Saturday, July 21, 2007
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Worst Pickup Lines" - self-explanatory
Yet another constructor named "David." That makes EIGHT of you who have published puzzles since I started this blog last September. "Nancy" is a distant second, name-wise, with three. As for the puzzle - I had heard a LOT of these lines before, making filling in the long theme answers very, very easy. My only problem was exact phrasing, which I botched a couple of times, but the botching was always easily fixed. I finished this puzzle in 13:42, crushing my old record time for a Sunday puzzle (which I set just last week).
- 23A: "Pardon me, are you from the Caribbean? Because ..." ("Jamaican me crazy")
- 30A: "I know it's not my business, but if you were a laser..." ("You'd be set on stunning")
- 48A: "Say, is it hot in here...?" ("Or is it just you?")
- 66A: "Sorry to bother you, but do you work for NASA? Because..." ("You're out of this world")
- 85A: "Excuse me, I seem to have lost my phone number - ..." ("Can I have yours?")
- 102A: "I don't mean to pry, but are you from Nashville? Because..." ("You're the only TEN I see")
- 114A: "Even though we've never met, I'm sure your last name is Campbell. That's because..." ("You're Mmm Mmm good") - this last one is the Absolute Worst of the lot, which I suppose makes it Great, considering that's the point of the theme...
In the NE, I wrote ATLANTA, GA for 16D: City that won the first N.F.L. championship before realizing the crosses wouldn't work. Eventually, I worked out that it was AKRON, OHIO - what the hell is the love affair between the puzzle and this city??? It must be the most popular city name in the puzzle, or at least the most popular city with a "K" in it. ONE NINTH (15D: About 11%) was bizarre, but I sort of liked it.
In the "Kentucky" region of the puzzle, I had to go on faith. All the following Downs were iffy and/or mysterious to me:
- 52D: Japanese who won the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize (Sato)
- 56D: Afghan airline (Ariana)
- 57D: British tax (cess)
- 58D: Orders to plow horses (haws)
There's also another, nearby Down that I'd Never heard of: 50D: One _____ (kids' game) (o' cat). When was this ever a kids' game? Before electricity? Before ... tag? Thankfully, after wrongly entering SHIMMY for 55A: Hip-shaking dance, I figured out that it was CHA CHA, and that answer ran through All Five of the above mystery clues. Without it, I would clearly have been a dead man.
In the "Georgia" region of the puzzle, I was mystified, briefly, by 96A: Lemonade + _____ = Arnold Palmer (ice tea), especially since, first, I thought it was spelled ICED TEA, and second, two of the crosses are really weird. Since when is 87D: #2, informally VICE? VICE President ... is not informal. Like all right-thinking people, I put VEEP here. Also, do kids really take ECON (88D: H.S. course) in high school. I didn't see an ECON course til college. After what felt like forever, I finally retrieved SCOTT Simon's name from my head (101A: NPR's _____ Simon), and VICE and ECON fell, reluctantly, into place.
Lastly, the great SW had a few tricky entries, including the arbitrary TWO-FOOTER (78D: Easy putt, say) and the surprising PERRY COMO (77D: Recipient of the first gold single awarded by the R.I.A.A.).
Final notes: we have yet Another "MOESHA"-related clue again today (98A: Title teen in a 1990s sitcom - far more gettable than yesterday's insane YVETTES). We also have some guy named ADE (26A: Humorist George). I guess that clue's better than the more standard [Summer drink], but not by much.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS Four pop culture clues I left off last night (I was tired from reading Harry Potter til after 3am the night before)...
- 39A: Collins of '70s fun (Bootsy) - I know him primarily from a Dee-Lite video ("Groove is in the Heart") from 1991.
- 123A: Catfish Row resident (Porgy) - I know this name primarily from a Nina Simone version of "I Loves You, Porgy" (from the musical "Porgy and Bess," I assume).
- 64D: Band with the 1999 hit "Summer Girls" (LFO) - man, this is the most lethal pop culture clue I've seen in a Looooong time. I barely remember this song, and I did not remember this "band's" name.
- 76D: 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit (Adia) - a crossword staple. Her music is Soporific!
We now return you to your Sunday. -RP