MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2008 - Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake (1690s Massachusetts witch hunt locale)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: SPIN (55D: Twirl ... or a cryptic hint to 20-, 36- and 51-Across) - "SP" goes "IN" to a common answer to make a wacky answer, which is "?"-clued.
Easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl. No problem. Cute. Not one of ACME's more inspired puzzles, but it'll do. I beefed to Will that it's really more SPON than SPIN, in that you tack "SP" "ON" to the beginning of phrases, rather than inserting it "IN." He agreed, and yet I think we both agreed that the placement of "SP" fit under a broad understanding of "IN" - plus SPON, sadly, just isn't a word. I don't have much to say about this puzzle. It did inspire me to put on Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini" while I write this entry, which I am enjoying, so I appreciate the puzzle for that, at least (12D: Instrument for Rachmaninoff - PIANO).
I stumbled only a couple times, appropriately at two uncomfortable answers: GASSY (7D: Bloated, as the stomach) and ON CREDIT (39D: By deferred payment). For whatever reason, neither would come easily. Beyond that, I wondered aloud why the "Real-life" part was necessary in the SFPD clue (31D: Real-life org. seen in "Bullitt"). Will explained that it was to distinguish the answer from fictional org.'s like KAOS. But I don't think there was a fictional org. in "Bullitt." Just handsome Steve McQueen and his badass Mustang.
I also winced at the butchering of END [of] AN ERA (40A: With "of" plus 49-Down, momentous time). Cluing made me want to carry the four and divide by pi. If you can't get the "OF" in the grid, skip it.
- 20A: Aerosol tanning? (SPray of sunshine)
- 36A: Tiffany showroom? (SPace of diamonds)
- 51A: Babble incoherently? (SPutter nonsense)
It occurs to me that this puzzle is a LOT like yesterday's puzzle, where "ST" was added to phrases to get wacky phrases. I won't compare them - Mondays and Sundays are apples and oranges, respectively.
- 58A: Lerner's partner for "Camelot" (Loewe) - LOEW = theater owner, LOEWE = musical theater composer.
- 61A: Pesos : Mexico :: _____ : Turkey (liras) - argh, currency. Still weird to me that Turkey has Italy's old currency.
- 4D: Europe/Atlantic separator, with "the" (Atlantic) - also a fine magazine, to which I subscribe.
- 22D: 1690s Massachusetts with hunt locale (Salem) - also the cat on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch."
- 54D: Baseball's Hideo (Nomo) - memorize. N.L. Rookie of the year in 1995. Threw two no-hitters. His name will be in the puzzle forever.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld