64A: Plum tomatoes (ROMAS); 67A: Apprehension (ANGST); 68A: Mr. Potato Head piece (LIPS); 69A: Mtg. (SESS.); 2D: Be heavy-handed, in a way (OVERACT); 3D: Viagra competitor (LEVITRA); 4D: Stylish (DRESSY); 5D: Response from 24-Down (ARF); 6D: Familia member (TIA); 11D: Mad Hatter's offering (TEA); 12D: Iowa's state tree (OAK); 13D: Hosp. workers (RN'S); 19D: Proclivity (BENT); 21D: Part of the Little Dipper's handle (POLARIS); 24D: Rover's pal (FIDO); 25D: Fanfare (ECLAT); 27D: Abbr. in car ads (APR); 28D: Gaming cube (DIE); 32D: Fleabag (RAT TRAP); 35D: Nabokov novel (ADA); 36D: More unfriendly (ICIER); 40D: It may be held by one on deck (BAT); 42D: Gardening aid (HOE); 44D: Nail polish remover ingredient (ACETONE); 45D: Fencing moves (THRUSTS); 46D: Evening service (VESPERS); 48D: Suffix with psych (-OTIC); 50D: Common blues (AZURES); 56D: Games magazine's 1994 Game of the Year (MYST); 58D: Author Levin (IRA); 59D: Word in many German names (VON); 60D: Online "Yikes!" (OMG); 62D: "Mamma Mia!" song (SOS).

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