Coloratura Christiane ___ Pierre - SATURDAY, Apr 18 2009- B Walden (Early advocate of bloodletting / Its symbol is globe composed of jigsaw puzzle)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Word of the Day: STOPGAP (3D: Improvised) — An improvised substitute for something lacking; a temporary expedient. See synonyms at makeshift. Something used temporarily or reluctantly when other means are not available. Something contrived to meet an urgent need or emergency. (answers.com)
Hi, everyone. PuzzleGirl here for one more puzzle. I'm bruised, bloodied, and beaten up. I am not, however, humiliated because I did — somehow — manage to emerge victorious in the face of this Byron Walden beast. (I believe Byron is having himself a little birthday next week, by the way, so early birthday wishes going out to the sadist fiend). What did you all think? Challenging? It took me almost an hour to get a little over half done. And the only reason I could get that much was because of IN TOO DEEP (15A: Unable to get out of a bad situation) and JEANS (22A: Wranglers, e.g.). Other than that, it was a lot of staring, a lot of wheels grinding in the old noggin — overall, just one big struggle. Two of the three 15s were particularly slow in coming:
- 17A: Marmots and prairie dogs (GROUND SQUIRRELS). The easiest of the three. With enough crosses in place, of course.
- 54A: Cardinal relatives (SCARLET TANAGERS). Wasn't sure at first if this was a reference to sports, religion, or birds. With enough crosses on the back end (I think it was the G that gave me my "aha!" moment), I remembered that this bird snuck its way into the grid not too long ago. Pretty sure the theme was Clue (the board game).
- 8D: Home of la Sorbonne (LE QUARTIER LATIN). In English, "The Latin Quarter." I slowly-but-surely pieced together LE QUARTIER, but had no idea what kind of quarter it would turn out to be.
- 33A: From the heart (GENUINELY). Did you know that genuinely and sincerely have the same number of letters? I bet Byron does.
- 42A: Quickly (PRESTO). Would I get 2/3 credit for pronto? I didn't think so.
- 46A/6D: "Curious..." ("IT'S ODD"). At first I had how odd, which seems reasonable.
- 56A: Red _____ (ALGAE). I wanted "red alert," which would have paired nicely with 25A: THREAT level (which I wanted to be "street level").
- 7D: Where M.S.T. and P.S.T. can be found (WESTERN U.S.). With the two Es in place, I guessed New Mexico, which is entirely within the Mountain Time Zone and borders the Central Time Zone. It's nowhere near the Pacific Time Zone is what I'm saying.
- 11D: New York's Five _____ Bike Tour (BORO). My first thought was hour, but I immediately knew that was wrong. Never heard of the Five Boro Bike Tour, but it sounds cool. It will be held on May 3 this year.
- 22D: San _____ (JUAN). Pretty sure Rex will be flying through San José tomorrow, so that was on my mind.
- 30D: Protection: Var. (EGIS). At first I had ESPERANTO (29A: The 1965 William Shatner film "Incubus" is in it) misspelled, because I didn't have SARIS (35A: They may be thrown over the shoulder) yet, so I thought ages was an acceptable variable spelling of aegis. Never mind that ages wouldn't have been clued that way — I mean, why clue a variable spelling when I'm sure Byron/Will could think of 100 other tortuous ways to clue ages?
- 41D: Tries to loosen (PULLS AT). I wanted pries at for a while.
- 48D: When four bells ring on the middle watch (AT TWO). Couldn't remember if it was 1:00 or 2:00, but either way, I thought the answer would end with AM.
- 51D: Memorable 1996 hurricane along the Eastern Seaboard (FRAN). When was Hugo? Ack! 1989 — not even close!
- 57A: Its symbol is a globe composed of jigsaw puzzle pieces (WIKIPEDIA). I struggled mightily with this one and felt like a complete idiot once I got it.
- 10A: Part of a capital's name meaning "flower" (ABABA). Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia.
- 16A: Is far from a homebody (ROVES). For some reason I kept reading a homebody as homely and thought the answer would have something to do with physical beauty/hotness. Yes, I actually considered rocks.
- 24A: Coloratura Christiane _____-Pierre (EDA). Opera!
- 25A: A Scot has one (BURR). I have no idea what this means.
- 45A: Terre Haute sch. (ISU). This would be Indiana State University. I'm sure it would have been clued in relation to Iowa State University if anyone had predicted the huge news that came out of Iowa State's wrestling program today. What? You didn't hear? Oh, Cael Sanderson is leaving Ames for the head coaching position at Penn State. This is seismic. To, ya know, college wrestling fans.
- 47A: Early advocate of bloodletting (GALEN). Galen of Pergamum. Arguably, the most accomplished medical researcher of the Roman period.
- 49A: "The Far Shore of Time" author Frederik (POHL). Science fiction!
- 50A: Mechanical trade (TIT FOR TAT). Very tricky! Not looking for a job that has something to do with mechanics. Mechanical here means the manner in which a trade might be made. Nice. Plus ... he said tit. Heh heh.
- 53A: Source of Caravane cheese (CAMEL). Ewwww.
- 59A: Like some families (ONE-PARENT). Raise your hand if your first thought was dysfunctional. (Please tell me it wasn't just me.)
- 27D: Oregon and Idaho's _____ Canyon (HELLS). North America's deepest river gorge.
- 28D: Country singer Collin _____ (RAYE). Gimme.
- 34D: "A Yank at _____" (1942 Mickey Rooney film) (ETON). Sequel to "A Yank at Oxford." Really.
- 35D: Shows contempt for (SPITS AT). This has actually happened to me. Yes, someone spit at me. With contempt. It was gross.
- 40D: Herald (USHER IN).
- 49D: It may give you a buzz (PAGER). I believe we recently established in the comments that certain people do, in fact, still carry pagers. I was in the haircut neighborhood for too long on this one.