Saturday, March 1, 2008
Relative difficulty: Super-Hard
This puzzle was indeed hard as hell. I just finished it, sitting here on Monday morning after the tournament, and I had two errors. So much for being the 55th best solver in the known universe.
CANIS for CANID (28D: Wolf, e.g.)
SUENA for DUENA (46A: Spanish mistress)
MISDIAL for MISDEAL (51A: Distribution slip)
INNA for ENNA (52D: Italian province or its capital)
Not sure which error is stupider. You be the judge.
1A: Event in which teams may drink rounds during rounds (pub quiz) - great clue / answer, though, never having participated in one, it took me forever to get. Q and Z!
17A: Conditioning system (pilates) - was tipped off to the possible answer of this one by commenter "mac" at the tournament. She said that she couldn't believe she failed to get the answer, as she did the answer every day.
21A: 1920s birth control advocate Russell (Dora) - nooooo idea. I'm sure wife would have known this.
22A: Author of "Save Your Job, Save Our Country: Why Nafta Must Be Stopped - Now!" (Perot) - this guy! Two-time independent presidential candidate, full-time eccentric billionaire.
24A: Name on some euros (Eire) - good way to hide this relatively common answer.
25A: They may be found in sneakers (odors) - look, I found an odor!
27A: "_____ vindice" (Confederacy motto) ("Deo") - "Under God, Our Vindicator" - guess God was on vacation or something during the Civil War.
31A: Place on a game board? (St. James) - as in "St. James Place" in Monopoly. Clever.
33A: A.L. home run champ of 1950 and '53 (Al Rosen) - full name, and one that would not have come to me readily had it not been for my having seen it in xwords before.
38A: Often-minimized thing (window) - got it off the "W," the only thing I had resembling a good instinct during this entire puzzle.
48A: Cuts into a pie, often (radii) - rough rough rough for me, all because I was sure that 48D: Zagat contributor was EATER. Consequently, I had EIGHT for the answer here at first. As in "let me cut your pizza pie into EIGHT pieces for you, sir."
50A: Field fare, briefly (MREs) - hot dogs? Some movie starring Sally Field? No - Meals Ready-to-Eat (another word I learned from xwords).
53A: Ostensible composer of "The Abduction of Figaro" and "Oedipus Tex" (PDQ Bach) - never really heard this guy, thus, didn't know his composing was "ostensible."
56A: Bennett of the Ronettes (Estelle) - had --TELLE ... not much choice after that, really.
58A: Bright planet, sometimes (daystar) - never heard the word. It appears to refer primarily to Venus. From Answers.com: "a planet (usually Venus) seen just before sunrise in the eastern sky"
1D: Leader who claimed to have put a fatal curse on J.F.K. (Papa Doc) - took a while, even with the terminal "C," but that's only because I couldn't give up IDI AMIN. My brain wouldn't let me.
2D: Cousin of Ascii (unicode) - my techno-ignorance continues.
4D: Some radio sources (quasars) - is this a brand name? No. Well, yes, but not here. Turns out QUASAR is a contraction of QUASi-stellAR radio source
5D: "'_____ Me?' I do not know you" (Emily Dickinson) ("'Unto'") - this makes little to no grammatical sense as quoted. Of all the ways to clue UNTO...
7D: Zipped up (zested) - is this ... like "spiced up" or "pepped up?" Yes. ZIP and ZEST are virtual synonyms as verbs. The "up" part of the clue here is unnecessary, and adds the misdirection (that direction: flywards).
8D: Boho-chic footwear (Ugg Boots) - sadly, this answer was given away to me, so knew it was coming. It's gorgeous, as fill goes. "Boho" is a shortened form of "bohemian," but seems also to want to play on the hip urbanity of SOHO (or the unhip rurality of HOBO).
10D: Old marketplace surrounder (stoa) - you ever know something and have no idea how or why? That's what happened here. I think "marketplace" made me think AGORA ... and somehow that triggered STOA, a word I couldn't have defined precisely, but that I knew was right here.
12D: Function whose domain is between -1 and 1 (arcsine) - much kerfuffle over this. Read comments.
14D: First pitcher to have defeated all 30 major-league teams (Leiter) - Al LEITER. I know who he is. I can picture him. So why I had LEITEL for a while, I'll never know.
36D: Bristly appendages (aristas) - thank god for crossword experience
40D: 20th-century German leader's moniker (Der Alte) - thank god for crossword experience x 2. Readers filled me in on the existence of this "moniker" many months ago, when I blogged ALTE for some now-forgotten reason.
45D: Man and others (bipeds) - not CANIDS. BIPEDS. Okay.
This BIPED has got to get some exercise. Sunday puzzle blog later in the day.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS Here's more evidence that Emily Cureton is a badass...