Monday, September 24, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Location? - three theme answers begin with HERE'S, THERE'S, and WHERE'S, respectively
This isn't much of a theme, and yet it hardly matters because the theme answers are colorful and the non-theme fill is tremendous, especially for a Monday. Fellow xword blogger Orange semi-ruined this puzzle for me by sending me a message telling me how she thought this puzzle was everything a Monday puzzle should be. Her message was marked "No Spoilers" - and yet knowing that I was supposed to expect goodness made the goodness less affecting when it came. But I still enjoyed the puzzle quite a bit. And I set a record time for me - 3:36 or 3:37, I forget. One of those.
- 20A: Old "Tonight Show" intro ("HERE'S Johnny")
- 39A: Admonition to a showboating athlete ("THERE'S no 'I' in 'team'")
- 53A: Kid's book with a hidden character ("WHERE'S Waldo")
This puzzle has a whole lot of what I like in late-week puzzles: colloquialisms and multi-word answers. In fact, several answers are multi-word colloquialisms, including:
- 14A: "In my opinion..." ("I'd say...")
- 9D: Benchwarmer's plea ("Play me!")
- 41D: Zero (not a whit)
- 66A: Out of favor, informally (in bad)
Not to mention THERE'S NO 'I' IN 'TEAM', the great multi-word colloquialism in the middle of the puzzle. Did not know 22D: Nita of silent films (Naldi) - actually, I'm almost certain I've seen this answer before, but her name just didn't stick. She crosses 25A: Bygone Rambler mfr. (AMC), which is a gimme for me, for reasons I don't understand. GMC sounds like it could be right too, but there's no one (I'm fairly sure) named NGLDI, so no problem there. I had a hell of a time with EYE SHADE (5D: Poker player's headgear), first because I hate poker-mania and the elevation of loser poker players to TV personalities and the general culture of dickishness that goes along with poker. Second, because I call an EYE SHADE a "visor," I think. Coolest non-theme answer in the puzzle: TOWNIE (46D: Local noncollegian, to a collegian). Reminds me of "Breaking Away." Second-coolest non-theme answer: VENAL (49D: Open to bribery). Least favorite word in the puzzle: CREME (29D: Oreo's filling). I feel about CREME the way I feel about BLEU and THEATRE, i.e. not good.
Thanks to ALF (6A: Furry TV extraterrestrial) and PACMAN (27A: Classic arcade game) for representing the 80's today. My kind of OLDIEs (44A: Almost any doo-wop tune).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld