Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Relative difficulty: Easy
Theme: "Five" - six (?) theme answers contain the word "FIVE," including two intersecting sets of "FIVE" (one in the NW, the other in the SE)
This felt very Monday-ish. I finished in a very Monday-ish sub-5 minutes. I might have been faster, but my brain wouldn't allow itself to become convinced that the only real thematic element here was "FIVE," and that "FIVE" would be repeating itself all over the grid, and that this info would prove a huge advantage in uncovering other theme answers. Had intersecting FIVE's in the NW and thought ... well, not much, but certainly not that Every Theme Answer Would Contain a Five. I wouldn't say the puzzle was very ARTFUL (54A: Like Dickens's Dodger), but I learned a few things.
- 17A: Eisenhower was one (five-star general)
- 3D: Nickel (five cents)
- 23A: 2:30, aboard ship (five bells) - never ever heard of this; cool expression
- 49A: Rests for a bit (takes five)
- 32D: Request for a congratulatory slap ("gimme five!")
- 57A: Shortly after quitting time, for many (quarter past five) - don't like this at all. It's a totally arbitrary time. :(
- 30A: Ho Chi Minh's capital (Hanoi)
- 46A: Chiang Kai-shek's capital (Taipei)
- 4D: Slugging it out (toe to toe)
- 20A: Move unsteadily (teeter)
- 39D: Be worth (count for) - OK that one's a stretch, but a ref does COUNT FOR 10 counts when a boxer has been knocked down. This answer slowed me down more than any other, because I had the CO- and wrote in "COST ..." :(
- 13D: Ceramists' baking chambers (kilns)
- 64A: Pizzeria fixture (oven)
- 6D: Feathery wrap (boa)
- 49D: Brimless cap (toque)
- 2D: Garfield's foil (Odie)
- 51D: "The Family Circus" cartoonist Bill (Keane)
- 43D: "My Name is Asher _____" ("Lev")
- 63A: Shul V.I.P. (rabbi) - experience tells me this clue will get a lot of Google searches. The simple [Shul's shepherd] sent hundreds and hundreds of people to my site. As did [Rabbi's instrument] => SHOFAR. Rabbinical matters appear to be a blind spot for many solvers (not just me).
- 53A: "Waiting for Lefty" playwright (Odets)
- 33D: Pierce player (Alda)
- 21A: Delon of "Purple Noon" (Alain) - so sexy; go rent "Le Samouraï" right now - this guy is the ultimate noir actor.
- 67A: Try for a role (read)
That's pretty much it. I liked A FIRST (29A: Something new), but just because of the inclusion of the indefinite article, which is so unusual in puzzles. Never saw OMSK (10A: Trans-Siberian Railroad stop) or MUNI (16A: City bond, for short) in the NE because I got the whole section from Downs alone. I like clue at 9D: Fruity quencher (ade), if not the answer.
I must go get coffee and Munchkins with my dog now, and then work like crazy til noon, when I have to go pick up my wife from a rather unpleasant medical procedure (she is Totally Fine, it's just a semi-routine examination that many of you have likely had). It does not pass the breakfast test.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld