Friday, July 11, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Letter(s) + words (or, none)
Short explanation of today's tardiness:
1. I have a puppy
2. I dogsat for another puppy last night (my puppy's brother, who, unlike my puppy, does not sleep quietly through the night in his crate yet...)
3. I had to work (god forbid) today, advising the incoming wee ones
4. I spent the afternoon w/ a dazed look on my face watching old "Project Runway" episodes, completely forgetting that I hadn't yet written the blog
5. I ran last-minute errands (today is the last weekday before I leave for NZ)
I have not yet read any of the comments, so sorry if I repeat anything you all have already said.
OK, so this puzzle was good. Check out all the letter (or initials) + word (or name) combos:
- 36A: So-called "Texas White House," once (LBJ Ranch)
- 34D: He said "I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally" (W.C. Fields)
- 18A: Suspect eliminator, often (DNA test)
- 37D: Barnes & Noble acquired it in 1987 (B Dalton)
- 3D: Hollywood icon since 1924 (MGM lion) - I led with MAE WEST
- 1A: It can be used to get your balance (ATM card)
- 20A: Big name in Web-based correpondence (G-Mail)
- 46D: Fritz the Cat's creator (R. Crumb)
- 10D: Heat meas. (K-Cal) - they made great compilation albums in the 70s and 80s.
- 8D: Impress, and then some (B-dazzle)
What else did this puzzle have? Some stumpers:
- 30D: _____ Wheeler, 1964-70 chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Earle) - I know EARL Weaver ... he was the longtime Orioles manager.
- 26A: Early Japanese P.M. Hirobumi (Ito) - on M or T, this is an OJ trial-related clue
- 36D: "Mecanique Celeste" astronomer (Laplace) - I know he's been in the puzzle before, but that didn't help at all today
And then there was...
- 8A: It's flaky and nutty (baklava) - mmm, it sure is. Used to eat it all the time in Ann Arbor (where there were several decent Middle Eastern restaurants). Now I rarely see the stuff.
- 22A: Old televangelism letters (PTL) - if you are too young to remember the 80s well, this one might have been lost on you. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were tabloid legends of my teens.
- 27A: Old sitcom couple's surname (Mertz) - EZ - plus the clue's a bit boring
- 40A: Natives of Umm Qasr (Iraqis) - I'm just glad I was not asked to come up with either UMM or QASR
- 4D: Stuffed and roasted entree (capons) - I know I'm tired and could be imagining things, but didn't we just have this answer, like, yesterday?
- 6D: Abbr. after Sen. Richard Lugar's name (R-IN) - on M or T, this is a RIN Tin Tin clue. Or perhaps ["There's no _____ 'team'!"]
- 39D: Ring after exchanging rings? (hora) - eluded me for a while. You dance the HORA in a ring ... surely one of my many Jewish readers has already explained this.
- 41D: Extravagant romantic (Quixote) - this makes QUIXOTE sound like a synonym for DON JUAN or LOTHARIO. QUIXOTic "romance" is way larger than the modern heterosexual connotations of the word would suggest. QUIXOTE is "romantic" in that he thinks he is In A Medieval Romance (a knight errant, on a quest).
- 49D: Singer profiled in "Sweet Dreams," 1985 (Cline) - I feel like this came out at roughly the same time as "Coal Miner's Daughter," but that can't be. "CMD" was five years earlier, it turns out. In "Sweet Dreams" (a phrase which now reminds me only of Eurythmics), Jessica Lange played Patsy CLINE.
- 52D: Great Trek figure (Boer) - wanted something Chinese, then KIRK or SULU, then ...
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS, *Man*, I should not-write my blog more often! My traffic is Off The Charts. For 8 hours in a row I had over 1000 visitors/hour. That is Nuts. I'm going to be close to 15K visitors by day's end (absolutely crushing my site's old traffic record)