Ethan Frome's sickly wife / SUN 1-9-11 / Jackal-headed god / Author in 1950s angry young men movement / Sinatra portrayer / Half-human counselor Star
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "The Long and the Short of It" — phrases where long "I" sound is changed to short "I" sound and vice versa, creating wacky phrases, clued wacktastically
Word of the Day: ANUBIS (46D: Jackal-headed god) —
Anubis (Ancient Greek: Ἄνουβις) is the Greek name for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology. In the ancient Egyptian language, Anubis is known as Inpu, (variously spelled Anup, Anpu, and Ienpw). The oldest known mention of Anubis is in the Old Kingdom pyramid texts, where he is associated with the burial of the Pharaoh. At this time, Anubis was the most important god of the Dead but he was replaced during the Middle Kingdom by Osiris. [how fighting—I really wanted OSIRIS] (wikipedia)
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OK, puzzle now...
I picked up the gimmick pretty early, but still had a good amount of trouble moving through the grid. Pleasant trouble, but trouble nonetheless. More specifically, I had two particular trouble spots—the area around the front end of ZIPPO LITTER, and the area around the back end of ZIPPO LITTER. Basically, that answer was a bear for me, and the surrounding entries weren't helping me much. I had the whole middle (i.e. "-IPPOLITT--") and still had no idea what I was dealing with. Hippolyta was an Amazon taken as a wife by Theseus ... I really wanted her to be involved somehow. But even in the rest of the grid, it was slightly slower-going than usual, due mainly to the fact that I was never sure where those ITS and IGHTS were gonna show up. Thankfully, the resulting wacky answers were mostly good. I think THEM'S FITTING WORDS! is my favorite.
- 23A: Manic desire to make sweaters when the weekend starts? (SATURDAY KNIT FEVER) — great
- 32A: Contents of the Visine Gazette? (EYE WHITENESS NEWS) — I admire the preposterous clue on this one
- 48A: Parts of many cheerleading uniforms? (SLIGHT SKIRTS)
- 64A: Cleanup crew's goal? (ZIPPO LITTER)
- 81A: Punchophobic? (AFRAID OF HITS) — somehow briefly thought the answer was going to be AFRAID OF [Shere] HITE
- 94A: Company whose motto is "Our pilots are moderately intelligent? (BRIGHTISH AIRWAYS) — is "brightish" a word? I don't really care, as I love this answer
- 106A: "That thar was an appropriate thing to say!?" ("THEM'S FITTING WORDS") — even the clue makes me laugh. I kind of wish the "G" were dropped on this one, but even so ... gold.
- 16D: Cronkite when at the top of the ratings? (WALTER MIGHTY)
- 58D: Easily damaged major organs? (TENDER VITALS)
As for the other side of ZIPPO LITTER, I had AGEE instead of AMIS (61A: Author in the 1950s "angry young men" movement). Oh, and my biggest problem was "Who the hell are the SOONES!? Some phenomenally popular Christian rock band I've never heard of!?!?" Oh ... The STONES. Yeah, they're pretty famous (36D: Top-grossing concert act of 1989, '94 and '05, with "the"). Stupid nautical TAR, ugh (40A: Naval need of old). I of course had OAR (hence SOONES). Triremes and what not. I think I can go ahead and name the TAR/OAR error the "MOAPO" error, since that was what I ended up with the last time I made the error, under tournament conditions (actual answer was MT. APO). Eventually, you will make the MOAPO error, if you haven't already. I guarantee it.
- 1A: Thanksgiving staple (PIE) — wanted YAM :(
- 4A: "Big ___," 1995 Notorious B.I.G. hit (POPPA) — yay. He was in my last puzzle.
- 50A: Where brown and white meet (TAN LINE) — great clue. Stumped me.
- 77A: ___ Rosada (Argentine presidential manor) (CASA) — Spanish 101, so even with a relatively obscure clue, this one was easy to pick up.
- 102A: "Giant" in "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" (ANT) — there was a "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" ride or exhibit or something at Disney Hollywood Studios. As you can guess, I did not indulge. Thus, this clue = ??? to me.
- 1D: Sinatra portrayer on "S.N.L." (PISCOPO) — Gimme. Helped me get over my YAM fixation at 1A. Hey, look, there's another "portrayer" a little ways over—Ralph FIENNES as Voldemort (12D: Voldemort's portrayer in the Harry Potter films).
- 33A: Musical featuring "The Way He Makes Me Feel" ("YENTL") — my answer: "ANNIE!"
- 38D: "The Government Inspector" playwright (GOGOL) — really wanted GODOT despite knowing that he is fictional, and possibly non-existent.
- 66D: Half-human counselor on "Star Trek: T.N.G." (TROI) — the one Trek-related character every constant solver knows (or should). She has great ... letters.
- 71D: Drained of blood (ASHEN) — see also 62A: "True Blood" network (HBO).
- 80D: Baseball Hall-of-Famer with the autobiography "Maybe I'll Pitch Forever" (PAIGE) — I highly recommend James Sturm's "Satchel PAIGE: Striking Out Jim Crow." Great example of how comics can illuminate history.
- 97D: Winter windshield problem (ICING) — tell me about it. My left wiper is wonky and the parts it couldn't get to kept icing up tonight and I had to drive halfway leaned over so I could look through the clear patch of glass. Not recommended, kids.
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