Minggu, 18 September 2011

09.18 Sun

September 18, 2011
Pawel Fludzinski

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme: "Idiom's Delight" — Contradictory adages.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Great minds think alike, but ... (FOOLS SELDOM DIFFER).
  • 38A: Ignorace is bliss, but ... (KNOWLEDGE IS POWER).
  • 95A: Birds of a feather flock together, but ... (OPPOSITES ATTRACT).
  • 110A: Two's company, three's a crowd, but ... (THE MORE THE MERRIER).
  • 16D: Don't judge a book by its cover, but ... (CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN).
  • 33D: He who hesitates is lost, but ... (LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Looks like this is Pawel Fludzinksi's debut puzzle. Congratulations! And congrats also on having one of the coolest names ever to appear in a crossword byline. Even cooler than two of my favorite crossword names: Pamela Amick Klawitter and Xan Vongsathorn.

Mr. Fludzinski teaches us that you can find a suitable cliché to support any argument or position. Do you like to dress like a slob? Don't judge a book by its cover. Do you like to watch "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"? Ignorance is bliss. Are you an animated, rapping cat who's in love with Paula Abdul? Opposites attract.

I noticed an odd feature of the grid today. All six theme answers are clustered around the edges, leaving the center of the grid theme-free. It's too bad that Mr. Fludzinski didn't tuck a short axiom into the middle. Any suggestions? I've always wondered what the opposite of "A stitch in time saves nine" would be.

  • 34A: Boolean operators (ORS). Boolean algebra uses "and" for multiplication and "or" for addition. Something like that. Close enough for crosswords.
  • 48A: Like some silences (AWKWARD). Umm...yeah...I should probably say something about this entry...umm...a little help here?
  • 54A: Pro ___ (BONO). Phrase that describes most U2 fans.
  • 60A: Big Easy quarterback (BREES). Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
  • 80A: One of Esau's wives (ADAH). Bonus points to anyone who can name another of Esau's wives.
  • 81A: Stud alternative (EAR DROP). An earring shaped like a drop, I presume.
  • 84A: Texas city named for a Kansas city (ABILENE). Interesting bit of trivia. The one in Texas is a lot bigger.
  • 15D: Veggie chip brand (TERRA). They make those blue potato chips they give you on JetBlue flights. Good stuff.
  • 77D: 1987 All-Star Game MVP Tim (RAINES). A gimme for anyone who was a baseball fan in the '80s. For the rest of you, good luck.
  • 107D: Helen of Troy's mother (LEDA). Leda is mother of Helen, Castor, and Pollux. Leto is the mother of Artemis and Apollo. And of course, Zeus is the baby daddy for all those kids. He really got around. I seem to remember PuzzleGirl giving us a mnemonic to differentiate between LEDA and LETO. Let me go back in the archives and find it... OK, about a year ago, PuzzleGirl wrote: "I think I'll try to remember that the one that doesn't end in A is the one whose children's names begin with A. We'll see if that works." No that doesn't work. Just makes it more confusing. Write in the LE part, and use the crossings for the rest. That's my system.
Have a puzzly week. See you all next Sunday.

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