Kamis, 11 Agustus 2011

08.11 Thu


August 11, 2011

Clive Probert

Theme: Boxing Day — Each theme answer is a boxing term clued as if it's something else.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Very angry, informally? (RIGHT CROSS).
  • 26A: Tackle box item for liberals? (LEFT HOOK).
  • 44A: Chuck steak, for example? (UPPER CUT).
  • 58A: What 17-, 26- and 44-Across are, figuratively and literally (PUNCHLINES).
Cute idea for a theme although I can't say I'm super excited about the execution. Not really sure what the problem is. I think I wanted all the theme clues to involve the same kind of word play, but they all seem a little disjointed. Also, eight letters is awfully short for a theme answer and it looks like this puzzle stuck to the "rule" that no entry is longer than the theme answers. So that means lots of short words. On the bright side, I didn't see a single word in the grid that we've covered here in Crosswordese 101 and, honestly, that's pretty amazing. (I don't always catch the CW, so I could be wrong. If I am, I'm sure one of you will let us know in the comments.)

Highlights in today's grid include HEAVE-HO and BEST OF (10D: Bar drunk's comeuppance / 9D: Words on a "greatest hits" album). I don't believe I've ever seen the phrase "de TROP" (32D: De __: excessive) and kinda wonder what that's all about. Loved the tricky clue for EARP (31D: Holliday friend). Pretty easy to misread that one. And TOFU (30D: Flavor-absorbing food) of course brought to mind the lovely conversation we had at dinner on Saturday night at a vegetarian restaurant. Oh man. I still have to tell you all about Lollapuzzoola, don't I? How the hell is it Thursday already? I'll do what I can to post something about it tonight. In the meantime, I'll leave you with [28D: Soul great OTIS Redding].

Crosswordese 101: NIM (60D: Matchstick-removing game) doesn't come up too terribly often, but I think it warrants a little discussion so you'll remember it next time. If you're interested in the details of NIM, check out its Wikipedia page. Clues for NIM will pretty much always include the word game. Here are the other words you might see in the clue that should point you toward NIM: math, matchsticks, matches, sticks, and takeaway. You are now fully prepared for the next time NIM appears in a puzzle. My work here is done.

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Everything 1A: Bike part (PEDAL); 6A: Boo-boo (FLUB); 10A: Call heard at night (HOOT); 14A: Upstage a co-star, perhaps (EMOTE); 15A: No trouble at all (EASE); 16A: Within: Pref. (ENDO-); 17A: Very angry, informally? (RIGHT CROSS); 19A: Don Juan's love (AMOR); 20A: European cheese with a Protected Designation of Origin (STILTON); 21A: Alehouse (TAVERN); 23A: High regard (ESTEEM); 24A: Two-time '80s-'90s Senate majority leader (DOLE); 25A: Roman trio (TRE); 26A: Tackle box item for liberals? (LEFT HOOK); 30A: Head of Québec (TÊTE); 33A: New driver, typically (TEEN); 35A: Heart line (AORTA); 36A: Crew member (OAR); 37A: 1947 South Seas traveler (KON-TIKI); 39A: Wrongdoing (SIN); 40A: Hobbit on a quest (FRODO); 42A: California's __ Valley (SIMI); 43A: Deep-six (TOSS); 44A: Chuck steak, for example? (UPPER CUT); 46A: Carol opener ('TIS); 48A: One of the guys (MALE); 49A: Cling cause (STATIC); 53A: Twins in the sky (GEMINI); 56A: "The Legend of Zelda: __ of Time": video game (OCARINA); 57A: Base runner? (AWOL); 58A: What 17-, 26- and 44-Across are, figuratively and literally (PUNCHLINES); 61A: Temerity (GALL); 62A: Words after step or sleep (ON IT); 63A: IV part (INTRA); 64A: Pay to play (ANTE); 65A: A fish named Dory helped find him (NEMO); 66A: Starts fishing (CASTS); 1D: In and of itself (PER SE); 2D: Throws off (EMITS); 3D: Shirk responsibility (DOG IT); 4D: One playing the field, e.g. (ATHLETE); 5D: Alphabet soup bit (LETTER); 6D: Bouquet greenery (FERN); 7D: Thai language (LAO); 8D: Navy ship letters (USS); 9D: Words on a "greatest hits" album (BEST OF); 10D: Bar drunk's comeuppance (HEAVE-HO); 11D: Generous words (ON ME); 12D: Febreze target (ODOR); 13D: Having a hard time deciding (TORN); 18D: Recover from a knockout (COME TO); 22D: Central Asia's __ Mountains (ALTAI); 24D: It's in your jeans (DENIM); 26D: "__ Bleed": Stones album (LET IT); 27D: Roughly (OR SO); 28D: Soul great Redding (OTIS); 29D: 24-Across's state: Abbr. (KANS.); 30D: Flavor-absorbing food (TOFU); 31D: Holliday friend (EARP); 32D: De __: excessive (TROP); 34D: Come next (ENSUE); 37D: Mullah's text (KORAN); 38D: Velvet Elvis, e.g. (KITSCH); 41D: "The King of Kings" (1927) director (DEMILLE); 43D: Winter Palace woman (TSARINA); 45D: Like some earrings (CLIP-ON); 47D: Like biased writing? (ITALIC); 50D: Turns blue, perhaps (TINTS); 51D: Like a noble gas (INERT); 52D: Hidalgo houses (CASAS); 53D: Hung up on, with "over" (GAGA); 54D: McGregor of "Emma" (1996) (EWAN); 55D: Shed (MOLT); 56D: Bi- cubed (OCTO-); 59D: Somme one (UNE); 60D: Matchstick-removing game (NIM).

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