Sleuth Lupin / SUN 8-7-11 / Broken Arrow co-star Michael / Lacking surrounding colonnade as temple / Add-on meaning galore
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Constructors: Tony Orbach and Janie Smulyan
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Good to Go" — familiar phrases containing "GOOD" have "GOOD" removed, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: Michael ANSARA (79D: "Broken Arrow" co-star Michael) —
Michael Ansara (born April 15, 1922) is a stage, screen, and voice actor best known for his portrayal of Cochise in the American television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979-81 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Commander Kang on three different Star Trek TV series. (wikipedia)
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One last ultra-abbreviated write-up before I head home and resume a reasonably regular blogging regimen. Had lunch with today's constructors on Friday—It's Janie Smulyan's first published puzzle ... and she has another appearing tomorrow (in the LAT). So congrats to her. As I told the constructors on Friday, I couldn't finish this puzzle. TWO wrong (actually, blank) squares. If I'd known Keir DULLEA (or remembered it from puzzles past, or had any idea how to spell it, etc.), I would have had zero blanks (78A: Keir of "2001: A Space Odyssey"). But I had two, because DULLEA and ULLA (70D: "The Producers" character who sings "When You Got It, Flaunt It") and ANSARA were all complete mysteries to me. I do not think that obscure proper nouns should be intersecting like that. Any one might be fine on its own (though ULLA is ultra-awful, I think), but all linked up like that? And all of them "famous" for very limited, very specific reasons? Rough. Never mind that the remarkably odd APTERAL runs through there too (I somehow remembered/inferred that) (44D: Lacking a surrounding colonnade, as a temple). The theme is cute, in a way, though the "wacky" phrases aren't terribly wacky. I think the constructors must have been in love with COSTANZA as an answer (127A: TV character who worked for Steinbrenner), because I don't know how else you convince yourself that a corner with LEHAR, FAEROE, and DETERGED (!) is a good idea. There's some good fill in here (GABFEST, LIT OUT, LEG RESTS), though overall the fill was probably somewhat wobblier than I'd like (MNEM-, E MIN, PORC, ENOW, etc.).
- 23A: Start-press order for a New York daily? (LET THE TIMES ROLL)
- 39A: Flippered animal that runs a maid service? (HOUSEKEEPING SEAL)
- 48A: Request for candy from a kid at camp? (SHIP LOLLIPOP)
- 68A: Congratulatory phrase at a "Peanuts" barmitzvah? ("YOU'RE A MAN, CHARLIE BROWN")
- 88A: Jaded comment from a constantly updated person? (NO NEWS IS NEWS)
- 98A: 1970s, to a schmaltzy wedding band? (THE ERA OF 'FEELINGS')
- 120A: Amnesiac's vague recollection of having a hobby? (I'M INTO SOMETHING)
- 9A: "The Dublin Trilogy" drmatist (O'CASEY) — my ignorance of Irish literature continues unabated. I've heard of this guy, at least.
- 26A: Sleuth Lupin (ARSENE) — never can remember this. He's basically the French Sherlock Holmes.
- 22A: Add-on meaning "galore" (A-GOGO) — I had O-RAMA
- 59A: Dewlapped creature (IGUANA) — "dewlaps" make me think only of TURKEYs.
- 93A: 1981 German-language hit film (DAS BOOT) — I remember it well despite never having seen it. Must've had a good ad campaign.
- 8D: Asian title that's an anagram of an English one (SRI) — that anagram, in case you couldn't quite work it out, is RIS.
- 38D: Hanauma Bay locale (OAHU) — never heard of the bay, but still easy; it was this or MAUI.
- 40D: Antipollution mascot Woodsy (OWL) — "Give a hoot, read a book!"—Krusty the Clown
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Tony Orbach, me, and Janie Smulyan @ the Ridgeway Diner, NYC, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011]