Sunday, March 2, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "GET [something]" - all theme answers are exclamatory phrases starting with "GET"
Well, I'm back from Brooklyn. I know, you're thrilled.
I have to polish this one off quickly, so I can go back and get Saturday (which has been ruined for me, but that's what happens when you don't do the puzzle in a timely fashion) and Sunday (which remains a blessed mystery). I will write up the whole ACPT experience, complete with many awesome pictures, some time this week - though I will post it on another blog and simply link to that blog from here, since I don't want to spoil tournament puzzles for those who still want to solve them at home. (Which reminds me ... ugh, I forgot to get copies of the tournament puzzles ... anyone want to send me copies of theirs? I'll be your best friend!)
So, Monday. Yeah, OK. It's a puzzle. Lots of GETs. Had hiccups all over the place, but nothing like real trouble. My keyboard technique remains shoddy and jittery, with much of my time spent correcting my own stupid sloppy typing. I do not like ANGLO as a an answer for 6D: White, in Mexico. White = BLANCO. I know that the clue is referencing race (at least I assume it is), but even then ... isn't GRINGO what you want here? There is no Spanish word "ANGLO" that I can find. Everything else in this puzzle seemed OK, if a bit blah.
[late addendum - from a Mexican reader: "We use the term "anglo" in Mexico (and many hispanics in the US use it widely too) to refer to the natives of this and other northern settlements (europeans included). Why? I'm not sure. Probably because Americans speak english, as in "anglo-parlantes" and then it derived into just "anglo". The jump to use it to refer to all whites, came just naturally, the way these things come normally in the collective conscience."]
- 18A: "Calm down!" ("Get a grip!")
- 24A: "Move!" ("Get out of the way!")
- 39A: "Pay attention!" ("Get this straight!")
- 49A: "Lookie there!" ("Get a load of that!")
- 60A: "Oh, be serious!" ("Get a life!") - this seems off. Not surprisingly, this answer transects the one region of the puzzle I wrestled with the most.
- 71A: "Savvy?" ("Get it?") - one of my alert readers just suggested that this might be a theme answer, and I suppose that's true, except ... it's a question, not an exclamation, and it has no symmetrical counterpart in the grid. That is, it has a symmetrical counterpart, but MARIE (1A: _____ Antoinette) hardly fits the theme. Very odd ...
I could not figure out GAG ON (49D: Not be able to swallow) or TOTED (51D: Schlepped) without a host of crosses. Neither clue seems particularly apt. [Not be able to swallow] appears to be figurative, referring to someone's story rather than, say, a giant pill or ... something else. And [Schlepped] implies far more dreary effort than TOTED, which is practically bouncy. I have a TOTE bag. I do not have a SCHLEP bag. I don't think those would sell very well. And then there's 56A: Like many a wiseacre's comment: Abbr. (anon.). I ... don't get it. To me a "wiseacre" is like a smart aleck, some mouthy jackass who keeps disturbing class because he thinks he's funny. Does this clue merely mean that many smart-ass comments in Bartlett's Quotations are attributed to no one in particular?
I just asked my wife why a TEAL is a 21A: Dabbling duck. She then made this weird sound with her mouth and motioned with her hand, in a way that I think was supposed to mimic a duck kicking through the water with its feet, but it just looked like a rude / half-insane gesture. Looking up DABBLE now... alright, first definition: To splash liquid gently and playfully. Wife: "I didn't know TEALs did that." Me either. Here I was trying imagine what a TEAL "dabbles" in. Water colors? The stock market?
- 13A: Actress Blake or Plummer (Amanda) - my favorite AMANDA Plummer moment involves the very beginning of "Pulp Fiction." Right before a robbery attempt, standing on a booth in a diner with a pistol gripped tightly with both hands and looking and sounding completely insane, she shouts: "Any of you f@#$ing pr&%ks move, and I'll execute every motherf@#$in' last one of ya." That's the line that starts the opening credits rolling ... and then we don't return to this storyline again until the very end of the picture. I'm not really sure who AMANDA Blake is.
- 34A: Cap or helmet (headgear) - had HEADWEAR, and so GIRTH (35D: Middle measurement) took me way longer than it should have.
- 64A: Car model with a musical name (Sonata) - Hyundai! I should make a point of memorizing all its models. And KIA's models too, while I'm at it.
- 66A: Metalliferous rock (ore) - ORE is easy, but you don't see "metalliferrous" very often. Nice, flashy clue word.
- 33D: Sutcliffe of the early Beatles (Stu) - give me DISCO STU or give me death!
- 41D: Golfer _____ Aoki (Isao) - his name means "He Who Is Destined for Crossword Immortality." Both his first and last names are crossword gold. 75% vowels = high use-value.
- 52D: "Gimme _____!" (frequent Alabama cheerleader's cry) ("an A") - cute, but I've seen it before. Plus ... have we confirmed that Alabama cheerleaders would actually do this sort of cheer - a letter-by-letter spelling of the whole damned state name!? Wouldn't that bore the audience to tears, if not rage? "But we just gave you three f@#$ing A's! Use one of those!"
- 62D: Some Christmas greenery (ivy) - I had FIR. IVY grows on walls of colleges. I have never brought any indoors for Xmas. Is mistletoe a kind of IVY? No, but it turns out that, unbeknownst to me, both "holly" and "ivy" are traditional Christmas plants. Live and learn.
OK, that's all. Must sleep. Tomorrow I will play puzzle catch-up.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld, and as of today, the 55th Greatest Crossword Solver in the Universe