TUESDAY, Jul. 31, 2007 - Allan E. Parrish

Monday, July 30, 2007


Relative difficulty: Medium

Theme: WALKS (29D: Word following the last parts of the answers to the five starred clues)

This is a fine Tuesday puzzle, with some quirky long fill. My one complaint - why is WALKS plural? I mean, I'm sure it's for reasons of construction, but its plural status is annoyingly superfluous, as WALK "follow[s] the last parts of the answers to the five starred clues" just as well as WALKS, if not better.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: *Line formatting option (triple SPACE) - this was hard. I wasn't even sure what "line formatting" meant (chorus line?). I pieced it together fairly easily after getting many crosses.
  • 11D: *College in Worcester, Mass. (Holy CROSS) - I like that this CROSSes MIRACLE (25A: Prerequisite for sainthood), not to mention the Biblical HOSEA (47A: Book before Joel).
  • 40A: *Hipster (cool CAT) - When would anyone use the phrase "cool CAT" anymore? "Hipster" is irrevocably derisive, whereas "cool CAT" is just loopy and beatnik. For the most UNcool cat ever imagined, see drawing, right.
  • 61A: *Education overseers (school BOARD) - weakest of the lot.
  • 33D: *Kids' game (patty CAKE)

I didn't get the theme til the very end because the "K" in WALKS was the last letter I entered. This is because I'd never ever heard of 46A: Explorer Zebulon (Pike), though that's probably the PIKE's Peak guy, right? Why did his parents name him after what I can only imagine is a fictional planet and / or space alien leader. "Set a course for Zebulon!"

Neither wife nor I knows what "ALLA breve" is, which is probably very sad (14A: _____ breve). Wife also didn't know ELOI (28D: "The Time Machine" race) or LAIC (34A: Not of the cloth), both of which, I informed her, were very crosswordesey. In fact, I know ELOI only from crosswords (as a former medievalist, I knew LAIC).

I like the near symmetrical placement of ALERO (2D: Last Oldsmobile to be made) and EDSEL (59D: Collectible Ford product). My love for COATI (64A: Ring-tailed mammal) as both a word and an animal is well documented. PLEB (72A: Commoner) feels like it's missing a vowel and REECE (71A: Model/volleyballer Gabrielle) looks like either a misspelled REESE or a decapitated GREECE. You decide. Speaking of "Model/volleyballer" ... that's only the second-silliest slash descriptor in today's clues. The first: 53D: Musician/wit Levant (Oscar).

Finally the ICE-T clue of the week is, apparently, 35D: "Ricochet" co-star, and the answer to today's "Guess That Mauna" challenge is KEA (38D: Mauna _____).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

34 comments:

Orange 11:37 PM  

Today's "Guess That Mauna" challenge? You, sir, are one cool cat.

profphil 12:44 AM  

Rex,

Zebulon is one of Jacob's sons. One of the 12 Tribes of Israel. I guess you have not reached that portion in your Bible readings.

As to hyphenated clues don't you mean virgule(d) as there is a slash and not a hyphen, suggesting and/or?

Good to see you back to the old Rex, smart and playfully sarcastic.

jae 1:30 AM  

Interesting that 70a ALDE shows up in a Tuesday puzzle after being in last Friday's. Thanks to the discussion in this blog it was a gimme. Before Friday I had no idea Adenauer was known as "Der Alde."

campesite 1:47 AM  

Lately I've been using 'hipster' without derision or irony, which clearly makes me an uncool cat.

It wasn't until after I'd finished the grid that I saw PAWN in the selling definition rather than the chess piece.

Konrad Adenauer has been making regular appearances in the grid lately. Seems to me there was a higher than average amount of proper names in the grid, as this one has about twenty names in it out of 78 clues.

Alex 2:00 AM  

Yeah I know plenty of people who would say hipster without any real derision.

Shouldn't SCHOOL BOARD be SCHOOL BOARDS since the clue is plural? I don't think SCHOOL BOARD is, of itself plural (though it has plural members).

Paulo 3:01 AM  

jae, I think you meant ALTE not ALDE. The former doesn't work in the puzzle even though alte is, I believe, related to old in German (not a language I know).

Anonymous 3:36 AM  

Alle Breve is 2/2 time.

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

I liked this puzzle for the most part, but I thought 3D ("Britain's P.M. until 2007" = Blair) was remarkably artless, unless I'm missing something...Obviously Blair was the P.M. well into 2007, and was NOT P.M. for most of the time "until" 2007.

Nice commentary today.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

I wasn't a fan of the puzzle. A lot of today's fill was pretty obscure for a Tues in my opinion.

For instance out of the entire NE corner the only the only answer that was (and still is) recognizable to me was HOLYCROSS.

Also ICET, TEC, HOCK, LAIC, KEA, ALLA, ALTE, MARM, and APLOMB were all pretty unfamiliar to me.

For what its worth I'm the kind of person that can usually get halfway through a Thursday.

oh well

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Set a course for Earth circa 1960 in your Time Machine.

