MONDAY, Jul. 14, 2008 -- Ed Early (LIKE THE OUTFIELD WALLS AT WRIGLEY FIELD / PETER WHO DIRECTED "THE LAST PICTURE SHOW" )
Monday, July 14, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
So Rex is on his way to New Zealand and you're stuck with me, PuzzleGirl, for the next couple days. Wade and SethG will also be filling in and, I tell you what, we were emailing each other like crazy all day yesterday.
At first we were all "This is nerve-wracking." "Rex has a huge following, what if we hose it up?" "What the hell was Rex thinking giving us authority over CrossWorld?" But then we started to get used to the idea. Ya know, "We're college-educated -- certainly we can think of something interesting to say!" "We're smart enough to find funny photos tangentially related to something in the puzzle!" "We know how to post YouTube videos!!!" (Well, that was just Seth and me. Wade is … technologically challenged.) So we're feeling pretty good about ourselves right now and I'm going to go ahead and get this thing rolling. Oh s%*t. It's a boring puzzle. Maybe that's a little harsh. There's nothing really Wrong with the puzzle, it just … well, nothing really jumped out at me as remarkable. And yet, I'm going to remark on it anyway….
THEME: Wetlands -- Theme answers start with a type of wetland.
- 17A: Red Sox stadium (FENway Park)
- 54A: Seaside community NE of Boston (SWAMPscott)
- 11D: Peter who directed "The Last Picture Show" (BOGdanovich)
- 24D: "The Goodbye Girl" actress (MARSHa Mason)
I rated this puzzle easy-medium (instead of straight-up easy) because I breezed through it, looking like I was going to break a record, but then got hung up in the AUK / RUPP / SWAMPSCOTT area. I can assume I'm not alone in initially entering ERN for AUK (46A: Diving seabird). I had to think really hard to come up with RUPP (44D: Coach Adolph in the Basketball Hall of Fame) and, as I've never heard of Swampscott, I thought for a second that SWAMISCOTT(?!) was reasonable.
Other notable stuff:
- 6A: Massachusetts vacation spot, with "the" (Cape). Continuing with our Cyndi Lauper theme from yesterday, she was on Letterman once and referred to it as "The Cod." I always call it that now.
- 8A: Make holes in, as for ease of tearing (perforate). Great word.
- 14A: Like the outfield walls at Wrigley Field (ivied) sitting right on top of Fenway Park. Nice.
- 20A: Actor Omar (Sharif). I had the Biggest Crush on him when I was in, like, third grade. Wait a minute, it wasn't Omar Sharif, it was Robert Goulet. How did I get those two guys mixed up?
- NIH (39A: Fed. biomedical research agency) was just in the puzzle yesterday. It helps to pay attention!
- We've got a religious thing going in the center with PRAYS (30D: Says grace, e.g.) crossing (40A) "O Come, ALL YE Faithful."
- 48A: Classic Alan Ladd western (Shane). If you can watch the end of this movie without dissolving into a puddle of tears, there's something wrong with you. "Shane! Come back!" I tear up just thinking about it.
- 54A: "_____ Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (SGT). Classic.
- And I'll leave you with a video related to 57D: TRA la la (thanks, Seth).
Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments. See you tomorrow.
Signed, PuzzleGirl, on behalf of H.R.H. Rex Parker