Automaker Chevrolet / SUN 5-15-11 / Villainous group Get Smart / Train part where sorting was once done / Fleet Amtrak train / Damascene's homeland
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Constructor: Cathy Allis
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Included Herewit" — "-TH" sounds are changed to "-T" sounds in familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style. This is apparently some kind of tribute to "My Cousin VINNY" (75D: Film cousin whose accent this puzzle spoofs), which I never saw and never had any desire to see. Weird how the puzzle doesn't even mention the Oscar TOMEI won for that movie ... anyway ...
Word of the Day: TABOR (34D: Small drum) —
A small drum, often having a snare, played by a fifer to accompany the fife.
[Middle English tabur, from Old French, alteration of tambur. See tambour.]
Cathy Allis is the new puzzle-maker for New York Magazine, replacing the legendary Maura Jacobson.
- 24A: Salt Lake City athlete's dear hawk mascot? (SWEET BIRD OF UTE) — That's a pretty forced / awkward clue.
- 27A: Possible result of a costly Italian vacation? (DEBT IN VENICE)
- 55A: Jokes in a campy 1960s TV locale? (BAT ROOM HUMOR)
- 64A: Akin to milking cows? (LIKE PULLING TEAT) — this one *should* be in the middle, because it is the clear winner of the day.
- 78A: Bless butter with a gesture? (CROSS ONE'S PAT)
- 108A: Vessel for just the two of us? (YOU AND ME BOAT) — ew, not good.
- 113A: Role of a boxer's physician? (WELT MANAGEMENT) — easy once I got over the idea that "boxer's physician" would be a veterinarian.
- 4D: What Ernie may wish he had vis-à-vis his roommate? (BERT CONTROL)
- 68D: Non-choice for restaurant seating (TABLE OR BOOT) — "Would you like a table, or would you like to sit in the trunk of a car in London?"
- 54A: Shakespearean fairy king (OBERON) — this makes me think of prison, in that I once taught Shakespeare in prison, and I just got a message from the guy who runs the program, so ... I may be headed back. Too bad "Crosswords" isn't really a college-credit-worthy course. Unless...
- 88A: Damascene's homeland (SYRIA) — "Damascan" seems better, but nobody asked me.
- 65D: Villainous group in "Get Smart" (KAOS) — well, if you didn't know this one, then you clearly didn't listen to my extended radio interview, which aired last week. Interviewer asked me to comment on a Newsday puzzle as I was solving it, and KAOS was one of the first answers I ran into (first audio is the piece that actually aired—scroll down to the bottom for audio of me solving and commenting in real time). I'd like to thank the puzzle for allowing me to shamelessly replug myself ... as it were.
- 100D: Fleet Amtrak train (ACELA) — If I made a list of every recurring crossword answer that I learned only after starting this blog, I wonder how long that list would be. However long it was, this answer would probably be the first thing on it, alphabetically.
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