THURSDAY, Dec. 25, 2008 - Eric Tentarelli (Cousin of a treecreeper / Star of Broadway's "QED," 2001-02 / Family name suffix in taxonomy)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Football teams - wacky clues whose answers are made up of three NFL football team names (in the singular)
Merry Christmas. Not a very Christmasy puzzle. I guess we got ours on Sunday. Not only is this puzzle not Christmasy, it seems to suggest that Santa has, in fact, been killed - at least that's my interpretation of the RED SNO at the bottom of the grid?
- 20A: Chestnut-colored mustang offspring? (brown bronco colt)
- 38A: Main dedicatee of an Austin cathedral? (chief Texan saint)
- 55A: Hefty invoice for boots and spurs? (giant cowboy bill)
Cute clues. Wonder who wrote them? The theme is something I think I've seen before. Feels familiar. The team names don't go together for any particular reason except that they make a coherent phrase, which is enough, I guess.
- 1A: Choker component (clasp) - Had PEARL, which got me off to a slow start
- 6A: Music pioneered by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires (ska) - Educated guess (3 letters, and I know it's not RAP ... coulda been EMO, I guess). My intro to ska:
- 16A: Bygone Olds (Alero) - 21st century crosswordese. Other answers I got because of constant crosswording include O'SHEA (25D: Dublin-born film star Milo), ARAL (12D: Asia's _____ Sea), IONA (56D: College in New Rochelle, N.Y.), and LUCE (43A: Time-honored man?) - "Time" is a magazine title in that last one, in case you were still or ever wondering.
- 17A: Sorkin who created "The West Wing" (Aaron) - total gimme; loved "Sports Night," never watched "The West Wing." Tons of names in the puzzle today, including ARNE (23A: "Rule, Britannia" composer), ALAN ALDA (8D: Star of Broadway's "QED," 2001-02), AGNEW (31D: Predecessor of Ford), SNEAD (69A: Masters champ of 1949, 1952 and 1954), and some guy named NOLAN I've never heard of (47A: David _____, founder of the Libertarian Party).
- 22A: Its coat of arms includes a vicuña (Peru) - find the vicuña!
- 33A: Pitcher Hideo Nomo's birthplace (Osaka) - had the "K," which made it obviousish.
- 66A: Last name of Kipling's Kim (O'Hara) - very Irish up in here: O'SHEA, O'SAKA, now O'HARA ...
- 6D: Pelvic bone (sacrum) - yoga instructor mentions this bone a lot.
- 13D: Shed (molt) - had LOSE (as in "shed some pounds"). Grrr...
- 21D: Bust holder (bra) - what's a three-letter word for "pedestal?" Oh, you mean boobs.
- 30D: The City of a Thousand Minarets (Cairo) - as with OSAKA, I had the key letter in place (in this case, the "C" - though the "O" might have been telling too)
- 48D: Light ratio in astronomy (Al Bedo) - good ol' AL (I did not know this one, clearly - and I know it's one word and not a guy's name, so hold the email, thanks)
- 59D: Family name suffix in taxonomy (-idae) - the original version of this puzzle did not have the word "suffix" in it, hence my mild confusion. Don't like this and IDEA (35A) in the same puzzle - what's the big IDAE!?
- 58D: Cousin of a treecreeper (wren) - didn't know it. Just asked wife if she knew what a "treecreeper" was, and she answered: "Is it a bird? .... Is it a kind of WREN?" Damn her and her birdishness! How can I steal her powers?
- 46D: Home of Fort Scott National Historic Site (Kansas) - this one tripped me up badly, but only bec. the orig. clue was written with an abbrev. -> [Home of Fort Scott Natl. Historic site], and so naturally I expected one in the answer.
Enjoy whatever it is you eat today. I love you guys! (and I'm not even drunk ... yet)
PS, click here to find out the answer to "What Was In the Basement?" - it is unbelievably fantastic, and the photo doesn't even begin to do it justice. P.S. I got my wife more than just the mug (though the mug is unique, handmade, and awesome)