TUESDAY, Apr. 17, 2007 - Jennifer Nutt

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "FISHTAILS" (33D: Has the rear end move side to side ... or a hint to the five asterisked clues): each of the non-fish-related answers to the five asterisked clues ends in a word that that can be followed (or "tailed") by "fish."

And the fishy answers are:

17A: *Chicken (scaredy cat) => CAT FISH
23A: *Very good child (little angel) => ANGEL FISH, etc.
48A: *Venus (Evening Star)
59A: *Purple sandwich filler (grape jelly)
11D: *Short shadow caster (mid-day sun)

Cute theme with nice, symmetrical execution. FISHTAILS suggests to my ear that the words will follow, not precede FISH, but whatever; it works. Had the most trouble with GRAPE JELLY, first because I wouldn't let that stuff anywhere near my sandwich, second, because the clue should have read "spread," not "filler" (gross), and lastly, because the SE was just kind of a mess. I had TUILE and TOILE before I finally got TULLE (?) for 51D: Veil material (me and fabrics ... don't get along). Further, I could not think of any "Mae" but FANNIE, so 64A: _____ Mae (college money provider) eluded me in eel-like fashion for a few beats down there. Oh, and JAL (61D: Major Asian carrier, for short) - which I assume stands for Japan Airlines - was unknown to me. I've never been to Japan - or Asia, period, for that matter. Wow, is that true? Yes it is.

28A: Tiebreakers, briefly (OTs) - not always. I think of a "tie-breaker" as something that Definitely breaks a tie, not a period of time during which a tie might be broken.

39D: Frequent flier's reward (free trip) - not always. Sometimes you get upgrades.

38A: You might R.S.V.P. online to this (e-Vite) - I'm not sure which letter gets capitalized; the way I have it makes the answer look like the brand name of a vitamin drink. This answer is creeping into more and more puzzles. The Internet has been a Massive Boon to the crossword constructing industry.

35A: It lets things go (releaser) - yikes! Horrible odd-job answer. See also...

41A: Snugglers (nestlers) - I let this one pass because I know the Nestlers, and they are wonderful people.

43A: Reddish-brown (sienna) - When is Sienna going to come back on the show? Now that Craig has taken over Worldwide and changed its name to Montgomery Enterprises (abbreviated "ME," ha ha), I'd expect to see his ex-wife return to the show for some kind of shenanigans. If you don't watch "As The World Turns," just ignore the preceding comment.

44A: "Die Lorelei" poet (Heine) - I have this weird feeling that this clue / answer pairing was common about 20+ years ago, but not so much recently. I had to get it from crosses.

45A: Vietnam Memorial designer (Lin) - damn her and her common name, which I always forget.

1D: Photographer Adams (Ansel) - my family somehow knows his family. It's all kind of hazy to me, but true. I grew up in Central California, where Adams is like unto a god. When I was a kid, Adams and Leroy Nieman were the only artists (besides maybe Monet) whose work I could identify at a glance.

22D: Obviously injured (bleeding) - normally I'd have something smart-ass to say about this answer, but on the day after the (how many times can they say it) "worst mass-killing in American history," and on a day when I have to return to my own college campus and face a bunch of kids who look just like those Virginia Tech kids, in my own totally unsecured lecture hall ... I'm just not in the mood.

Take care,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


reeling rock rabbit 8:51 AM  

Rex, thank you for your comments about Virginia Tech, my alma mater. Reeling from the events and unable to sleep, I was up at 3AM distractedly filling in this puzzle. The unfortunately coincidental clue-answer "obviously injured-bleeding" hit me the same way. And a better clue for "chair" might have been "orchestra position".

Rex Parker 8:54 AM  

Yeah, I hear ya, but those clues were in the pipe long ago, or at least many days ago, I'm guessing. Just coincidence, which is inevitable.


Linda G 9:17 AM  

I'm with you both in spirit as you deal with a tough situation. We're coming up on the Columbine anniversary. I remember how wide the effects of that were. We all thought differently the next morning when our kids went off to school--a place where everyone should be safe.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Rex, as always, thanks. I always enjoyed rushing here to compare my puzzle entries. I wait patiently for your t-shirts. Jean

Ultra Vi 9:30 AM  

I knew Heinrich HEINE as the poet for many songs by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. Sometimes music is the best antidote for a chaotic world.

Listen to some Schubert songs and keep the faith, everyone.

Alex 10:13 AM  

I wonder how many people doing the puzzle were assisted on SALLIE Mae by the fact that it was announced yesterday (big financial news) that Sallie Mae is being bought for $25 billion.

mmpo 11:24 AM  

The fish tail the expressions-- scaredy-cat (fish) Little angel (fish), etc.-- not the fish names! Iow, each expression has a fish tail.
I know HEINE from the song "Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done)"...even though the word is actually "hiding," as in "Don't try hiding, cause it isn't any use." Another Kiss This Guy serendipitous learning experience.

(A moment of silence for the young lives lost yesterday. My heart weeps for the parents who lost their pride and joy to a random act of rage.)

Andrew 12:41 PM  

ATWT: It's Sierra, not Sienna.

Rex Parker 1:00 PM  

Dammit! No wonder I couldn't find SIENNA via Google. O well....

campesite 1:59 PM  

Just got back from a "FREE TRIP" (but they're never free). Good to see DRUID in the puzzle.

(My thoughts go out to the Virginia Tech community).

profphil 2:02 PM  


Great to have you back. As to JAL it's been in the crossword before because I remember not coming up with the answer not too long ago but getting it immediately now. Nic e to know the brain occasional works and is able to learn new items.


jlsnyc 5:16 PM  

hey, rex -- am hoping that you and your students were able to discuss/make any kind of "sense" of the vt shootings. what a challenge for educators. i was a senior in college when the kent state shootings occurred. it set our campus into a bit of a tailspin and the faculty and administration were superb in helping us through.

loved vi's thoughts about music in such times.

and mmpo -- just curious. *heinrich* heine and "comes love"? interesting!


mmpo 7:29 PM  

Not sure what you're curious about, Janie, but when I heard this song, I thought I was hearing "Don't try Heine, 'cause it isn't any use." I remember thinking it made sense in light of songs like "But not for me," "They all laughed" and...something else that I can't think of at the moment.

jlsnyc 8:04 PM  

oh, mmpo -- i'm an idiot. just re-read your 11:24 post. yes -- a "kiss this guy" moment for you, pure and simple. sorry to complicate!!


mmpo 8:24 PM  

Actually, come to think of it, I think what I heard was don't try "Haydn"...and Heine was some other song. :]

Anonymous 11:43 AM  

Don't tell me anyone outside of Australia knew 25 down was "ETD" for Etadunna. Have any of you been there? Almost every three-letter combination is an airport destination. And I still don't understand OTS(28 across). Is this a sports references to time out? I got everything in this puzzle but that darn T!

Rex Parker 11:44 AM  

It's a sports reference alright, but to OVERTIMES, not time-outs.


Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Nevermind...overtime (OT)

Anonymous 4:51 PM  

EtD = Estimated Time of Departure and not a place similar to ETA for estimated time of arrival

Anonymous 10:15 PM  

Thank you. I have traveled so maybe I should have known ETD was estimated time of departure and not some little known city in Australia. I feel a little stupid, but gratefully I'm anonymous.

The original darn T writer.

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