Thursday, August 23, 2007
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: B-word homophones - all instances where Across and Down clues share the same first letter feature homphones that start with the letter "B"; the Across answer is clued, the Down is not (its clue is just a "-")
I can't believe 23 of you commented on my non-commentary! Thanks. I am reasonably well, thanks for asking.
I too did not get the "B" in BODE (27A: Point to) until the extremely bitter end, as I ran through the alphabet many times, with "B" never ever registering as a viable option. My mind treated the possibility of BODE the same way it would have PODE or GODE.
I did not notice that all the homophones were "B" words until I read someone's comment here. Shows you how observant I was feeling last night.
I did the puzzle without ever seeing the "Notepad" that explained the use of dashes as clues. Would have felt like cheating. Got the whole NW, saw that the "-" clue was a homophone of 1A: Obstruction at the entrance of a cave, maybe (boulder), and thus solved the rest of the puzzle's "-" clues easily. That BOULDER clue should have "... in cartoons or B-movies" added to it, as I'm reasonably sure I've never seen a BOULDER blocking the entrance to a cave in the real world (not that I have had occasion to see many caves).
Today was a day where being a puzzle addict helped, as stuff like DIRK (19A: Weapon in old hand-to-hand fighting) and IDA (58D: _____ B. Wells, early civil rights advocate) and OROS (31A: Rich Spanish decorations) and EOE (6D: Want ad abbr.) and N-TESTS (32A: Big blasts) even the horrid DESEX (15D: Neuter) were all easy first guesses.
"Recondite" is one of my favorite words - an SAT word I think I actually learned when I was preparing to take my SATs, and a word I have some occasion to use (if only in describing the scholarship of some of my peers). So 39D: Recondite (obscure) was gettable with just a cross or two. SEWERS took me a few seconds because, well, just look at it. SEWERS carry sewage. Only in very clear context do they SEW. Still, this answer goes well with 25D: Lowers the cuffs on, maybe (alters).
Just now, looking at the grid, I was wondering what POSEDAS meant in Spanish. Turns out it's two words - 66A: Pretended to be (posed as).
OK, that's all for this puzzle. Just wanted to have something up. I won't be getting back from Ithaca til late tonight, so Friday commentary might not be up til morning, but (I hope) no later than 9 am.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld