MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2009 - A Arbesfeld (Stretchable holder / "_____ 18" (Leon Uris novel) / Hoverers over sports stadiums)
Monday, February 23, 2009
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: BAND to BUND - five theme answers end with BAND, BEND, BIND, BOND, BUND, respectively
Word of the Day: CUMMERBUND - A broad sash, especially one that is pleated lengthwise and worn as an article of formal dress, as with a dinner jacket. (answers.com)
Rather than talk about this puzzle's theme, I'll just refer you to the last time this puzzle was published - Monday, April 30, 2007. Not this puzzle exactly, but same idea. Same vowel shift. Only one theme answer overlap, though, in RUBBER BAND (17A: Stretchable holder). Not much to say beyond this. It was a Monday puzzle.
- 17A: Stretchable holder (rubber band)
- 23A: Loony (around the bend)
- 35A: Strong family connections, idiomatically (the ties that bind)
- 47A: Tax-free investment (municipal bond)
- 57A: Tux go-with (cummerbund) - turns out I don't know how to spell this word; thought it was CUMBERBUND (from "cumbersome"?)
It was a good day to be a crime fiction fan, though NOIR is only appropriate if you're talking about the movie adaptation of "The Maltese Falcon" (21A: Genre for "The Maltese Falcon"). "Hard-boiled" is closer to accurate for the novel. And even then, no one called film "NOIR" in 1941. Weird to think of "The Maltese Falcon" as being a genre that had yet to be invented / defined. Just found out yesterday that Joe Gores has written a prequel to "The Maltese Falcon" called "Spade and Archer." Really want to read it, though I really want to read Lots of things, so who knows when / if that will happen. Oh, and the best answer of the day: HIRED GUNS (32D: Armed thugs). The only way it could have been better is if it had been HIRED GOONS.
- 29A: Endings with mountain and election (eers) - biggest 'ouch' of the puzzle. Plural suffix! Almost makes STER look pretty (63A: Suffix with poll or pun)
- 52A: "_____ 18" (Leon Uris novel) ("Mila") - big fat ?????? Maybe this was crosswordese back in the day. A day I was absent from crosswording class.
- 1D: 50-acre homestead, maybe (farm) - I thought this was going to be something Way more technical / specific.
- 3D: Internet guru (web master) - man I wanted it to be me. I fit!
- 13D: Modern-day birthday greeting (e-card) - one of my most hated of e-answers. EMAG is still the champ. ETAIL is closing fast.
- 10D: OK! magazine topics (celebs) - We had this word just this past weekend. Many CELEBS on display last night at the Oscars. I saw none of the nominated movies. Except "Kung Fu Panda." True story.
- 28D: Wry comic Mort (Sahl) - last night's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was presented to non-wry comic Jerry Lewis (whom I adore)
- 44D: Hoverers over sports stadiums (blimps) - the reason I changed CUMBERBUND to CUMMERBUND
- 46D: One guffawing (roarer) - uh, OK. I wonder if you could've picked up the guffaw at 43A: "That's a good one!" (ha ha) in some kind of cross-referential clue without making the cluing terribly awkward.
- 55D: Hot-weather quenchers (ades) - I like this about as much as I like E-CARD, and like CELEBS, we saw ADE just this past weekend as well. I wish there was hot weather to quench. This morning. Just snow. More snow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS I wrote a Tournament-related post last night for all those who are attending or considering attending this weekend's tournament in Brooklyn. See it here.