Monday, May 28, 2007
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: BAR (38A: It can precede the starts of 16-, 26-, 43- and 58-Across and 10- and 33-Down)
Well, I guess I picked a good week to start scaling back the size of this blog, because I have Nothing to say about this puzzle. It is completely unremarkable, as far as I can tell. 6 kinds of BARs, 4 horizontal, 2 vertical, with BAR sitting in the center of the grid, clued in the ungainly fashion I love so much. Here are your theme answers:
- 16A: #1 hit (chart topper)
- 26A: Some 1960s-'70s attire (bell bottoms)
- 43A: Watch (keep an eye on)
- 58A: However (nonetheless)
- 10D: Playground game (hopscotch)
- 33D: Manhattan Project and Operation Overlord (code names)
That last one was pretty tricky, and actually held me up a bit. The only name I could think of was OPPENHEIMER, and then, even with CODE in place, I still had no idea what the clue was going for. Aside from that, the only interesting thing that happened to me on the way to solving this puzzle was working MISHIT (42A: Faulty shot, as in tennis) backwards and giggling to myself when the answer read --SHIT.
I will now force myself to do a Featured Five, though this puzzle is giving me very little to work with.
15A: Ending with pay or plug (ola) - Do I even want to know what PLUGOLA is???
20A: Summer coolers (ades) - if you play online Boggle (and I know some of you do), then you know that the program does not recognize ADE as a word. I remember, almost 20 years ago, seeing ADE in the puzzle for the first time and thinking that it was ridiculous as a stand-alone word. As far as I was concerned, ADE was a suffix that went with LEMON-, maybe LIME-, and possibly GATOR-. And yet many years later I had gotten used to it, such that Boggle's refusal to accept it made me angry.
40A: Alan of "Betsy's Wedding" (Alda) - If it's Alan _____ in four letters, it's ALDA, so why not throw down the most ridiculous piece of work on his CV? Oh, maybe Alan _____ in four letters could be LADD. But I don't think their careers overlap, so distinguishing between them shouldn't be too difficult.
13A: W.W. II conference site (Yalta) - I had MALTA. You'd think I'd know the difference by now.
2D: Sounded content (aahed) - While I recognize this as a marginally valid word, nothing can change the fact that this "word" looks stupid when written out. The only words I care to see in the grid that begin AA are AARDVARK and A.A. MILNE. I will say, though, that the constructor makes a valiant effort at redeeming this "word" by including a version of its counterpart on the other side of the grid: OOH (59D: "La-la" preceder).
In parting, allow me to share my miscues (in addition to the MALTA/YALTA confusion):
- 21A: Comforting words ("It's OK") - I had "I CARE" for a while
- 10A: In (hot) - I had HIP
- 52D: _____ fixe (prix) - I had IDÉE
- 44D: Mourning of the N.B.A. (Alonzo) - spelled it with an "S," causing me to make my next error:
- 62A: Skyrockets (zooms) - I had SOARS
I'll end by saying something nice - BERET has never been clued better than it was today: 63A: Prince's "Raspberry _____".
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld