Thursday, March 22, 2007
Solving time: untimed, but very fast, possibly my fastest Thursday ever - maybe 6 minutes?
THEME: "Case closed!" - four theme answers all have "Case closed!" as their clue. The answers are as follows:
17A: "End of discussion!"
24A: "I've heard enough!"
41A: "Not another word!"
54A: "We're done talking!"
This puzzle could have been harder. That is about my only complaint. The long colloquial expressions in the theme answers are all really lively, and while some of the non-theme fill was mysterious to me, the vast majority of it was quite good, with a couple of stellar clue / answer pairings. Today is Thursday, so a necessarily short entry. Sorry, Karen.
28D: Lifeboat crane (davit) - looks terribly made-up. The "V" was the very last letter I entered because despite my love for diners and coffee (I can almost taste the Stamford IHOP fare), it took a long time for the "V" cross, JAVAS (36A: Orders of "draw one" at a diner), to come to me. Do waitresses really speak like this any more? If so, tell me where, because I will totally go there, especially if the waitress looks / acts like Flo or the cook / owner / manager wears a crazy white beanie like Mel did.
Anyone remember Mel's last name?! I didn't 'til I saw it just now while trolling for the above pic. SHARPLES! Great name.
56A: Subject of some Thomas Moore poetry (Erin)
49A: Irish oath (begorrah)
Oh how I love the Irish! Grrrr. My first mistake was reading "Thomas MORE" for "Thomas Moore" and thinking "what the hell else did he write besides Utopia?" The mystery with BEGORRAH wasn't so much the answer as how to spell it, especially the end of it. I mistakenly had ALTS for HGTS at 53D: Elevs., so had an "A" and not an "H" in the final position, plus I had nothing in the penultimate position, as nothing was making sense for the cross, 52D: Constitution: Abbr. (anat.) (one of the few answers in the puzzle that I don't like). To counter the Irish presence in the grid, I'm glad that the puzzle was willing to crack out the 60A: British guns (stens). Take that, Seamus! (I am totally joking, so please no angry, drunken emails, thanks).
58A: Homme d'_____ (etat) - I know of the "Coup," not the "Homme." I assume it just means "statesman" or something close to that. Someone will enlighten me.
- 21A: Player with the first retired number in baseball (Gehrig) - new baseball knowledge for me
- 23A: Common time to start on a trip (dawn) - I , however, will be starting my trip (to Stamford) in the early afternoon, after my new dermatologist finishes checking me from head to toe for skin cancer! Because that's how I prepare for All my various tournaments.
- 35A: "What _____" (1996 Sublime hit) ("I Got") - my absolute favorite clue in the grid. None of this ["_____ Rhythm"] crap. I think Sublime's lead singer died of a heroin overdose, but this song, "What I Got," is one of the brighter spots in the mid-90s music landscape. This answer is also part of a trio of first-person partials in the grid, including also 16A: "___ Dancer" (1973 Nureyev documentary) ("I am a") and 24D: "Look what _____!" ("I did")
- 38A: Castellaneta, the voice of Homer on "The Simpsons" (Dan) - Sadly for this "Simpsons" fan, I never even saw this clue. Ms. Tracey knows what I like (although the clue could have been Shortz's). She is rapidly approaching David Quarfoot as grooviest, most Rex-pleasing constructor (and not just because she has said nice things about this blog publicly ... though that doesn't hurt). So get cracking Mr. Quarfoot. Less math-teaching, more puzzles for Rex.
- 61A: "The Secret of NIMH" figures (rats) - one of my wife's favorite books, and thus a gimme.
- 25D: Unlikely steakhouse patron (vegan) - nice way to clue this. VEGANs will not eat steak, it's true. They will also not eat an OMELET (46A: Dish you might flip over)
- 34D: Jason of the N.B.A. (Kidd)
- 48D: N.H.L.'er Nystrom (Eric)
- 4D: Tricky tennis stroke (drop shot) - with GEHRIG (above) these answers make for a very sporty puzzle overall.
- 23D: Remove (detach) - so easy and yet I just stared at DET-C- for what seemed like ever
- 10A: Dracula's inspiration (Vlad) - The Impaler! Best historical nickname Ever!
- 10D: Companion of Brahma and Shiva (Vishnu) - intersecting VLAD at the "V," and giving the grid a cool, multi-cultural look while also creating a death-dealing / universe-preserving dyad.
Chris Ware animation from new Showtime version of "This American Life"