Batgirl player Craig / SUN 6-20-10 / Candidate with slogan Come Home America / Fictional hero in search stolen treasure / Bam blurter
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Constructor: Todd Gross & Ashish Vengsarkar
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Publishing Trade" — book titles where one word in title is anagrammed to new word, then given a wacky clue (but with real book author's name in brackets at the end)
Word of the Day: ASONIA (2D: Tone deafness) —
Pronunciation: (u-sō'nē-u), [key]
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
Again, theme is witty, and results in an interesting grid shape — that rectangle in the middle with parallel theme-11s as its sides is something I can't remember seeing before. And there was amusement to be had throughout. And yet: all the NAs in the SE were driving me crazy: NANANA (with TRALA already in the grid?) (94D: "Hey Jude" sounds), ENNA (105A: Central Sicilian city), ALANA (which is actually ALAN-A-) (117A: ___-Dale (1902 Kentucky Derby winner)), etc. ETTES is among the weaker plural suffixes you'll ever see (plural suffixes already being an inherently weak class of entry) (91D: Ending with Rock). FATLESS??? (50D: Lean, as meat) FAT-FREE, I buy. Plus, can any meat really be completely sans FAT? Not one iota? A NOTCH is a horrifically long partial (I didn't know 6-ltr partials were allowed) (51D: How much you might kick it up?), and is somehow *not* tied to EMERIL (93D: "Bam!" blurter). BSC, like the BSED of a day or so ago, is not a degree I've ever known anyone to have (100A: Deg. in biology or physics), unless a BSC is equivalent to a B.S., in which case ... why bother with the "C." I know HAN as a dynasty. And an ethnic group of China. And a Solo. Now I know it as a river (17D: Yangtze tributary). Seems obscure. Is capital "R" RockOLA something?? -OLA is bad enough when I have to get it via "payOLA." What of Motor? Gran? Shin!? It appears Rock-Ola made jukeboxes. Remember those?
Of the theme answers, the first one (JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU) was by far the hardest to get—mainly because "ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" was running interference, so I thought the title was "JOHNNY GET YOUR GUN." That, or "JOHNNY TREMAIN." Rest of the themes went in lickety-split, with hardly any crosses needed. "A PREFECT SPY" was probably the next-hardest to get, and it wasn't that hard.
- 23A: "Carson's Successful Safari"? [Dalton Trumbo] ("JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU")
- 32A: "Big Pile of Dirt"? [Charles Frazier] ("CLOD MOUNTAIN")
- 58A: "Battle Backstabber"? [Sun Tzu] ("THE RAT OF WAR")
- 70A: "Secretive Student Monitor"? [John le Carré] ("A PREFECT SPY")
- 97A: "Endless Streams"? [David Foster Wallace] ("INFINITE JETS")
- 108A: "Football Team Leaves L.A."? [Ernest Hemingway] ("A FAREWELL TO RAMS") — this title is weirdly plausible. The RAMS did indeed leave L.A. for Anaheim (see the decent, recent documentary about the 1980s L.A. Raiders directed by Ice Cube for ESPN's "30 for 30" series), and then left Anaheim for St. Louis.
- 16D: "Renaissance College Girl"? [Dan Brown] ("THE DA VINCI CO-ED")
- 48D: "Head Secretary"? [William Golding] ("LORD OF THE FILES")
- 20A: "Ale" for the underaged (CANADA DRY) — clue threw me, since I would drink this, and I am not "underaged." "For the underaged..." Bah.
- 36A: Writer who wrote "A bear, however hard he tries, / Grows tubby without exercise" (A.A. MILNE) — Perhaps the most common full-named author in crosswords.
- 46A: British coin discontinued in 1984 (HALF PENNY) — is this the same as a "hay penny?" 'Cause I wanted "HAY PENNY." If you haven't got a HAY PENNY then God bless you.
- 90D: Main rat in "Ratatouille" (RÉMY) — tried RENÉ at first. Seemed reasonable.
- 92D: Letter of indictment? (SILENT C) — nice letteral clue.
- 24D: Batgirl player Craig (LARRY)
- 37D: Rapper Fiasco (LUPE) — loving the rap clues today, especially this one. Also enjoyed IRV Gotti (106D: Record exec Gotti) and LIL whoever (89D: Start of many a rap moniker): WAYNE, KIM ... take your pick.
[N-word aplenty—you've been warned]
- 38D: Company whose logo contains its name crossing itself (BAYER) — good clue. Pictured it instantly, despite not being a big aspirin-taker.
- 47D: Appliance appellation (AMANA) — "Appellation?" That's a bit too fancy-pants. It's a brand.
- 100D: Fictional hero in search of stolen treasure (BILBO) — completely forgot who this was. Was looking for some Spanish/Portuguese explorer (BALBOA?). Took me several seconds after getting it for me to realize that it's the damned hobbit from "Lord of the Rings." Usually first names require some indicator in the clue. Not here, I guess.
- @RAWRen2105 One of the answers to my crossword was bulge :')! #immature #sickminded .
- @juliankimmings I swear to God. Pete Poslethwaite (sp) is sat opposite me doing the crossword. either him or a very ugly look alike
- @andylevy Today's NY Times crossword, 44 down clue: "TV's Andy." Answer: "Rooney." #bullshit
- @jen_dytd You know its a bad sign when the only crossword clue you get is Weird Al related.
- @ConfessorEddie I'm pretty sure people only do sodoku because they're not smart enough to do the crossword.
- @the_seashes ps, I think I now want to be Will Shortz when I grow up... but it's not for sure yet. IT'S A BIG STEP.
- @jake_ford Just finished the first crossword in my book. The book said it was EASY, they lied. Or I'm an idiot. I prefer the former.
- @ekingme Almost got hit by a lady driving and doing the crossword puzzle. Twice.
- @JoshuaOst People just do the sudoku because they're afraid of the crossword. Truth.
- @rexparker I've decided to become a rapper. I will call myself MC DVI and rap exclusively about the early 15th century.
- @blacksockies Anyone who can do crosswords can burn in hell #saltytweet
- @theisb Right now, me and @daveexmachina are in a crossword-based war of attrition.
- @BadBrad1929 I am currently watching some guy doing the daily crossword puzzle while driving
- @HebaVsReason The man on the T across from me just started cursing at his crossword puzzle
- @TomPelissero Guy in front of me @ Target Field press box doing a crossword puzzle. Just turned to people next to him and asked, "What's a search engine?"
- @TheCornach Screw you, Will Shortz! http://twitgoo.com/zqzdj
- @Trish252 No this bitch isn't doin a crossword puzzle in church
- @briangrosz Ok. Just figured out the NYT crossword theme. Holy dogfuck that's not nice, Mr Shortz. Not nice at all...
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]