Lady Liberty garb / SAT 9-18-10 / Relaciones Espirituales writer / Bygone medical ventilator / Defunct ministry initials / Board game grande dame
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The stola was the traditional garment of Roman women, corresponding to the toga that was worn by men. // Originally, women wore togas as well, but after the second century BC, the toga was worn exclusively by men, and women were expected to wear the stola. At that point in time, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to wear a toga; wearing the male garment was associated with prostitution. (wikipedia)
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How do I know the Spanish word for "cows"?? (8D: Spanish cows=>VACAS). That moment of certainty may have been the strangest moment of the solve. I started out somewhat slowly in the NW; after putting in ELLA (15A: "___ at Duke's Place" (1965 jazz album)) and ILLS (2D: Distresses), I actually took them out in favor of BUGS for 2D and AGUA for 17A: ___ de Caña (FLOR). Then went with SUCH A DEAL at 19A: "That's a great price!" ("SWEET DEAL!"). But once I got into the NE, all my problems evaporated and it was smooth, fast sailing from there on out. Huge gimmes for me at 5A: Founding member of Public Enemy known for wearing large clocks around his neck (FLAVOR FLAV) and 16A: 2007 satirical best-seller subtitled "And So Can You!" ("I AM AMERICA") — the latter is a Stephen Colbert book (so excited to go to his "March to Keep Fear Alive" on the Mall in D.C. October 30) ...
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|March to Keep Fear Alive|
Rare that I get such long (and neighboring) gimmes on a Saturday. Throw in SPICE GIRLS (18A: First British group since the Beatles to have two albums in the U.S. top 10 at the same time) and then cross all of it with FIST BUMP (5D: Alternative to a shake) *and* LAP DANCES (6D: Bachelor party entertainment)!?!?! That's crazy. Crazy good. It's like the puzzle was made by someone living in America sometime after 1985. Amazing. SW corner isn't bad either. Something about LALA on top of a Lady GAGA song amuses me. From Public Enemy and Stephen Colbert up top to "The Simpsons" and the board game Clue down below, this one was right up my alley — but leaving my personal predilections aside, I still think the freshness and smoothness of this grid are amazing. Had a couple hesitations after I got rolling (STOLE or STOLA? ?AOH / ?IBS), but ended up faster than yesterday. I expect that this puzzle will reveal a generational rift. It happens. Today, I'm on the happy side of it.
Maybe I should find a fault or two. Well, SWEET DEAL doesn't sound terribly solid as a stand-alone colloquial phrase (though I buy that it is, to some), and having OLDE (55D: Adjective for a coach house inn, maybe) and OLDER (from GET OLDER—39D: Age) in the grid isn't ideal, I suppose. SANTAS (46A: Hatted bell ringers) and YMCAS (33A: Bldgs. with community courts) are slightly odd plurals. But none of this really matters to me today. Too much good stuff.
- 25A: Bygone medical ventilator (IRON LUNG) — you can see one near the beginning of "Where Danger Lives" (film noir in which Robert Mitchum plays a physician):
- 36A: Area worth the most bonus troops in the game Risk (ASIA) — not too hard to figure out. Never played this game, which is too bad, as it seems to come up a lot in crosswords. I did play Clue, however, so MRS. PEACOCK was a cinch (29D: Board game grande dame).
- 38A: Literary captain who says "It's better to sail with a moody good captain than a laughing bad one" (PELEG) — from "Moby-Dick"; man, some of these clues today are Long.
- 45A: Defunct ministry initials (PTL) — The Bakkers! Mmmm, 80s TV preacher scandals. Delicious.
- 48A: "Relaciones Espirituales" writer (ST. TERESA) — debating whether this was TERESA or TERESE, as I'd heard of a STOLE, but not a STOLA.
- 50A: Fish also called Jerusalem haddock (OPAH) — fish pun theme — answer 1: OPAH WINFREY. You're welcome.
- 64A: Oread in love with her own voice (ECHO) — Oreads are mountain nymphs. Clue leaves out another important love of hers: Narcissus.
- 3D: What some plays are shown in (SLOW MOTION) — I watched Calvin Johnson's phantom touchdown in SLOW MOTION over and over last weekend. Still trying to process how you can have complete possession of a ball, come down with both feet, both knees, and ass inbounds, and still not get credited with the touchdown. I read the (stupid) rule. Player falling to the ground has to maintain possession throughout the fall. I'm telling you, the "fall" is Over at the time he "loses" the ball. Man. Man oh man. OK, moving on.
- 20D: "For Better or for Worse" matriarch (ELLY) — so this strip just ... started over? I don't quite understand.
- 37D: Variety of zither (AUTOHARP) — I think I thought an AUTOHARP was a harmonica, but I guess that's a blues harp.
- 58D: Nelson's catchphrase on "The Simpsons" ("HA ha") — I use this All The Time. Emphasis on the first "HA."
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