Indian bovine — SUNDAY, Nov. 8 2009 — Group with 2002 hit Girlfriend / Diner manager waitress in Garfield / Sherry-like wine / Gibson necessity
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Constructor: Robert W. Harris
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: COLONIZATION — "ANT"s are added to common phrases, creating (occasionally) wacky phrases, which are then clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: CESURAS (39D: Pauses during speech: Var.) (more commonly CAESURAS) — also n., pl., -su·ras, also -su·ras, or -su·rae, also -su·rae (-zhʊr'ē, -zʊr'ē).
- A pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics.
- A pause or interruption, as in conversation: After another weighty caesura the senator resumed speaking.
- In Latin and Greek prosody, a break in a line caused by the ending of a word within a foot, especially when this coincides with a sense division.
- Music. A pause or breathing at a point of rhythmic division in a melody.
[Latin caesūra, a cutting, from caesus, past participle of caedere, to cut off.]-----
Just add ANTs. That's it. Two problems: it's a boring concept, and the resulting theme answers are almost all complete duds. ANTHEM LINE? BASE TENANT? If you're going to go wacky, Go Wacky. These answers just die on the page. Props to PEDANT XING and MADAM, I'M ADAMANT for having at least a modicum of cleverness about them. Otherwise the theme is pretty listless and dull. Not much more to say about it than that.
If you want to see a cool ANT-themed puzzle, check out this Blindauer / Michaels creation from earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal. No "wackiness," but 30 different ANTs in the puzzle, and black squares that are asymmetrical and are made to resemble the paths that ANTs make in an ANT Farm. Very cool.
- 23A: "O say can you see" or "Thru the perilous fight"? (ANT hem line)
- 25A: Resident of a military installation? (base ten ANT)
- 40A: Tropical fruit seller? (pl ANT ain dealer)
- 61A: Place to get drunk in the kitchen? (p ANT ry bar) — wtf is a PRY BAR? Is that like a CROW BAR? I guess it is.
- 67A: What overuse of a credit card might result in? (gi ANT bill)
- 84A: Gentleman's intransigent reply? ("Madam, I'm Adam ANT)
- 105A: Where nitpickers walk on a street? (Ped ANT Xing)
- 108A: Online beauty contest? (web page ANT)
- 37A: Confronting boldly (bearding) — a cool word you don't hear very often. ACCOST and BUTTONHOLE are synonyms. When a gay man who doesn't want to be seen as gay and so takes a woman out in public, she is his BEARD (i.e. she gives him coverage, makes him appear straight). Whether she could be said to be "BEARDING" him, I don't know. "What are you doing tonight?" "Oh, I'm BEARDING for this friend of mine whose parents are in town ..."
- 53A: Philadelphia's historic Gloria _____ Church (Dei) — never heard of it, but DEI is a common enough answer in puzzles, meaning "Of God," so I got it easily enough.
- 65A: Original nuclear regulatory grp. (AEC) — Atomic Energy Commission. Learned it from xwords (it's before my time).
- 78A: Old brand in the shaving aisle (Neet) — tricky, as using NEET (a depilatory) doesn't involve "shaving" at all (does it?).
- 112A: Group with the 2002 hit "Girlfriend" (N'SYNC) — here's a different "Girlfriend"
- 9D: Bygone Buick (Electra) — I've seen this clue before, but not this answer. Don't remember this model at all.
- 10D: Indian bovine (zebu) — learned from "The Simpsons." You see it from time to time in crosswords — a handy terminal-U word.
- 14D: Tallow ingredient (suet) — took me a while, as "tallow" makes me think "candles," and modern candles don't make me think of animal fat.
- 16D: Sci-fi weapon (phaser) — may be set to "stun" or "kill"
- 34A: Heavy sheet inside a book's cover (endpaper) — a good answer. ENDPAPERs are often decorative, and are found just inside a book's front and back covers.
- 49A: Object of a scurrilous attack, maybe (libelee) — well that's an unfortunate word. Not as bad as ALIENEE, but not great.
- 50D: Like surveyors' charts (platted) — yuck, really. I know what PLATs are (area maps), but PLATTED ... does that just mean folded up? Or divided into little maps? Looking up ... PLAT can mean "to plait or braid" or "to make a PLAT of"; so the charts have either been braided, or they've been ... made into PLATs. I guess that works...
- 69D: Diner manager / waitress in "Garfield" (Irma) — there is a special corner of crosswordese hell labeled "Tertiary Comics Characters (Non-Dog)". IRMA lives there. As does ASOK and ARN. I'm sure there are others.
- 77D: Gibson necessity (gin) — mmmm, GIN.
2 oz. Gin or Vodka
2 drops Dry Vermouth
Garnish with Pearl Onion
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (from drinkoftheweek.com)
- 85D: Sherry-like wine (Madeira) — if a seven-letter word can be crosswordese, this one is. Learned it from xwords, and see it a lot.
- 92D: Cartwright of "Make Room for Daddy" (Angela) — I assume she was not "Daddy."
- 97D: Subject of a museum in Yorba Linda, Calif. (Nixon) — "museum" threw me. Was expecting an artist, despite the fact that Yorba Linda screams NIXON (he was born there).
See you tomorrow,
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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