If you've never seen this movie, it's worth renting - if only to see Hollywood's most advanced technical effect, "time lapse photography"....(And of course, another crossword favorite, YVETTE Mimieux as Weena)

Scott 9:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Parker 9:08 AM  

Can't believe I forgot to mention my favorite clue of the puzzle, and possibly the best way that the simple SHE has ever been clued: 43A: Cyndi Lauper's "_____ Bop." Also forgot to mention that it took me an inexplicably high number of passes to figure out @#$#-ing AGNEW, despite the fact that his likeness (on the face of my beloved watch) hangs not three feet from my face in my home office.

rock rabbit 9:56 AM  

Never heard of ALLE breve either. Thanks, Anon, for clearing that up. I'll probably reforget it :) I was sure CAFE breve was correct.

So RAHAL rears his head again so soon? Believe it or not, I'd already forgotten it, which made my spouse (a race car industry kind of guy) semi-snort his cereal when I read the clue to him....

Wade 10:02 AM  

TEC is making a run for the pantheon ("Private eye, slangily"), but it's a word I've never heard outside of crosswordom and one I forget every time I come across the clue and the one that wouldn't let me submit the completed puzzle today--the model/volleyballer was no help, either. I went for REESE and REEDE but never REECE. Fine deTECtive work on my part indeed.

M. Murphy 10:20 AM  

Even better than the 1960 film is Wells's novel, which is short enough to read in an hour or less, and a great allegorical sketch of Darwinist and Marxist anxieties about labor and degeneration.

easl 10:40 AM  

jae: the correct spelling for adenauers nickname is "Der Alte", and I agree with you that this answer appeared just last Friday, being clued "Aged Frankfurter". I like todays clue better, because the answer to "Aged Frankfurter" should have been just "Alt".

Jim in Chicago 10:43 AM  

I'll always remember Nixon/Agnew since at the time of the election a local wag took one of the bumper stickers and cut it into pieces so it read NIX ON AGNEW. Must have been a crossword fan.

easl 10:46 AM  

alt=old, Der Alte=the old [man]. easl=english as second language

jae 10:53 AM  

My bad (oops--see Sunday)! Can I blame dyslexia again? I had ALTE in the acrosslite grid, I just mistyped it here.

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

Being from Zebulon, Pike County, Kentucky,(near Pikeville in the eastern part of the state) I had great glee in filling in those squares. There are a lot of places named after him. Who knows why????

Fergus 1:56 PM  

All I can say about this puzzle is that I learned that YAW can also mean to veer off course. I had thought it specific to one of the three dimensional directions of angular motion, as in roll, pitch and YAW.

Liked seeing APLOMB in there, but I think of that relating more to grace and style than mere Self-assurance. This is just a little moan, not a carp or a grouse, and certainly not a kvetch of a higher order.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

haha at "Set a course for Zebulon!"

I too wondered who he was.

Pete M 3:50 PM  

You, sir, are one cool cat.

Speaking of cool (for) cats, I just saw Squeeze last night in a venue of about 250 people. What a cool show that was! :)

green mantis 5:06 PM  

I got the answer after I had "trip" filled in, but has anyone ever seen triple-spaced text? Why would you do such a thing? Even double-spaced looks a little skeletal and lonely. Triple would be like text Siberia.

GK 5:42 PM  

"Alla breve" is also known as "cut time," since it's indicated at the beginning of a piece by the letter C cut through by a vertical stroke. The letter C without the stroke indicates 4/4 time, i.e., 4 quarter notes per measure, whereas alla breve is 2 half notes per measure. On the printed page their measures look identical (since one half note equals two quarter notes), but in alla breve one should feel only two strong pulses per measure, rather than four. Typically an alla breve is faster than a 4/4.

Wade 6:21 PM  

Green Mantis, one of those weird facts that has stuck in my head: somewhere I read that Norman Mailer types his novel triple-spaced.

Wendy 7:36 PM  

Squeeze!?! With or without Jools Holland?

C zar 7:59 PM  

Private eye, slangily is "TEC?" I've never heard of "TEC," can someone explain this to me?

Anonymous 8:51 PM  

I was surprised you did not comment on Rahal (1986 Indy 500 winner) in both Sunday and Tuesday.

Orange 9:50 PM  

c zar: deTECtive

Kitt 10:10 PM  

I liked the puzzle. I also always like Mauna_____ can be either of two things and both at least end in an "a".

Glad you're back up to snuff and feeling better, Rex.

Also, I have to say would never have gotten 9A if it wasn't in a puzzle earlier this week. Oh! I can remember a couple of days later --- got that goin' for me.

Anonymous 11:50 PM  

"She Bop" indeed is the best clue. Hardly breakfast table subject matter if you look at the lyrics.

Anonymous 2:59 PM  

when I was about 60 years younger , my mom would give me a dollar a week and a safety pin to
pin it in my pocket(no wallet in those days) she called it "pin money" have no idea otherwise--I got it quickly--my somewhat younger wife had not heard of it

Tom 3:36 AM  

Pin money describes a small sum, money for some inexpensive item or items (like pins or hairpins). I've heard it all my life, but didn't get it until the cross clues became obvious.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP