Walsh NBA executive / THU 7-29-10 / Chan portrayer in film / Hoopster Mourning / Battle Blue Licks fighter 1782 / Enchanted world in Return of Jedi
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: MIDDLE / SCHOOL (3D: With 44-Down, educational stage ... or a hint to the contents of 18-, 22-, 47- and 53-Across) — four "schools" can be found in (roughly) the "middle" of four theme answers:
- SANDRAKES (18A: Golf groundskeepers' tools)
- MILEHIGHSTADIUM (22A: Broncos' home, once)
- CENTERICECIRCLE (47A: Place for an N.H.L. logo)
- STAYALERT (53A: "Keep your eyes open!")
Word of the Day: DONNIE Walsh (2D: ___ Walsh, N.B.A. executive) —
Joseph Donald Walsh Jr., better known as Donnie Walsh (born March 1, 1941 in New York City) is a former professional basketball coach, and currently the president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks. [...] Walsh's first major signing came on July 8, 2010, when he signed Amar'e Stoudemire to a five-year, $100 million contract. (wikipedia)
I wonder if anyone else got MIDDLE SCHOOL and then got MILE HIGH STADIUM and thought "middle" words in theme answers would be kinds of schools, e.g. HIGH schools ...
Clear ambition toward Scrabbly letters today, though many are packed into the threes in the middle of the grid (not terribly impressive). Love QUANDARY (35D: Bind) and YUKS IT UP (11D: Has some laughs) and WENT SOUR (8D: Fell apart, as a deal). Did not know DOMINICA was a place (51A: Roseau is its capital). Is it related to The Dominican Republic? Apparently not—it's a small island in the Caribbean, only 291 sq. miles and a pop. of around 73K. Lots of random people who aren't that famous. Some guy whose middle name is TER!? (5D: Dutch painter Gerard ___ Borch). The guy who played Charlie Chan a million years ago (10D: Chan portrayer in film => OLAND). And then DONNIE Walsh, whoa. Weird to expect most people to know him, or even have heard of him. If I hadn't been following free agency news this summer, I sure wouldn't know him.
- 17A: Enchanted world in "Return of the Jedi" (ENDOR) — forest moon where Ewoks live. I didn't read clue closely enough at first and wrote in NABOO :(
- 32A: Rural musical instruments (JUGS) — First (possibly only) time I saw someone play a JUG was in The Country Bears Jamboree at Disneyland.
- 37A: "The Basement ___" (1975 Dylan album) ("TAPES") — Don't know the album, but that's a really familiar phrase. Perhaps someone else borrowed it ... Whoaaaaaooa. *This* must be how I first heard the phrase. How funny / sad / flashbacky:
- 40A: Flying Tiger Line hub, for short (LAX) — wrote in LAX only because of "hub," not bec. I have Any idea what Flying Tiger Line is (appears to have been a cargo line bought out by FedEx in the late '80s)
- 43A: It came out of Cicero's mouth (VOX) — Latin for "voice."
- 55A: Battle of Blue Licks fighter, 1782 (BOONE) — never want that guy to be anything but 19th-century. I think I'm getting him confused with Davy Crockett. Yes. Yes I am.
- 9D: Casino chain founder William F. ___ (HARRAH) — no idea. I mean, I've heard of HARRAH's, obviously, but never considered there was an eponym.
- 31D: Titter in a tweet (LOL) — Read it as [Twitter in a tweet], which makes no sense.
- 37D: Shout made with a raised arm (TAXI!) — first answer: TADA!
- 40D: "Mi Vida ___," gritty 1994 drama set in L.A. ("LOCA") — fans / enemies of Ricky Martin could simply intuit this one.
- 49D: Sorceress on the island of Aeaea (CIRCE) — AEAEA = evidence that some words have too many vowels even for crosswords (i.e. I almost never see AEAEA).
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]