Kid-lit pachyderm - TUESDAY, May 12 2009 - W and PK King (Rocker Rundgren / Etiquette guru Vanderbilt / No exit dramatist)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "DIS-" - prefix "DIS-" is added to beginnings of four common phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are then (surprise) not "?"-clued, as usual, but clued as odd quotations someone might say ... ? ... I think that's the idea
Word of the Day: ARUBA (16A: Tourist mecca off the coast of Venezuela) - Island (pop., 2005 est.: 97,400), Lesser Antilles, off northwestern Venezuela. Aruba is an internally self-governing part of The Netherlands. It has an area of 75 sq mi (193 sq km). Its capital is Oranjestad. The majority of the present-day population is a combination of mostly American Indian, Spanish, and Dutch ancestry. Dutch is the official language; Papiamento, a Creole language, is used for daily affairs. The principal religion is Roman Catholicism. The currency is the Aruban florin. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia)
Maybe someone can explain why the clues are rendered as quotations, without the usual "?" to indicate the wackiness of the final answer. Is there some connection between the prefix "DIS-" and speaking? Is this just an Across Lite aberration, i.e. are paper-solvers seeing quotation mark-enclosed theme clues as well? At any rate, there's not much to say here. Add "DIS-", get new phrase, clue it. It's cute how the usage of the first word in the phrase changes when you add the "DIS-" prefix. Not sure what else to say. Every bit of non-theme fill in this puzzle is straight over the plate. The end.
- 17A: "Beat swords into plowshares" ("DISARM AND HAMMER")
- 27A: "Ignore the red, white and blue" ("DISMISS AMERICA") - I would have thought "Red," "White" and "Blue" would be capitalized.
- 45A: "Oust from practice, then interrogate" ("DISBAR AND GRILL")
- 61A: "Scatter while fleeing" ("DISBAND ON THE RUN")
- 9D: Kid-lit pachyderm (Babar) - pictures of him still adorn the walls of my little girl's room, and I grew up with this guy, so no problem.
- 35A: Marx Brothers-like (antic) - I think of this word more often as a noun, so I may have hesitated here slightly.
- 40A: Chuck who sang "Maybelline" (Berry) - why not?
- 33D: Blue Grotto's isle (Capri) - well I know it's an "isle," so I got it easily enough, but I'm not familiar with the Blue Grotto. "Blue Lagoon," yes. Grotto, no.
- 50D: Miley Cyrus, to teens (idol) - my daughter's peers are all still into "Hannah Montana" - my daughter has little interest. She has recently discovered the 90s sitcom "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" and is devouring the episodes at an alarming rate. I realize I am dooming my daughter to a pop culture frame of reference that is 10-15 years out of date (Sally Jesse Raphael jokes, for real), but not much I can do now. She's hooked. She was hooked inside two minutes.