SATURDAY, Jun. 20 2009 — Dilbert character reincarnated as his own clone / Blackmailer in 1850 novel / 1924 co-defendant / Old Fenway nickname
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Constructor: Brad Wilber
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: EOLITH (31A: Prehistoric stone tool) —An eolith (from Greek "eos", dawn, and "lithos", stone) is a chipped flint nodule. Eoliths were once thought to have been artefacts, the earliest stone tools, but are now believed to be naturally produced by geological processes such as glaciation. (wikipedia)
This one was very easy for me, as Saturday puzzles go. Finished this one more than two minutes faster than I did yesterday's puzzle. There are the usual assortment of "???" answers that you typically find on a Saturday (esp. a Brad Wilber Saturday), but crosses took care of them all easily. Started with TIE GAME (13D: Outcome disallowed by the N.H.L. in 2005), which was so obvious that I was sure it was wrong. But then 16A: Bagels, essentially confirmed the "I" (TORI), and 10A: Not much confirmed the "T" (A BIT), and that was that. NE done in about fifteen seconds. When I didn't fly out of that corner, I tried the NW corner and wanted DIET PLATE right away at 1A: Reduced fare?, but wasn't sure if ERIS confirmed that final "E" or not (9D: Solar system discovery of 2003), so I didn't write it in. Then I noticed the Beatles clue and got it instantly: 19A: "_____ Blues" (track on the Beatles' "White Album") ("Yer"). The next part is weird. I thought, "if DIET PLATE is right, then ... could 1D: Certain hauling fee really be DRAYAGE???" Turns out it could, and was.
[intermittent explosions outside office window = scary electrical problem ... wife calling power company ... I'm outside now, writing from the laptop ... waiting for the explosions to happen again ... power company on the way]
I can see this puzzle giving solvers a proper noun headache. IONESCO is a name I know (2D: "The Bald Soprano" playwright, 1950). T.C. BOYLE is a name I know but not for the title in question today (45D: "Drop City" novelist, 2003). TENIERS, I didn't know at all (8D: Surname of three generations of Flemish old masters), which is depressing, given how many damned many of them there apparently are. They're like the @#$!ing Bachs, those guys. Yeesh. Longtime readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear that I dropped ASOK with one swift punch (22A: "Dilbert" character who was reincarnated as his own clone). ASOK and I had an encounter a while back that didn't go so well for me. Revenge! No idea who this LEMAT guy is (6D: Paul who won Golden Globe for "American Graffiti"). Had LUMET at first. The "Andrew" in MERRY ANDREW can apparently be capitalized or not. Also, OED says MERRYANDREW can be a verb. I'd never heard the term before today (55A: Clown). LOEB (54A: 1924 co-defendant) and HEEP (64A: Blackmailer in an 1850 novel) were no problems, given their shortness and fame. FT RILEY, on the other hand, took some scratching and clawing to get hold of (27D: Kansas mil. reservation with the U.S. Cavalry Museum).
[update: intermittent explosions are coming from power lines that cut through neighbor's enormous tree ... how are we the only ones in the neighborhood who appear to be noticing this? It sounds like a gang war, with odd stretches of silence]
- 17A: Going bonkers for the British? (Anglomania) — Beatle-mania I've heard of. Anglophilia, I've heard of. I don't know what this is.
- 20A: Response to being elbowed, maybe ("Was I snoring?") — excellent. I was proud when, with just the "-ING" in place, I wrote in STOP SNORING.
- 28A: Companion for Pan (Dryad) — fee for hauling a dead woodland creature out of the woods: DRYADAGE.
- 38A: Bruiser's display (machismo) — at first I thought "Bruiser" was a dog.
- 10D: Maker of the Lynx and Jaguar systems (Atari) — back-to-back days, one clue harder than the next.
- 15D: Victim of terrible teasing (Tantalus) — wow, that's some ruthless cluing. I was imagining some poor kid on a playground. Or having a flashback.
- 29D: Old Fenway nickname (Yaz) — Carl Yastrzemski, legendary Red Sox left-fielder. 18-time (!!!!) All-Star. Still, I suppose it's possible the YAZ / ZUNI crossing got a few people today (37A: Kachina doll makers).
- 53D: Option at Sleepy's (Serta) — like ATARI, SERTA returns.
- 61D: Interrogator's red-flag raiser (lie) — I didn't like this at first, but I think I understand now. If someone is lying, then that raises a red flag regarding the possibility of that person's culpability in whatever matter it is you are investigating. OK.
If you missed it yesterday, there's still time to check out my "Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas" post here (or just scroll down if you are on the main page).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
PS Orange's write-up of today's LA Times puzzle can be found here.