SUNDAY, Jan. 4, 2009 - Daniel A. Finan (Event first won by Marmon Wasp / Asian capital whose trains offer oxygen masks / Afternoon serial informally)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Theme: "When in Rome" — familiar phrases with Roman numerals in place of number words.
Hey, everybody. PuzzleGirl here, filling in for the just-about-done-vacationing Rex Parker. I've been home with the kids for 11 days now and PuzzleHusband has decided to detox from nicotine today. So, basically, I'm hiding out, trying to be as quiet as possible, and hoping I can make it through one more day until Monday when everyone Gets The Hell Out Of The House. In the meantime, let's talk about the puzzle, shall we?
- 23A: Many a fish story — THE I (one) THAT GOT AWAY
- 30A: Stubble — V (five) O' CLOCK SHADOW
- 47A: Last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille — THE X (ten) COMMANDMENTS
- 63A: 1976 #1 hit whose title follws the words "There must be ..." — L (fifty) WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER
- 84A: Gabriel Garcia Márquez best seller — C (one hundred) YEARS OF SOLITUDE
- 98A: Event first won by a Marmon Wasp — INDIANAPOLIS D (five hundred) (I admit I had no idea what this clue meant. Turns out it's a car.)
- 111A: Salad bar option — M (thousand) ISLAND DRESSING
I'm just going to do a quick run-down because I'm tired and I just want Rex to be back and for all to be right with the world. Know what I mean? Oh, but first I just want to say that I'm Totally Excited about all the new people participating in the comments. You guys rock!
- 20A: Experiment runner? (lab rat). Don't remember seeing this in the puzzle before. I like it!
- 44A: Nickelodeon's "Kenan & _____" (Kel). Never heard of them. We've got more of an iCarly, Drake & Josh kinda thing going on at our house.
- 55A: Film speed no. (ISO). Hey look! "International Standard ISO 5800:1987 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines both an arithmetic scale and a logarithmic scale for measuring color-negative film speed. Related standards ISO 6:1993 and ISO 2240:2003 define scales for speeds of black-and-white negative film and color reversal— ..." ZZZZzzzzzzzzz.
- 71A: Auto whose name is derived from a Zoroastrian deity (Mazda). Who knew?
- 73A: _____ Blake, player of Miss Kitty on "Gunsmoke" (Amanda). I couldn't find a clip of Travis Tritt's "When in Rome," so here's Toby Keith before he got so ... angry. (There just isn't enough country music on this blog!)
- 83A: Puppeteer Tony (Sarg). He's the guy who developed the character balloons used in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades.
- 89A: Vintage film channel (TCM). I can Never remember this. I always think it's TMC (The Movie Channel) or AMC (All Movie Channel). But no. It's Turner Classic Movies. I'll never remember that.
- 90A: Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan (Kenosha). If it's not Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, or La Crosse, I got nothin'.
- 105A: Charlottetown's home: Abbr. (PEI). That's Prince Edward Island for us non-Canadians.
- 106A: Clear brandy (eau de vie). That's French for water of life, right SethG?
- 119A: 1997 horror film with the tagline "If you can't breathe, you can't scream" ("Anaconda"). Okay, that sounds scary.
- 4D: One of Ty Cobb's record 295 in the A.L. (triple). He holds a few other records too.
- 35D: "Call Me Irresponsible" lyricist ([Sammy] Cahn). Here's Michael Bublé. (Pretty sure he made up that name.)
- 36D: Mother of Helios (Thea). Anyone else need to brush up on their mythology before Brooklyn?
- 41D: Untagged, say (not it). Of course, you can't just say "not it." It's gotta be "NOT IT!" Right?
- 42D: Word said before someone snaps (smile). Funny story. A few years ago we had a bunch of PuzzleHusband's family to our house for Thanksgiving. We all crowded together to have a family photo taken by my brother-in-law. Of course, he did the usual "Say cheese!" Then he previewed the photo and said he needed to take another one. Everyone got back in place and he goes, "Everyone say 'Gina's pregnant!'" With everyone's reactions to that news, the picture is priceless!
- 46D: Deadbeat (loser). I think a deadbeat is actually a specific type of loser, but I guess it works.
- 51D: Manhattan neighborhood (NoHo). Raise your hand if you entered SoHo at first.
- 57D: Hoi _____ (polloi). Many years ago, my sister and I unknowingly found ourselves on a private beach in Key West. A waiter came around and we struck up a conversation with him. He explained that the fence was there to "keep the riffraff out." I'm all, "Dude. I really hate to tell you this, but we are the riffraff!"
- 63D: Asian capital whose trains offer oxygen masks (Lhasa). At 12,000 feet, Lhasa is the capital of Tibet.
- 68D: "It was _____ and stormy night ..." (a dark). I'm sure you all know about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which celebrates what Wikipedia calls "a certain broad style of writing, characterized by a self-serious attempt at dramatic flair, the imitation of formulaic styles, an extravagantly florid style, redundancies, and run-on sentences." Good stuff!
- 86D: "The X-Files" grp. (SETI). Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Okay, this looks like it's a real thing. Bizarre.
- 96D: Afternoon serial, informally (sudser). I found it! The clunker! The big honkin' ugly word in the grid! Here it is! Right here!