Monday, February 5, 2007
- 20A: Modern fashion-conscious guys (metrosexuals)
- 39A: Unlikely showing at a multiplex (underground film)
- 58A: Yanks vs. Mets matchup, e.g. (Subway Series)
I guess I wasn't aware of how completely that word had entered the language. It sure livens up a Monday. This theme is nicely expressed, with French, British, and American versions of the mass transit system in question. Is there some other "matchup" that might be called a SUBWAY SERIES? The "e.g." part is throwing me. Wouldn't a Giants / A's World Series be a BART SERIES? Cubs / White Sox would be an EL SERIES. Where are the other SUBWAY SERIES of which the Yanks / Mets "matchup" is just one example? Further, another answer to 20A could have been GAYS. GAY AESTHETES fits. For something METROSEXUALS might say, see 32D: Cooler (niftier). For what they might eat, see 33D: Some Japanese cuisine (sushi).
Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts, who won the Super Bowl yesterday. I was rooting for them, despite my earlier pledge to support my namesake, Rex Grossman. Believe me, if you saw the game, you know how little pride my name gives me today. 1/2 way through the game, everyone at the Super Bowl party I went to was saying that Prince should be the MVP. At about the 2/3 mark (late third quarter) we changed our minds and decided Rex Grossman should be MVP for throwing such beautifully catchable passes ... to the Colts' defenders. Did he think he was playing friendly GAMES (69A: Nintendo products) of catch in his backyard? Those were some of the worst passes I've ever seen a pro QB throw! I won't even talk about the times he single-handedly lost 20 or so yards total on consecutive plays by running away from scary defensemen / generally falling down trying to recover his own fumble. Out and out humiliation. I felt bad for him. Genuinely bad. Looks like he would have been better off if he'd SAT OUT (23A: Didn't participate in). Surely the teams have multiple QB on their ROSTERS (21D: Lists). Still, we all agreed, Rex Grossman did play very well for a thirteen-year old.
2D: Most-played half of a 45 (Side A)
Objection. First, you don't know what side I listen to most. There is no hard data on what sides of 45s actually got played most - well, on jukeboxes, probably A, but still... this blanket assertion will not stand. Further, I prefer A-SIDE to SIDE A - I feel like we just saw B-SIDE (yes, yes we did - YESTERDAY). I entered ASIDE. The first of many false entries in this puzzle for me. Oh, I see ASIDE was already taken (57D: In reserve). If these two answers (SIDEA / ASIDE) had rotational symmetry, I would back off my criticism. But they don't, so I won't. So there.
4D: Bamboo beginning (sprout)
This is a truly horrible clue, especially for a Monday. Every plant "begins" as a sprout. SHOOTS is a more bamboo-centric answer (I can't believe my spellcheck likes "bamboo-centric," but doesn't like "spellcheck"). I spent way too long trying to think of phrases with "bamboo" in them. "YOOHOO, Bamboo!" What the hell could be a lead-in to "bamboo?" Oh ... the answer is SPROUT. Huh. Interesting. Also throwing me up here were 7D: Billy Joel's musical daughter (Alexa) - I didn't know she was Anybody worth noting, let alone "musical." Will we see his non-musical daughter next week? Had POUCH for STRAP at 4A: Purse feature, and I stand by my answer despite its manifest wrongness. Also tripped over PSEUDO (8D: Prefix with intellectual), which some would say is either ironic or perfectly appropriate. PS Billy Joel sang the National Anthem before last night's game. I left the room to get nachos. And to partake of the OPEN BAR (30A: Reception amenity). Which is to say that I got some beer. In bottles. There was no KEG (61D: Beer bust purchase).
61A: Olympics craft (kayak)
I entered this instantly. Why? Why would I go straight to KAYAK, without hesitation? Why? Further, why wouldn't TRAMS (27D: Mine transports) come to me? All kinds of crazy words were coming to me, like CARTS and DRAYS (!?) and TRAYS (!!?) but TRAMS was very slow in showing up. It's a good word, TRAMS, but, for my brain, too close to PRAMS for something having to do with mining.
I am not a fan of the word UNPOT (34D: Prepare to transplant). I guess DEPOT would be too confusing, what with its already being a perfectly good word in another context. UNPOT - and here I was trying to think of what they do to human kidneys before "transplanting" them: "REMOVE, CUT OUT, EXCISE, FREEZE? They're all too long!" I am a fan of the word HOLSTER (46A: Item on a gunslinger's hip), which goes nicely with 5D: 1973 Newman / Redford movie ("The Sting"). This grid has too many body parts for my taste:
9A: Where hair roots grow (scalp)
38A: Shinbone (tibia)
53D: Keep an _____ the ground (ear to)
71A: Iris's place (eye)
But REWASH (48D: Clean again) and HOSED (70A: Sprayed) intersect, which is cute. Not terribly happy to see the AGE OLD (50D: Ancient) crossword fill ELI (6A: _____ Lilly and Company) and ASP (22D: Dangerous hisser) and RELEE (18A: Pulitzer-winning biography of a Civil War general) or EERIE (16A: Causing goosebumps), and yet somehow I'm always happy to see the high-end Pantheonic contender R.U.R. in the grid (29D: Karel Capek classic), which should surprise no one, as it is about robots. Overall, there was a weirdness to the grid that slowed me down by about a minute, but in the end this was a NO HASSLE (42D: Easy, as a loan) puzzle.
Signed, Rex "don't call me Grossman" Parker, King of CrossWorld