Rabu, 07 September 2011

09.07 Wed

September 7, 2011
Michael Sharp

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Bills and catalogues? (TYPICAL MAIL).
  • 29A: Monk's unusual appendage? (THE FRIAR'S TAIL).
  • 48A: Where a kid's shovel may be found? (BEYOND THE PAIL).
  • 61A: Traditional December spin around the harbor? (YEAR-END SAIL).
Hmmm … Michael Sharp. Michael. Sharp. The name sounds a little familiar…. Oh my gosh, it's Rex Parker! And look what he brought us today: another simple theme executed well, with fill that ranges from solid to sparkly. We're having a pretty great week so far is what I'm saying.

Really like the theme answers and clues in this one. THE FRIAR'S TAIL kind of stands out because it's unrealistic (also, the clue isn't good — I'm sure Michael will be along shortly to tell us about that). But TYPICAL MAIL gave me a chuckle and the clue for BEYOND THE PAIL (48A: Where a kid's shovel may be found?) is awesome. Mix in the two long downs — TRAVELIN' MAN and HEARTBROKEN — and you've got yourself a pretty colorful grid (11D: 1961 Ricky Nelson chart-topper / 25D: Like one just jilted).

This was another smooth solve for me. Only one write-over, when I tried QUAKE where SHAKE was supposed to go (24D: Tremble). And even as I was writing it in, I thought that Q didn't look good for the cross. I noticed a little baseball in the grid, which doesn't surprise me.
  • 53A: Yanks' rival (SOX). Michael's beloved SOX and my beloved Yanks right here in the same entry. Just like ebony and ivory side-by-side on my piano keyboard.
  • 66A: Top pitcher (ACE).
  • 6D: Oriole great Ripken (CAL). I bet this kind of clue makes Billy Ripken feel bad about himself.
  • 23D: Plate appearance (AT BAT).
Other quintessentially Rex entries in today's puzzle include APU (19A: "The Simpsons" character who graduated first in his class of seven million at the Calcutta Institute of Technology) and the clue for NNE (54A: Binghamton-to-Utica dir.). The only true clunker in the grid is the ugh-ly partial MAN A (56D: "Every __ Tiger": Clancy book about Operation Desert Storm), but the reference to the first Gulf War in the clue means that anyone complaining about it is an unpatriotic commie pinko, so that was pretty smart.

  • 21A: Quick look (ONCE-OVER). Great colloquial phrase here. See also LOOK AT ME (55A: Show-off's shout) and I GUESS (28A: Tentative assent).
  • 41A: The blahs (ENNUI). I like to say ENNUI with a super thick French accent. And a sigh.
  • 30D: Rapper __ Rida (FLO). When I was a kid, I always thought it was silly how grown-ups would get all freaked out about popular music. Then one day, 10-year-old PuzzleDaughter was walking walking around the house singing Flo Rida's "Right Round," which, based on the chorus, I thought was about oral sex. Taking a closer look, I discovered it's about a stripper though, so whew! that's a relief.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 19A: "The Simpsons" character who graduated first in his class of seven million at the Calcutta Institute of Technology (APU).
  • 43A: Vietnamese holiday (TET).
  • 57D: "__ go bragh!" (ERIN).
  • 62D: Some MIT grads (EE'S).
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Everything 1A: Outlook (VISTA); 6A: Previewed, as a joint (CASED); 11A: Attempt (TRY); 14A: Part of a squirrel's stash (ACORN); 15A: Abundant (AMPLE); 16A: Little hopper (ROO); 17A: Bills and catalogues? (TYPICAL MAIL); 19A: "The Simpsons" character who graduated first in his class of seven million at the Calcutta Institute of Technology (APU); 20A: Advanced deg. (PH.D.); 21A: Quick look (ONCE-OVER); 23A: Remnant in a tray (ASH); 26A: Bygone (OLD); 28A: Tentative assent (I GUESS); 29A: Monk's unusual appendage? (THE FRIAR'S TAIL); 33A: Canaanite deity (BAAL); 34A: Source of light meat (BREAST); 35A: Nev. neighbor (IDA.); 38A: Ohio hometown of LeBron James (AKRON); 40A: It ended Nov. 11, 1918 (WW I); 41A: The blahs (ENNUI); 43A: Vietnamese holiday (TET); 44A: Sci-fi invaders (ALIENS); 47A: Iowa State home (AMES); 48A: Where a kid's shovel may be found? (BEYOND THE PAIL); 51A: Take in (ARREST); 53A: Yanks' rival (SOX); 54A: Binghamton-to-Utica dir. (NNE); 55A: Show-off's shout (LOOK AT ME); 58A: Lyon king (ROI); 60A: "Disgusting!" ("ICK!"); 61A: Traditional December spin around the harbor? (YEAR-END SAIL); 66A: Top pitcher (ACE); 67A: Bert's pal (ERNIE); 68A: Michelob __: light beer brand (ULTRA); 69A: Anderson Cooper, to Gloria Vanderbilt (SON); 70A: "__ Hope": '70s-'80s soap (RYAN'S); 71A: Dinner course (SALAD); 1D: Large container (VAT); 2D: Dangerous, as a winter road (ICY); 3D: Bribe (SOP); 4D: You might do it over your own feet (TRIP); 5D: News show VIP (ANCHOR); 6D: Oriole great Ripken (CAL); 7D: BBs, for example (AMMO); 8D: Cross (SPAN); 9D: Brings out (ELICITS); 10D: Convention representative (DELEGATE); 11D: 1961 Ricky Nelson chart-topper (TRAVELIN' MAN); 12D: Boxing ring borders (ROPES); 13D: Letter sign-off (YOURS); 18D: Go off-script (AD LIB); 22D: French affirmative (OUI); 23D: Plate appearance (AT BAT); 24D: Tremble (SHAKE); 25D: Like one just jilted (HEARTBROKEN); 27D: "On the Origin of Species" author (DARWIN); 30D: Rapper __ Rida (FLO); 31D: Walked down the 37-Down again (REWED); 32D: 2010 Super Bowl champs (SAINTS); 36D: Scheduled to arrive (DUE IN); 37D: Bridal path (AISLE); 39D: Pessimist (NAYSAYER); 42D: Brief sleep (NAP); 45D: Fundraising game (LOTTERY); 46D: Newly wool-less (SHORN); 49D: Rodent-induced cry (EEK); 50D: Genesis follower (EXODUS); 51D: Rap sheet name, maybe (ALIAS); 52D: Golfer Mediate (ROCCO); 56D: "Every __ Tiger": Clancy book about Operation Desert Storm (MAN A); 57D: "__ go bragh!" (ERIN); 59D: One of las Canarias (ISLA); 62D: Some MIT grads (EE'S); 63D: World's busiest airport: Abbr. (ATL); 64D: Nest egg letters (IRA); 65D: Youngster (LAD).

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