English archer's weapon / SUN 7-11-10 / "Amahl and the Night Visitors" composer / Beer brand originating in Brooklyn / Nine daughters of Zeus
Sunday, July 11, 2010
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According to the Cruciverb.com data base, prior to today DHOTI has appeared in the NY Times puzzle a total of four times since 1998, most recently in a Saturday puzzle in June 2005. That's brutal. Actually, that on its own isn't totally brutal, but crossing it with HONI clued as 69D: "___ soit qui mal y pense" (old motto)?! This is the motto of the Order of the Garter. The Order of the what? Exactly. That's just mean. I guess Hägar the Horrible's daughter would be too much to ask for here. BAHS! (11D: Curmudgeonly cries.)
- 23A: Part of a biblical warning against growing onions? (SO SHALL YE WEEP).
- 30A: Some locker room tomfoolery? (TOWEL WHACKS).
- 40A: Bio for a Looney Tunes coyote? (THE LIFE OF WILE E.).
- 56A: Politico Ralph's fishing gear? (NADER'S WADERS).
- 68A: Pretty fat, actually? (THIN AS A WHALE).
- 80A: React to a bitter mouthwash? (GARGLE AND WINCE).
- 94A: Sloven in the coven? (FILTHY WITCH).
- 102A: Advice to someone going to the Egg-Beaters' Convention? (TAKE A BIG WHISK).
Today's theme is on the easy side for a Sunday, I think. And, on the whole, the theme answers aren't super sparkly. THIN AS A WHALE is pretty good. And FILTHY WITCH got a chuckle from me. But nothing really struck me as memorable about the others. I did enjoy some of the fill though. Especially JOE COOL (16D: Snoopy's hip alter ego). Something about Snoopy in those glasses, leaning up against his doghouse or the tree or whatever happens to be there — cracks me up every time. I also like it when a person we're used to seeing in a puzzle with only one name gets both their names in the grid. Today that would be DR. DRE (74D: Rapper with the 6x platinum album "2001").
I had a couple misstarts: colt for FOAL (34A: What a mare bears), old-time for OLD-LINE (110A: Traditional), song for ODES (14D: ___ of Solomon) and — my favorite — samba for MAMBA. I guess I got the 8A: Deadly African biter confused with the deadly Brazilian dance.
- 21A: "Shouldn't have done that!" ("BAD MOVE!"). I'm a fan of colloquial phrases in the puzzle and this one fills the bill for today.
- 25A: Garden with an apple tree (EDEN). Just in case we didn't have enough Biblical controversy yesterday. I'm pretty sure it wasn't necessarily an apple tree. Just sayin'.
- 48A: Philosophy (BELIEFS). Very tricky with the singular clue and the plural answer.
- 50A: "___ Ben Jonson!" (O RARE). Oh, HAha! This is another place where I had a funny write-over. I started with ORATE. Maybe I was still thinking about that command-themed puzzle from the other day. "ORATE, Ben Jonson!"
- 52A: OPEC unit: Abbr. (BBL). Oil comes in bubbles? (she said jokingly)
- 60A: Light of one's life (TRUE LOVE). Funny, I always think it's children who qualify as the "light of one's life." Is that just because I have children? I'm aware that parents and childless people have different ways of looking at the world.
- 65A: Buck (CLAM). Does anyone ever actually use all the slang words we have for money? Bread, moolah, dough, cabbage, smackeroos, simoleons? I think the only one I've ever used with any frequency is "scratch."
- 66A: Razed (TORE DOWN).
- 93A: Barney of Mayberry (FIFE). I'm always happy to see anyone from the Mayberry gang in the grid. Except Opie. I'm a little tired of Opie.
- 98A: Author Umberto (ECO). I had a weird experience with ECO's The Name of the Rose. I read the book when it first came out, which I think must have been around 1984? Looking it up … yes, English translation first published in 1983. I was working at the B. Dalton Bookstore on Fifth Avenue at the time and I recall that the publisher had to change the book's cover because my manager at B. Dalton refused to put the existing cover in our front window. She said it "looked like a Harlequin romance" and was "too tacky" for our store. Ha! Anyway, that's not the weird part. The weird part is that I loved that book. I remember being really, really into it, not being able to put it down, thinking about it all the time…. Then I picked it up, like, two years ago to re-read and I couldn't finish it. Total snooze-fest. I have no idea what I found so compelling about it back in the day. Of course, there are a lot of things about my life in the 1980s that don't really make any sense to me now.
- 7D: Singer Yearwood (TRISHA). I've always kind of liked TRISHA Yearwood. I mean, besides the fact that she's a home-wrecker. (Wait, wait! Don't write to me! Whenever I call someone a "home-wrecker," you can rest assured I'm being ironic!) But there's one song of hers that really rubs me the wrong way. Both she and LeAnn Rimes recorded the song "How Do I Live" that was on the "Con Air" soundtrack. (Remember that movie? No? There's probably a good reason for that.) Anyway, the lyrics of the song are just hideous. To me it sounds like the singer is freaking out over her TRUE LOVE leaving her, only there's no reason to believe that's actually going to happen. She's just making it all up so she can be tortured by imagining how horrible her life would be if it did happen. Drama Queen much?
- 24D: Things letters have (LEASES). Another tricky one. "Letters" mean people who let (rent) apartments.
- 32D: Saddam reportedly hid them, briefly (WMDS). I know the "briefly" is a hint that the answer will be an abbreviation, but I couldn't help thinking that the fact that Saddam hid them was only reported "briefly." Just briefly enough to start a … oh never mind. Probably best not to get me started.
- 37D: Beer brand originating in Brooklyn (PIELS). No idea.
- 43D: Stereotypical debate outburst (LIAR). Or actual State of the Union outburst. Take your pick.
- 52D: Rite for a newborn Jewish boy (BRIS). OWS! (73A: Sounds at a vaccination center, maybe).
- 81D: Shade of green (AVOCADO). If you ever happen to be in Santa Fe, find a place called Gabriel's and order the guacamole. You can thank me later.
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