FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2008 - Barry C. Silk (BOSOX NICKNAME / MICHAEL WHO PLAYED COCHISE ON TV / SONDHEIM'S "MULTITUDES OF -----")
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Relative difficulty: Medium
EARTHQUAKE ALARM!? (13A: Detector of potentially dangerous waves) This sounds impossible and / or useless. An alarm to tell you that the ground just shook? I've been in earthquakes, and I don't need an alarm. I am alarmed. Unless you're telling me that there's something that can sense quakes coming, in which case Why Have I Never Heard Of Such A Thing? If I've just been in an earthquake, you might ask me "ARE YOU DOING OKAY?" (17A: Question of concern after someone has a bad experience) To which I'd respond "No. Send airfare. The earth does not quake here in Central NY. In NZ, it quakes all the time, apparently, though I never felt a thing.
This puzzle was difficult for me to get ahold of, but once I muddle through the top third, the rest fell fairly quickly. Wanted BALLS for 1A: Chutzpah (brass), but went with NERVE instead. Wrong. Had SKI RUNS instead of SKI AREA (8D: With 3-Down, slopes). Had SYRIA and then YEMEN instead of SUDAN (6D: Arab League member), which is apparently "Arab" by virtue of its ... oil? I know there are Muslims there. Are they Arabs? ANSARA sounds like it could be Arab, but it's just some actor guy's name I've never heard of (42A: Michael who played Cochise on TV). Toughest letter of the puzzle for me was the "K" in KITT (32A: Arizona's _____ Peak National Observatory) and (esp.) KNARS (32D: Lumber features). Really wanted a "G" there, but figured that even Americans would understand that naming something GITT was just asking for mockery, from British tourists if not a whole lot of other people.
- 21A: "Children of Men" star Clive (Owen) - he's terribly sexy. If I could be a movie star, I would be him. This was the answer (a gimme) that really helped me get started.
- 22A: Bosox nickname (Yaz) - When I started collecting baseball cards, he was still playing, along with Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk. I still remember the stats on some of their cards by heart. And yet my keys are where?
- 37A: Younger brother of George W. and Jeb (Neil) - needed the -EIL to get it, largely because I had ARE AS instead of ARE NO at 23D: "Thy servants _____ spies": Genesis 42:11
- 44A: 1923 A.L. M.V.P. (Ruth) - HA ha, the most famous player in baseball history and I totally blanked: "Ends in 'H' ... hmmm ... 'R--H' ... hmmm ..." YAZ yes, RUTH no.
- 45A: Japanese pilgrimage destination (Mt. Fuji) - thrilled to nail this one - off the -JI, I confidently wrote in MT FIJI and then stood AGAZE (16D: Like curious onlookers) at IHOH for 48D: "This doesn't look good" (uh oh), wondering what the hell went wrong.
- 50A: Far Eastern affirmative (Hai!) - goes nicely with MT FUJI
- 53A: Where moles might be found (CIA Headquarters) - got the CIA part early, but the rest came later, as I had ETONITE instead of ETONIAN at 35D: Ian Fleming or James Bond, which screwed up the crossing.
- 7D: Town near the D. H. Lawrence Ranch (Taos) - I have no idea what the hell D.H. is doing with a ranch in New Mexico.
- 11D: "Sicut _____ in principio" (doxology phrase) (erat) - better than [Q.E.D. part] ... I think. "Doxology" makes me laugh because it reminds me of "doxy," which is complete incongruous with the entire framework of this clue.
doxy, n.1. A female lover; a mistress.2. A sexually promiscuous woman.
- 12D: Sondheim's "Multitudes of _____" (Amys) - I know several Amys. One is in my writing group. One is my sister. One is a crossword blogger. Etc. Still, this answer is insane.
- 15D: Wikipedia alternative (Encarta) - I got this instantly, though I'm not sure how, as I don't think I've ever used it.
- 21D: Enthusiastic cry of support ("ole ole!") - reminds me (sadly?) of the opening of this song / video
which in turn reminds me of a clip from "The Office," which I cannot find. It involves Michael playing the chorus from "Hot Hot Hot" on the steel drum over and over and over. And over. In his office.
- 24D: Soap staple (vixen) - had to get my mind away from the other kind of soap, which took a while.
- 26D: You don't say it when you stand ("Hit me") - a great clue
- 46D: He broke with Stalin in 1948 (Tito) - I had TOJO, HA ha. Man, I'm tired.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld