Sunday, September 30, 2007
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: AEIOU (17D: Fivesome seen in order in the answer to each starred clue) - in every theme answer, every vowel appears once, and in alphabetical order
ABSTEMIOUS. What about ABSTEMIOUS?
I uncovered this theme very early - had GAME MISCONDUCT in place already when I hit 17D, and when I saw that the "fivesome" in question was A-I--, I took one look at GAME MISCONDUCT and knew instantly what I was dealing with. All theme answers were easy to get from there, sometimes with only a little help from crosses. The non-theme fill was a lot of fun- a lot of colorful, unusual words, but almost nothing that made me think "are you #$#%-ing kidding me?" Which is nice, because who really wants to be hurling profanity at the computer on the Lord's Day?
- 23A: *Ice hockey penalty (game misconduct)
- 13D: *Professional courtesy in pricing (trade discount) - a new term for me
- 34A: *Tongue-in-cheek (facetious)
- 40A: *Somewhat in jest (half-seriously) - great phrase
- 68A: *Sign of coming danger (gathering clouds) - kinda like the opposite of a bird flying by on the right (if you did last week's puzzle, you'll understand)
- 94A: *Drifter (wandering soul) - reminds me of really bad half-hour series on HBO twenty years ago called "The Hitchhiker" - really poorly written serial about a laconic hitchhiker who gets in lots of R-rated-nudity situations somehow...
- 102A: *What "dele" means (take it out) - love this one; reminds me of the great Franz Ferdinand single "Take Me Out" - that song is like two songs: starts one way, and then at the minute mark, totally segues into a different, but still awesome-sounding song. Where was I?
- 119: *Barnyard fixture (watering trough)
- 58D: *Time during a graveyard shift (late-night hour)
I am late this morning - spent my normal blog-writing time in Ithaca last night with my brilliant writing group - so I am going to do a fifty-yard dash of a write-up this morning, starting, of course with ...
57D: Poet who wrote "The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on" (Omar) - OMARR, OMARR ... OMAR? When I said OMARR needs to go away, I did not mean that he should get a haircut, put on a fake mustache, and then try to sneak back in. I need a break from all look-alikes and near-homonyms: no OMARS, no O'MARAs ... just recede into the past for a while, OK? Good. (see Fri. and Sat. puzzles if you have no idea what I'm talking about)
2D: Silas of Continental Congress (Deane)
104D: "The Family Circus" cartoonist (Keane)
They rhyme. Further, "THE Family Circus?" I had no idea about the definite article. I wonder if that comic is popular at THE Ohio State University?
16D: Maker of Bug-B-Gon (Ortho) - wanted ORKIN
12D: City of New Orleans operator (Amtrak) - I did not get this until the song drifted through my head just this second:
"Good morning America, how are ya?
I said 'Don't you know me, I'm your native son.
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans.
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done."
8D: Derisive gesture (snook) - ??? If Shrek had a cousin, this would be his name.
20: Footballer-turned-politician Swann (Lynn) - great wide receiver for the Steelers in the 70s. Lost race for governor of Pennsylvania recently.
1D: Annual literary award (Edgar) - that's for mysteries, in case you didn't know
9D: Periods in prison, e.g. (ordeals) - mine was not, btw
5D: Jewish crepe (blintze) - no idea these were Jewish. Jewish food? at IHOP? OY(S)! (6D: Exclamations of exasperation)
24D: Biotite and Phlogopite (micas) - I can tell that that clue's going to get serious Google traction
98A: Colorless, flammable gas (ethylene) - more science I don't really know
79D: _____ nitrate (amyl) - and still more (though I have heard of this...)
117A: Tin: Prefix (stanno-)
122A: New Hampshire senator John (Sununu)
I would like to suggest we coin the word STANNOSUNUNU. I am open to suggestions as to what it should mean.
55A: Patron saint of metalworkers (Eloi) - hands up if you know ELOI only as a ["Time Machine" race].
45D: Development sites (uteri) - hellish clue. Had it ending in "S" forever and wondered, aloud, "What the hell are UTERS?"
41D: English playwright Ayckbourn (Alan) - me and my English Ph.D. never heard of this guy.
102D: Italian poet Torquato _____ (Tasso) - me and my English Ph.D. nailed this guy.
25D: Home of "The Diane Rehm" show (NPR) - never heard it
34D: Christopher Morley novel "Kitty _____" ("Foyle") - vintage paperback collecting comes in handy...
115A: Actress/spokeswoman Belafonte (Shari) - her dad was in the puzzle recently, for "The Banana Boat song," I think. Day O!
32A: Surgically excise (resect) - gross
116A: Ancient Greeks region (Aeolia) - 5/6 vowels! Beat that.
89A: Roman historian (Livy) - more ancient greatness
114A: Israeli statesman Barak (Ehud) - heard the name a lot. Never seen it written out, I don't think.
88A: Dan _____, former N.B.A. star and coach (Issel) - big white guy, played for the Nuggets. Love the throwback basketball clues. Speaking of Denver...
52A: Rocky Mtn. highs? (elevs.) - had ELEWS because at that "W" cross I had the sensible WINES for 54D: Chiantis, e.g. (vinos)
84D: Nielsens (TV ratings) - looks good in the grid
71D: Role in "The Color Purple" (Celie) - never saw it. This role was played by Whoopi.
82D: Lick again (rewet) - Gross. And, not a word!
93D: Saint-_____, capital of France's Loire department (Etienne) - also, a band.
I'm out of steam, and can't concentrate 'cause daughter is coughing like a consumptive. Must go.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld