Rabu, 28 September 2011

09.28 Wed

September 28, 2011
Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: Sue the Bastards — The first words of the theme answers form a familiar phrase related to the legal profession.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: *Test that sounds easier than it often is (OPEN-BOOK EXAM).
  • 26A: *"End of discussion" ("AND THAT'S THAT").
  • 36A: *Z's (SHUT-EYE).
  • 43A: *Thing to do before a heist (CASE THE JOINT).
  • 51A: What the first words of the answers to starred clues describe (LAWYER'S DREAM).
A few quick links to share with you before we get started. First, Brad Wilber has a new free themeless puzzle up at his website. I haven't solved it yet, but Brad's puzzles are always first-rate and you can choose from two sets of clues depending on how smart you feel. Second, the lovely and talented Andrea Carla Michaels is featured in a short video over at the Atlantic's website. Go watch it and fall in love all over again. And finally, you don't want to miss Dana Delany and Jimmy Kimmel chatting about crossword puzzles. They even mention a well-known crossword blogger (not me!). (Fast forward to about 16:30 if you're not interested in the whole show.)

Today's theme made me chuckle because it reminded me of a story PuzzleDad once told me:
After a 107-77 win over Kentucky Wesleyan, the preseason No. 1, in the semifinals of the D-II tournament, a television reporter asked University of Northern Alabama Coach Bill Jones if in his wildest dreams he’d thought he’d score the win in that fashion.

Jones replied: “My wildest dreams don’t include basketball.”
  • 6A: State secrets? (BLAB). We see a couple grammatical tricks in today's clues. In this clue "state" is a verb. And over at 60-Down, "retiring" is an adjective (meaning SHY).
  • 14A: Logger's competition (ROLEO). Learned this one from crosswords. Can't imagine I'll ever have occasion to use it in real life.
  • 17A: Bottomless pit (ABYSM). I had ABYSS here at first which caused me some trouble.
  • 31A: Symbol of strict control (IRON HAND). For some reason I wanted this to be IRON FIST. Is that a phrase too? I don't have time to look it up.
  • 63A: Corkers? (IRISH). Cute! County Cork is in Ireland.
  • 7D: Trunk attachment (LIMB). Anyone else get stuck picturing an elephant's trunk? What the heck would "attach" to that??
  • 8D: Chow chow (ALPO). The first "chow" is a type of dog. The second "chow" is a synonym for food.
  • 9D: Affectionate gesture con los labios (BESO). No idea what "labios" means. Affectionate gesture with one's labels?
  • 23D: "Bullying is __!": school rule (A NO-NO). I'm guessing the kids who are prone to bullying will also be prone to mocking this phrase.
  • 44D: Cape May County weekly (HERALD). Random!
  • 46D: Foster's dream girl (JEANIE). Awesome.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 1A: Olds compact (ALERO).
  • 10A: "Casablanca" character (ILSA).
  • 61A: Hindu royal (RANI).
  • 1D: Notre Dame's Parseghian (ARA).
  • 3D: Bridge guru Culbertson (ELY).
  • 21D: Greek vowel (ETA).
  • 53D: __-Ball (SKEE).
  • 54D: Manuscript marking (DELE).
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Everything 1A: Olds compact (ALERO); 6A: State secrets? (BLAB); 10A: "Casablanca" character (ILSA); 14A: Logger's competition (ROLEO); 15A: Get to (RILE); 16A: Like Switz. in WWII (NEUT.); 17A: Bottomless pit (ABYSM); 18A: Strike callers (UMPS); 19A: Major-__ (DOMO); 20A: *Test that sounds easier than it often is (OPEN-BOOK EXAM); 23A: Fill with bubbles (AERATE); 25A: Major stories (EPICS); 26A: *"End of discussion" ("AND THAT'S THAT"); 30A: Weather map figures (LOWS); 31A: Symbol of strict control (IRON HAND); 35A: Cycle opener (UNI-); 36A: *Z's (SHUT-EYE); 39A: Compete (VIE); 40A: She has a memorable smile (MONA LISA); 42A: Hamlet, for one (DANE); 43A: *Thing to do before a heist (CASE THE JOINT); 47A: Scrub, at NASA (ABORT); 50A: Either "Cathy's Clown" singer (EVERLY); 51A: What the first words of the answers to starred clues describe (LAWYER'S DREAM); 55A: Genesis victim (ABEL); 56A: Swedish furniture giant (IKEA); 57A: Egg holders (NESTS); 61A: Hindu royal (RANI); 62A: Tumbled (FELL); 63A: Corkers? (IRISH); 64A: Howard's wife, to the Fonz (MRS. C); 65A: Offended, with "off" (TEED); 66A: Homework assignment (ESSAY); 1D: Notre Dame's Parseghian (ARA); 2D: Tennis tactic (LOB); 3D: Bridge guru Culbertson (ELY); 4D: Vacation destinations (RESORTS); 5D: Brass band sound (OOM-PAH); 6D: Brown-haired boy (BRUNET); 7D: Trunk attachment (LIMB); 8D: Chow chow (ALPO); 9D: Affectionate gesture con los labios (BESO); 10D: Thorough (INDEPTH); 11D: April 1605 pope (LEO XI); 12D: "Poison" shrub (SUMAC); 13D: Elemental bits (ATOMS); 21D: Greek vowel (ETA); 22D: "The Family Circus" cartoonist (KEANE); 23D: "Bullying is __!": school rule (A NO-NO); 24D: Dickens's Drood (EDWIN); 26D: Homecoming guest (ALUM); 27D: Occupy, in a way (SIT AT); 28D: Roman numeral (TRE); 29D: Today, in Toledo (HOY); 32D: Help (AVAIL); 33D: Dolt (NINNY); 34D: Bug bugger (DEET); 36D: November ticket (SLATE); 37D: Embroidered word (HIS); 38D: Put to the test (USE); 41D: Painter's medium (ACRYLIC); 42D: Half-story windows (DORMERS); 44D: Cape May County weekly (HERALD); 45D: Time for celebration (EVE); 46D: Foster's dream girl (JEANIE); 47D: Security device (ALARM); 48D: Kid-lit elephant (BABAR); 49D: "Hee Haw" host (OWENS); 52D: Break (RIFT); 53D: __-Ball (SKEE); 54D: Manuscript marking (DELE); 58D: Family nickname (SIS); 59D: Org. with body scanners (TSA); 60D: Retiring (SHY).

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