Jumat, 02 September 2011

09.02 Fri


September 2, 2011

Pancho Harrison

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Sign some new sluggers? (HIRE POWER).
  • 24A: Henna and such? (DYER NEEDS).
  • 40A: Stand-up gig for Richard? (PRYOR ENGAGEMENT).
  • 50A: Instrument in need of cleaning? (DIRTY LYRE).
  • 64A: Augustine, for one? (DEEP FRIAR).
I had a lot of fun with this theme. I figured it out right away at HIRE POWER and was able to use that knowledge for the rest of the theme answers. I was thrown off a little when I got down to DIRTY LYRE and found the change in the second word instead of the first. Having the changed words consistently at the beginning or end would make this puzzle more elegant, but it didn't bother me too too much. After solving, I did a quick run through the alphabet to see if I could come up with any other phrases that would work as theme answers. There are plenty of words that can be changed in this way, but I didn't find any that fit into a well-known phrase. And some of the words I came up with were just hideous (like SIGHER). I also just noticed that the resulting spelling change in each of the theme answers is unique: IRE, YER, YOR, YRE, IAR. Nice.

Stuff I just flat-out didn't know today:

  • 14A: Aquatic bird (COOT). I will be impressed if any of you say you've actually heard of this.
  • 26D: Peak in an Eastwood film (EIGER). I've heard of the mountain, but not the movie. Apparently, it's a 1975 release called "The Eiger Sanction."
  • 34D: Blake title feline (TYGER). Feels like maybe something I should know but … not so much.

  • 21A: Like some nests (EMPTY). I had a taste of the EMPTY nest these last couple of weeks while the PuzzleKids were off on adventures with the PuzzleParents. I've always assumed I'd be more relieved than anything when the kids finally leave (parenting is hard!), but having them gone made me realize that sending them off to college is just around the corner and I have to admit I'm panicking a little.
  • 44A: Original Speed Stick maker (MENNEN). I'm at just the right age where I can hear the end of the old Speed Stick ads in my head. ("Byyyyyyy MENnen.")
  • 54A: Sci-fi character whose first name, Nyota, was first revealed in film in 2009 (UHURA). Nerd alert!
  • 66A: Best Actress nominee for "Ordinary People" (MOORE). I know Demi Moore is a lot older than her husband, but I didn't think she was old enough to be in this movie. (For those of you who don't know me very well, this is a contest.)
  • 12D: Ink spots, briefly? (TAT). "Ink spots in the 'hood, briefly?" There, I fixed it.
  • 27D: Chin Ho co-worker, in a TV cop show (DANNO). Don't recall ever hearing of Chin Ho, but with a cross or two in place, the Hawaii Five-O reference became clear.
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Everything 1A: Some rentals, in ads (APTS.); 5A: "Gimme just __" (A SEC); 9A: Chew the scenery (EMOTE); 14A: Aquatic bird (COOT); 15A: Rowlands of "Gloria" (GENA); 16A: Deteriorate (DECAY); 17A: Sign some new sluggers? (HIRE POWER); 19A: Word with time and space (WASTE); 20A: __ nous (ENTRE'); 21A: Like some nests (EMPTY); 23A: Wartime submachine guns (STENS); 24A: Henna and such? (DYER NEEDS); 29A: Giant legend (OTT); 31A: Nagpur native (INDIAN); 32A: Granola grain (OAT); 35A: 1805 Vienna premiere (EROICA); 39A: Lambs: Lat. (AGNI); 40A: Stand-up gig for Richard? (PRYOR ENGAGEMENT); 43A: Old wrap (TOGA); 44A: Original Speed Stick maker (MENNEN); 45A: Children's author Asquith (ROS); 46A: Composer/violinist who taught Menuhin (ENESCO); 48A: U.S. Army E-5 (SGT.); 50A: Instrument in need of cleaning? (DIRTY LYRE); 54A: Sci-fi character whose first name, Nyota, was first revealed in film in 2009 (UHURA); 58A: Did a little courting (COOED); 59A: Like some denim jackets (LINED); 60A: Flop with fins (EDSEL); 64A: Augustine, for one? (DEEP FRIAR); 66A: Best Actress nominee for "Ordinary People" (MOORE); 67A: Miss Megley's charge, in a Salinger story (ESME); 68A: Lavish affection (DOTE); 69A: 1830s revolution site (TEXAS); 70A: Grand jeté, e.g. (LEAP); 71A: Go bananas (SNAP); 1D: More than twinges (ACHES); 2D: Salient feature (POINT); 3D: High-calorie cake (TORTE); 4D: Jellied fuel (STERNO); 5D: Past word (AGO); 6D: Hemmed but didn't haw (SEWED); 7D: Ones not with you (ENEMY); 8D: __ diem (CARPE); 9D: He voiced Disney's Mad Hatter (ED WYNN); 10D: Drop-line link (ME A); 11D: Mil. training site (OC'S); 12D: Ink spots, briefly? (TAT); 13D: Center (EYE); 18D: Bedevil (PESTER); 22D: "M*A*S*H" procedures (TRIAGES); 25D: Queso relleno cheese (EDAM); 26D: Peak in an Eastwood film (EIGER); 27D: Chin Ho co-worker, in a TV cop show (DANNO); 28D: Miffed states (SNITS); 30D: Vibrating effect (TREMOLO); 32D: Made a choice (OPTED); 33D: Product suffix created in San Francisco in 1958 (-ARONI); 34D: Blake title feline (TYGER); 36D: "A Chorus Line" song (ONE); 37D: Starter: Abbr. (IGN.); 38D: Axe (CAN); 41D: Hops drier (OAST); 42D: Swallow up (ENGULF); 47D: Economic series (CYCLES); 49D: Bs in the key of G, e.g. (THIRDS); 51D: Sing "The Lonely Goatherd," say (YODEL); 52D: Entrepreneur inspired by Hershey (REESE); 53D: Fluid buildup (EDEMA); 55D: U.S.S.R. part (UNION); 56D: Gaucho's rope (REATA); 57D: One concerned with the spot market? (AD REP); 60D: 911 respondent (EMT); 61D: Female rabbit (DOE); 62D: Chi-Town team (SOX); 63D: Historical span (ERA); 65D: __ rally (PEP).

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