Jump accompanier? / SUN 7-8-12 / Actor Alain / Where "it's fun to stay" in a 1978 hit / Words heard at a birthday party
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Easy (= I didn't need to cheat)
THEME: "Make the Change" — Theme answers are homophones of common phrases in which the prefix "de" substitutes for "the," making you sound like a Damon Runyon character when you say them aloud. Fun! (I don't get the title, though; someone please explain it in the comments.)
Word of the Day: TIRANE (18A: Capital city formerly behind the Iron Curtain)
Tirana (indefinite form in Albanian: Tiranë; in the regional sub-dialect of Gheg Albanian: Tirona) is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania’s capital city in 1920 and has a population of 400,000, with metro area population of 763,634. The city is host to public institutions and private universities, and is the center of the political, economical, and cultural life of the country. (Wikipedia)
• • •Hello Puzzle People! I am PAM (11A: "The Office" woman), subbing for Rex, who is in New Zealand. I am in Seattle, where it is not currently raining. You should visit. We have a new Ferris wheel, plus King Tut, and even a YMCA (26A: Where it's fun to stay, in a 1978 hit).
Although it was easyish, I slogged through this puzzle. For every gimme like AL QAEDA (95D: War on terror target) there was a stumper (at least to my sun-addled brain) like TSARS (86D: Old Russian line), which I wanted to be transportation-related. I don't blame Fagliano - the clues and fill were (mostly) fair - I just couldn't get on his wavelength. I enjoyed the theme answers, though, some of which made me LOL.
- 22A: So happy you can't see straight? (BLINDED BY DELIGHT)
- 34A: Argument about a fork-tailed bird? (SWALLOW DEBATE)
- 50A: Circle above the airport? (PUT OFF DESCENT) - I prefer DESCENT OF A WOMAN, which would be fun to clue. (Hey lady, go write your own crossword! OK OK.)
- 70A: Making one's way down the corporate ladder? (GOING THROUGH DEMOTIONS)
- 88A: Breed hatred in? (TEACH TO DETEST) - My favorite; I am picturing Harry the Horse in a roundtable discussion on education reform.
- 110A: Woman who's the very best at saying no? (QUEEN OF DENIAL)
- 122A: Really enjoy giving specifics? (LIVE TO TELL DETAIL)
- 49A: Bear's cry (SELL) — Got stuck here, as I thought this was going to be a sports thing ...
- 129A: Get ready for a bomb, say (GO DEEP) — ... but this was the sports thing. All I could think of was "duck and cover."
- 77A and 67A: "That's not true!" (YOU LIE) — These two-part answers annoy me, especially when they're in the wrong order. There oughta be a law. YUP.
- 101A: Canterbury can (LOO) — Cute. I was thinking Middle English/Chaucer.
- 13D: Hair line? (MOHAWK) — I suppose. SNORT.
- 16D: Some are mean (STREETS) and 90D: Words heard at a birthday party (OPEN IT) — Couldn't get either of these but loved 'em once I did.
- 93D: Jump accompanier? (GERONIMO) — Fresh and funny.
- 103D: Combines (POOLS) — One of my many erasures. I had "pairs."
- 104D: One of the five Olympic rings (AFRICA) — I am mortified to admit I have no idea what the rings symbolize. I am guessing they are continents?
- 113D: Traffic Crossing ___ Bridge (Pioneering 1888 film footage) (LEEDS) — Yes, it's on YouTube!
Pam de Puzzler