TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2009 - D. Kantor and J Kaskel (Risk-taker's credo / Two-seated carriage / Hockey fake-out)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "MIXED NUTS" (63A: What 17-, 26-, 38-, and 52-Across contain) - consecutive circled squares in each of the theme answers contain various arrangements of the letters N, U, T, and S.
Word of the day: DEKE - (v.) To deceive (an opponent) in ice hockey by a fake; (n.) A fake, intended to deceive a member of an opposing team. (answers.com)
I'm back from my comical adventures in freezing cold morning flat tire repair. Those words should probably be hyphenated in some fashion, but my fingers are still numb from the cold, so no way. Wife's tire was low on air, so she went to the gas station, and in the process of figuring out that their air pump was not working / frozen, deflated the affected tire even more. She's using my car to buy a new air compressor now, as the one in my car is a piece of @#$# and refuses to do anything but provide meager illumination with its stupid lamp component. Anyway, kwik write up today (had KWIK in a puzzle I'm constructing yesterday ... then realized it might be a deal-breaker and so, sadly, removed it).
Today's puzzle was a theme I swear I've seen before. And I don't mean the general anagram concept. I mean "MIXED NUTS" in particular. AHA! Here it is, in a far more interesting / challenging form, with different kinds of nuts anagrammed inside each theme answer. The good thing about today's puzzle is that the theme answers themselves are inherently interesting, vibrant, and ... grabby. No surprise that my favorite is AUNTSELMA (17A: Marge's sister, to Bart Simpson). There is no other show that has crossworthiness to a depth of 10+ characters. Well, I haven't done the research, but I really doubt it; there's all five Simpson family members and MOE and NED and OTTO and APU and ABE ... "Simpsons"-haters should get used to seeing at least those names for ... I'm going to say 'the rest of their lives.'
- 17A: AUNT SELMA
- 26A: Not a good way to buy a car (sighT UNSEEN)
- 38A: Risk-taker's credo ("no gUTS No glory")
- 52A: Seasonal Arctic phenomenon (midnighT SUN)
- 56A: 1972 treaty subj. (ABM) - anti-ballistic missile; don't see that much anymore. It's all ICBMs these days (the word that both Clinton and Stewart both got easily when solving the puzzle in "Wordplay")
- 58A: _____ Report (luxury lifestyle magazine) (Robb) - There's a VA senator named ROBB. He would have been welcome here.
- 68A: "Need You Tonight" band, 1987 (INXS) - four improbably combined letters? That earns you crossword credibility for years and years to come. Music!
- 28D: Moonwalking Armstrong (Neil) - More moonwalking for you:
- 46D: Steakhouse offering (ribeye) - I don't eat RIBEYE, but I have to say that as a piece of fill, I ADMIRE it (47D: Regard highly)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld