SUNDAY, Oct. 19, 2008 - Joe DiPietro (Ballet's Markova or Alonso / Platform introduced in 1981 / New York City racetrack, informally)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Perjury" - 112A: Perjure oneself ... or what can be found six times in this puzzle (LIE UNDER OATH) - letter string "LIE" is physically located directly under the letter string "OATH" six times in this puzzle
This is a wonderful idea. I was annoyed until the very end because I thought "How can putting OATH" in six answers be a theme?" Never saw the LIEs until the theme-revealing answer. Always a good feeling - being genuinely surprised by a puzzle. The only little glitch here - and it's very little, I'll admit - is that the theme-revealer breaks the consistency of the execution of the theme, putting OATH in the shorter answer and putting it on top of LIE. I realize that still makes LIE under OATH, but it looks and feels different. Further, you've got a lone OATH hanging out there all by his lonesome. The OATH in LIE UNDER OATH sits atop not LIE, but LOY. LOY under OATH is funny if you are former crossword blogger Robert LOY, but otherwise, it's just sad. What's sadder (to me) is that it appears the constructor really wanted to get LIE to work (where LOY is now). You can change the "O" to "I," but that "Y" just won't become an "E" no matter how hard you try. No such thing as "WHE." Unless you are interrupted in the middle of reciting "Little Miss Muffet."
- 24A: Is completely hamstrung (can't dO A THing)
- 28A: Completely cover (LIE over) - LIE appears as himself ... hmmm
- 26A: Cold sufferer's complaint (my thrOAT Hurts)
- 30A: Contradict (beLIE)
- 77A: Title of some 2004 Summer Olympics preview shows ("The Road tO ATHens")
- 83A: Security agreements (LIEns)
- 108A: Atlantic City casino (Show BOAT Hotel)
- 114A: Batted the ball too high, perhaps (fLIEd out)
- 106A: Certain feeds for horses (OAT Hays)
- 112A: Perjure oneself ... or what can be found six times in this puzzle (LIE under oath)
- 1A: Titles for some monks (doms) - I had FRAS. This is what happens when you know too much about medieval religious.
- 31A: Stream bank sliders (otters) - I thought this would be some kind of as-yet-unheard-of seafood. And if you're Really hungry, I guess it is.
- 34A: Old printing process, for short (roto) - learned from xwords; it's short for "rotogravure" (or so I'm told)
- 50A: Ballet's Markova or Alonso (Alicia) - one of a handful of "???" answers today. [Actress Silverstone] would have helped me here.
- 56A: Opposite of comico- (serio-) - weird - the only word I can think of that uses either of these two word parts actually combines them: "seriocomic."
- 84A: Spanish Harlem grocery (bodega) - any excuse to play Aretha is fine by me:
- 101A: Platform introduced in 1981 (MS/DOS) - mmm, vague memories
- 103A: 1969 Nabokov novel (Ada) - Read it when I was 21 and don't remember a thing about it. Lolita, I remember.
- 8D: Poet known as "the Tentmaker" (Omar) - feel like I haven't seen this clue for this guy in a long time.
- 23D: Kind of rice used in risotto (arborio) - interesting answer. I kept thinking ARROYO (which means "canyon"...?) and AROMATIC and, of course, BASMATI (!?).
- 42D: Cardinal's residence (bird's nest) - I of course went for Catholic Cardinals first. Then St. Louis. Something about "BIRD'S" feels redundant here.
- 52D: Slip a Mickey to (drug) - any puzzle with both DRUG and SLUG is OK by me. Spade gets slipped a Mickey in "The Maltese Falcon"; here's a nice long clip from the movie's middle, which culminates in the Mickey scene:
- 75D: New York City racetrack, informally (Big A) - total guess. For one second I thought "BIGA?" Then my xword experience kicked in and I parsed it correctly.
- 97D: Longtime Philippine archbishop _____ Sin (Jaime) - really? He's famous enough? OK. Total guess.
- 109D: Siouan people (Otos) - weirdly, I feel like I haven't seen them in a while. They're normally about as ubiquitous as ERIE.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld