Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

08.03 Wed

August 3, 2011
Kurt Krauss

Theme: On a Roller Coaster — Hard to explain. Just look at the theme answers. You'll get it.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: What older baseball pitchers might do? (WIND DOWN WINDUPS).
  • 23A: Fetch Halloween costumes from the attic? (GET DOWN GETUPS).
  • 53A: Post snide comments on a blog? (PUT UP PUTDOWNS).
  • 64A: Join the high school wrestling team? (TAKE UP TAKEDOWNS).
This might be one of my favorite themes ever. And I swear it's not only because it references wrestling. The word play in this theme is just really fun. The answers are totally consistent and, as a bonus, they're also fun to say!

I noticed a lot of clues in quotation marks today, so I thought we should talk about that. When a clue is in quotation marks it's — obviously — meant to be something a person might say. So the answer will always be something else a person might say to convey the same idea.
  • 39A: "Can I get a word in?" ("AHEM"). Someone saying "Can I get a word in?" is probably impatient, but IMPATIENT won't work as an answer here because it's just totally the wrong part of speech. Instead, think of something else a person might say who's trying to break in to a conversation. Tada! "AHEM."
  • 73A: "Go for it!" ("YES!"). When you see "Go for it!" you probably think of encouragement, but EGG ON (although it's a phrase frequently seen in crosswords) doesn't work here. Instead, what is something else a person might say who's been asked "Should I do it?"
  • 32D: "Ew!" ("ICK!"). Again, two things a person might say that convey the same meaning.
  • 7D: "Don't remind me" ("I KNOW"). You're totally getting the hang of this by now, right?
  • 9A: Latish wake-up time (TEN A.M.). We talked recently about how if the answer is (or contains) an abbreviation, the clue will typically give you a hint about that by containing an abbreviation itself. But remember that we also talked about exceptions to that "rule." This is one of them. A.M. is, indeed, an abbreviation, but it's so commonly used that it's more like its own word and, therefore, doesn't need an abbreviation cue in the clue.
  • 27A: Mice and lice (VERMIN). "Ew!" ("ICK!").
  • 3D: Scratch (LONG GREEN). I assume these are both slang terms for money, although I don't think I've ever heard the term LONG GREEN. Unless this is something totally different. Help me out here.
  • 5D: HTC smartphone (EVO). This is the phone featured in the hilarious, strange, and wildly inappropriate video that went viral about a year ago. [Warning: Don't click the link if you are offended by bad language. Seriously! F-bombs everywhere!]
  • 11D: Tiny Pacific republic (NAURU). This island makes an appearance in puzzles fairly regularly, but that didn't help me today. Needed all the crosses.
  • 33D: Mary Bobbsey's older daughter (NAN). What's the other Bobbsey twin's name? I never read the books, and I only know NAN from puzzles.
  • 36D: Keeps at it (PLUGS AWAY). Awesome colloquial phrase here.
  • 45D: Its largest moon is Triton (NEPTUNE). HAha! I only knew this one because TRITON is so often in the grid clued as "Neptune's largest moon."
  • 57D: Pageant trophy (TIARA). I'm a little bummed that I'll miss "Toddlers & Tiaras" tonight, but I'm picking up a friend at Dulles — not REAGAN (51A: Dulles alternative), but actually Dulles. Which reminds me, I'm off to Lollapuzzoola 4 this weekend, so please don't expect much from the weekend write-ups. I may just post grids and themes and let you all have at it in the comments. And if you're anywhere near New York, please join us for the tournament. I've been to this super fun event every year and it just keeps getting better!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 4A: Nostalgic soft drinks (NEHIS).
  • 14A: Object of a conquistador's quest (ORO).
  • 4D: Composer Rorem (NED).
  • 28D: K-12 (ELHI).
  • 34D: Poetic preposition (ERE).
  • 42D: Casino game (FARO).
  • 50D: Each (A POP).
  • 63D: Droop-nosed fliers (SST'S).
  • 66D: "Small Craft on a Milk Sea" musician (ENO).
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Everything 1A: Kilmer of "Batman Forever" (VAL); 4A: Nostalgic soft drinks (NEHIS); 9A: Latish wake-up time (TEN A.M.); 14A: Object of a conquistador's quest (ORO); 15A: Conjure up (EVOKE); 16A: As a friend, to Fran&cced;ois (EN AMI); 17A: What older baseball pitchers might do? (WIND DOWN WIND-UPS); 20A: "Scarborough Fair" herb (SAGE); 21A: Huey, Dewey and Louie, e.g. (TOONS); 22A: Dull routine (RUT); 23A: Fetch Halloween costumes from the attic? (GET DOWN GETUPS); 27A: Mice and lice (VERMIN); 29A: Quick-flash link (AS A); 30A: French land mass (ILE); 31A: Early pamphleteer (PAINE); 35A: Big name in baseball cards (TOPPS); 39A: "Can I get a word in?" ("AHEM"); 41A: Muffler (SCARF); 43A: Intimate apparel purchase (SLIP); 44A: Wrinkle-prone fabric (LINEN); 46A: Work with one's hands (KNEAD); 48A: NATO founding member (USA); 49A: Classy org.? (NEA); 51A: Dulles alternative (REAGAN); 53A: Post snide comments on a blog? (PUT UP PUTDOWNS); 59A: Italian diminutive suffix (-INO); 60A: "Pagliacci" clown (TONIO); 61A: Dundee denials (NAES); 64A: Join the high school wrestling team? (TAKE UP TAKEDOWNS); 68A: Early Indo-European (ARYAN); 69A: Actress Dunne (IRENE); 70A: Volstead __: Prohibition enabler (ACT); 71A: Campfire treat (S'MORE); 72A: Enjoyed, as a beach blanket (LAY ON); 73A: "Go for it!" ("YES!"); 1D: Swears (VOWS); 2D: Certain stage solo (ARIA); 3D: Scratch (LONG GREEN); 4D: Composer Rorem (NED); 5D: HTC smartphone (EVO); 6D: Mr. Fixit's genre (HOW-TO); 7D: "Don't remind me" ("I KNOW"); 8D: Attach, in a way (SEW ON); 9D: Most likely to crack (TENSEST); 10D: Bring down the curtain (END); 11D: Tiny Pacific republic (NAURU); 12D: Rally, as a crowd (AMP UP); 13D: Thin sprays (MISTS); 18D: Think (DEEM); 19D: Actress Swenson (INGA); 24D: Fall (over) (TIP); 25D: Geneticist's concerns (DNA'S); 26D: Art colony town (TAOS); 27D: Medicine chest item (VIAL); 28D: K-12 (EL-HI); 32D: "Ew!" ("ICK!"); 33D: Mary Bobbsey's older daughter (NAN); 34D: Poetic preposition (ERE); 36D: Keeps at it (PLUGS AWAY); 37D: Galileo Galilei Airport city (PISA); 38D: Attention __ (SPAN); 40D: Choice reading? (MENU); 42D: Casino game (FARO); 45D: Its largest moon is Triton (NEPTUNE); 47D: Drops on a blade? (DEW); 50D: Each (A POP); 52D: Monument word (ANNO); 53D: Gyro essentials (PITAS); 54D: Render weaponless (UNARM); 55D: Godzilla's stomping ground (TOKYO); 56D: "Wait __ Dark": 1967 film (UNTIL); 57D: Pageant trophy (TIARA); 58D: "Okey-__!" (DOKEY); 62D: Verb-to-noun suffix (-ENCE); 63D: Droop-nosed fliers (SST'S); 65D: Mr. Potato Head piece (EAR); 66D: "Small Craft on a Milk Sea" musician (ENO); 67D: Home viewing room (DEN).

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