Big name in California wine / SUN 6-19-11 / Green-skinned god / Kipling poem about Burma / Runcible spoon feature / Panhellenic Games site
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Say What?!" — familiar phrases reimagined as strange phrases addressing inanimate objects (i.e. reimagined with commas in them, following this pattern: "[exclamation or command], [inanimate object]!")
Word of the Day: TRUTV (56D: Cable network with the motto: "Not reality. Actuality.") —
truTV is an American cable television network owned by Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner. The network launched as Court TV in 1991, changing to truTV in 2008. Its programming has traditionally been live homicide trial coverage and other criminal justice programming; however, the network has branched out into more "caught on video" reality programs, or as truTV calls it, "actuality" television. (wikipedia)
- 19A: Weapon, e.g., in military-speak (ASSET) — I've heard weapons spoken of in this way, of course, but that clue just doesn't allow you to plunk down an answer until you've got several crosses in place.
- 21A: Something well-preserved? (WATER) — I had the entire word solved from crosses and still didn't get it. And then I did. WATER is "preserved" in a well. &%*%. Good one.
- 27A: What you might get by moving a head? (PEZ) — again, &%*%. Just a great clue. [apparently some of you have never heard of PEZ (!?). You dispense candy from its plastic casing by tilting back the head on top. See pic at right]
- 68A: Explorer Richard Byrd's plane (AMERICA) — no hope. Just waited for crosses to point to something name-like.
- 82A: Australia's Lake ___ National Park (EYRE) — ditto.
- 89A: Philip with a 1975 best seller on C.I.A. secrets (AGEE) — rings a faint bell. Very faint.
- 95A: Big name in California wine (MASSON) — ugh, I grew up in CA and figured I'd nail this one. But no. Again, faint bell, but only faint.
- 3D: Diesel engine manufacturer (ISUZU) — no idea they were well known for that.
- 11D: "___ Pearl" (Jackson 5 hit) ("MAMA'S") — what the what?
- 16D: Kipling poem about Burma ("MANDALAY") — no idea. Was able to guess it from the clue, even if I did misspell it at first.
- 18D: James of "X-Men" films (MARSDEN) — yet again, no idea. Can't even picture him.
- 37D: Soprano pineapple and others, briefly (UKES) — gibberish to me. I figured it had something to do with "The Sopranos," but no. Here's more than you'd ever want to know about the instrument.
- 42D: Green-skinned god (OSIRIS) — I know this god's name, obviously, but "green-skinned" is new to me.
- 56A: Cable network with the motto "Not reality. Actuality." (TRUTV) — I now remember that this is the network I first heard of during March Madness: they carried some of the games. I remember being like "do I even get that network?"
- 57D: Panhellenic Games site (NEMEA) — I know NEMEA only from Hercules' labor with the lion.
- 80D: Fictional island in two Alistair MacLean novels (NAVARONE) – is this "The Guns of NAVARONE?" That title is familiarish, but I needed most of the crosses to guess this one.
- 97D: Runcible spoon feature (PRONG) — is this a spork? Because "Runcible spoon" is a Complete mystery to me.
- 106D: Home of Hallivard's ruined cathedral (OSLO) — no idea, but to my credit, I put in OSLO immediately based on its being four letters long. Just felt right.
- 23A: "I've heard enough, retail outlet!" ("SHUT UP, SHOP!")
- 25A: "I agree completely, dog-eared bit of paper!" ("AMEN, CORNER!")
- 28A: "Stop right where you are, picture holder!" ("FREEZE, FRAME!")
- 44A: "You're in danger, tall hill!" ("LOOK OUT, MOUNTAIN!")
- 54A: "The chair doesn't recognize you, steakhouse and chophouse!" ("SIT DOWN, RESTAURANTS!")
- 76A: "I'd be miserable without you, tapestry!" ("DON'T LEAVE ME, HANGING!") — my favorite answer
- 85A: "Goodbye, place I used to live!" ("FAREWELL, ADDRESS!")
- 104A: "Just keep doing what you're doing, suitcases!" ("CARRY ON, BAGS!") — my second favorite
- 110A: "I read you loud and clear, breakfast meat!" ("ROGER, BACON!") — my favorite clue
- 112A: "It was all my fault, gun attachment!" ("SORRY, SIGHT!")
- 34A: Alaska purchase negotiator (SEWARD) — He of the Folly.
- 29D: Old West gambling game (FARO) — one of those "I'll-always-associate-it-with-crosswords" words. See also SHTETL (43D: Old Jewish community).
- 48D: Acronymic weapon (TASER) — Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. I know sometimes I post ridiculous comments that aren't true, but that ridiculous comment is, in fact, true.
- 50D: "Mr. ___" (1983 Styx hit) ("ROBOTO") — now is the time on Sprockets when we dance ... but we've heard "ROBOTO" recently, so ... something else 1983 ... this'll do:
- 77D: Giveaway at the poker table (TELL) — Nice clue. Once I ruled out "gift bag," the answer came quickly.
- 111D: "Incidentally," in chat rooms (BTW) — stands for "by the way." By the way, do "chat rooms" still exist?
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
P.S. the bestest, funnest crossword tournament in America is coming up on the calendar very soon:
Lollapuzzoola 4, Sat. Aug 6, 11am-5pm, All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Ave., NY, NY. Hosted by Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer.
Get more info and preregister now at the tournament's website. This is a tournament for everyone, *especially* people who love crosswords but think tournaments aren't really their thing, i.e. the non-competitive among you. It's more of an extended comical nerdy good time than a high-powered tournament (though if you like high-powered, you will have competition, and there will be prizes). I'll be in NYC for several days leading up to the tournament, talking to New Yorkers (and whoever else is around) about their crosswording habits. More on that later (I'm hoping to talk to some of you...). I really hope to see many of you there. ~RP