SUNDAY, Feb. 15, 2009 — Jim Leeds (Poetry movement by Ezra Pound / One treating disorders of the ear / Competed in a velodrome)
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Theme: Double-O Seven — Each of the seven theme answers is a familiar phrase with one of its Os doubled, resulting in a new phrase.
Word of the Day: ANOMIE — social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also: personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals (merriam-webster.com).
Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here, filling in for a vacationing-and-not-quite-as-connected-as-he-thought-he-would-be Rex Parker. Let's just try to make the best of it.
Overall, I liked this puzzle. Knowing the theme definitely helped with some of the theme answers but not so much that they were Easy. ANNOTATES (46D: Marks in the margin) and PESSIMISM (40D: It "never won any battle," according to Eisenhower) are great words, right? Sure, but some of the clues were a little ... off to me. You want an example? Okay, I'll give you three.
- 33A: Band's plan is TOUR. All I could think of was, like, the program. You know, the list of songs the band makes to remember what they're doing once they're on stage. Now that's a plan. The tour? That's, like, an event. Yes, there is planning involved, but the tour itself is not a plan.
- 83D: IDs is TAGS. I know an I.D. tag is a thing and a license plate on a car is sometimes referred to as a tag which is, I guess, sort of an identifying thing. And there are tags on graffiti, which are used as identifiers, but they're really more like signatures. So, basically, to me I just don't get how IDs = tags.
- 90D: Drill bit? is AT EASE. I know that "at ease" is a phrase used in the military, and I guess it's something a Drill Sergeant might say? And, yes, I see the question mark, but to me that just indicates that the answer doesn't have anything to do with a power tool.
- 23A: Numbskull who likes Macintosh computers? (boob for Apples)
- 33A: Entrees for oilman Pickens? (t-boone steaks)
- 63A: Between a dozen and a score of Disney creations? (sixteen toons)
- 68A: Overexposure or redeye? (photo oops)
- 71A: South Carolina Gamecocks? (team roosters)
- 101A: Kids' whistles and horns? (toys for toots)
- 114A: Place to sit by the highway? (roadside stoop)
- 22A: 1992–93 World Series champs (Toronto) — Who knew?
- 26A: Irish patriot Robert (Emmet) — I'm thinking to myself "It's something that sounds really Irish ... O-something? Mac-something?"
- 28A: Reddish-orange creatures (efts) — It's a type of newt. Remember it because you'll see it again.
- 43A: Who said "It gets late early out there" (Berra) — Nobody but.
- 70A: Be frugal (stint) — I've never heard this word used in this way. (The example giving on wiktionary.com is "The next party you throw, don't stint on the beer.")
- 80A: Ragtime dance (one-step) — Seems like this particular dance wouldn't be all that difficult to learn.
- 93A: A throw (each) — Could Not figure out what this clue was looking for.
- 98A: Sharp turn back (zag) — Thought this might be uey. Or uie. However the hell it's spelled.
- 108A: Dürer, for one (etcher) — Albrecht Dürer. He is, apparently, regarded as the greatest artist of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. Makes me feel stupid for never having heard of him.
- 110A: Fox News anchor Pemmaraju (Uma) — There's another Uma?
- 118A: One treating disorders of the ear (aurist) — That word just seems all kinds of wrong.
- 1D: Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass and others (labels) — Me: "They're designers. Why won't designers fit?"
- 7D: Edgar and Tony (awards) — "Tony Allan Poe? ... Tony Winter? ... Edgar Orlando?"
- 8D: Where a redneck gets red (nape) — "On his ... neck? No, that can't be it."
- 10D: Novelist Carr (Caleb) — Never heard of him.
- 11D: Arctic weather phenomenon (ice fog) — Seriously. That's not a thing. Okay, Wikipedia says it is. But it also says it should not be confused with diamond dust. So there.
- 13D: Spanish diminutive suffix (-ito) — Love this clue. In our house we add the suffix -ito to English words to indicate small size. We're just weird like that.
- 32D: Home of Caterpillar (Peoria) — I knew this without any crosses. How? HOW?
- 42D: It has its privileges (seniority) — As a true Child of the Television Commercial era, I couldn't get membership out of my head.
- 48D: Moisten (hydrate) — PuzzleHusband is big on hydration. Huge on hydration. He basically thinks that any problem a person has can be solved by drinking more water. Sunburned? Drink more water. Tired? Drink more water. Can't finish the crossword puzzle? Drink more water! He also used to say — and frequently, I might add — that nobody ever died from drinking too much water. Of course, he had to stop saying that once he found out it wasn't true.
- 54D: All people, according to the Bible (sinners) — My sister tells this great story about going to a Catholic mass wedding one time. Everything was just perfect. Gorgeous weather, unbelievable flowers, everyone in a great mood and happy to be a part of this beautiful day. When the bride joined the groom at the altar and faced the priest, he began his talk by bellowing: "WE ARE ALL SINNERS." Talk about a buzz-kill.
- 58D: "_____ the morning!" (top o') — Keep this one in your pocket for St. Patrick's day. My grandmother taught me that the exchange goes like this: Person 1: "Top o' the mornin' to ya!" Person 2: "And the rest of the day t' yourself!"
- 63D: Carell of "The Office" (Steve) — When they decide to put this whole Blagojevich fiasco on the big screen, they must not consider anybody but Steve Carell for the lead.
- 64D: Classical poem (epode) — I bet Rex knew this one. I did not.
- 67D: Sharp ridge (arête) — Classic crosswordese.
- 72D: European boundary river (Oder) — Oh man! I have less than two weeks to learn my European rivers! Ack!
- 92D: Competed in a velodrome (cycled) — Only knew this because of a conversation we had here recently. Thank you, smart people!
- 102D: Suspect (shady) — Love this tricky clue. See, it's an adjective. Yeah, I thought it was a noun too!
- 103D: Manhattan Project scientist (Fermi) — Enrico. He has a synethetic element named after him. I bet you don't.
- 104D: "Rock of Ages" accompaniment (organ) — Oh that "Rock of Ages."
- 113D: 2012 Olympics host: Abbr. (Eng.) — To me, England doesn't seem Big enough to host the Olympics for some reason.