Farmer-turned-con man in 1960s sitcom / MON 12-20-10 / Self-description someone surprised / Nancy Drew's beau / 1960s-'70s R&B singer Marilyn
Monday, December 20, 2010
Constructor: Donna Hoke
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: Animal's Something — two-word idiomatic expressions where the first word is the possessive form of some animal
Word of the Day: CADGE (7D: Bum, as a cigarette) —
The theme ... is fine. Absolutely standard Monday stuff. No strong feelings there. Wife claimed not to know what MONKEY'S UNCLE was, but a. she's from NZ and b. when I prefaced it with the phrase "Well I'll be a..." she said "Oh ... yeah, maybe ..." I had more trouble with ELEPHANT'S EAR, despite having seen [Elephant's ear] as a clue for TARO very recently. I wrote in ELEPHANT ROOT. This made MEASLY (49D: Pathetically small) even harder to see than it might have been otherwise (wife had MEAGER, a reasonable wrong answer).
- 17A: Game played with strings looped over the fingers (CAT'S CRADLE)
- 22A: Self-description of someone who's surprised (MONKEY'S UNCLE)
- 36A: Long time (DOG'S AGE)
- 50A: Taro (ELEPHANT'S EAR)
- 60A: What a greedy person may grab (LION'S SHARE)
- 5A: 1960s-'70s R&B singer Marilyn (MCCOO) — I feel like I have a special connection with Ms. MCCOO. I watched her often in my youth when she was co-host of "Solid Gold" with Andy Gibb ...
... and she was also the singer of the #1 song in the country on the day I was born ...
... plus I just really like this song ...
- 30A: Oklahoma city named for the daughter of its first 4-Down (ADA) — wow ... that is one of the oddest cross-referenced pair of answers I've ever seen ... so ADA had a POSTMAN before it was named? Or the guy who named the city after his daughter later became POSTMAN? That must be it. Oh, and by the way, hated the clue on POSTMAN only because "in an old movie" overlooks the (at least as famous) book by James M. Cain. Plus, only one "old book" has the title "The POSTMAN Always Rings Twice," while there are at least two "old movies." It's a book, is what I'm saying.
- 58D: Nancy Drew's beau and others (NEDS) — important crossword trivia; know your NEDS! (Rorem, Flanders, Beatty, etc.)
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