Demotion victim of 2006 / SUN 8-12-12 / One of England's Cinque Ports / Like Tarzan's mannerisms / Besieged city during Spanish Civil War / Maisie star Sothern / Eisner's successor as Disney chief / Mechanical engineer Howe / Peabody Essex Museum city
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "The Meaning of It" — common expressions containing the word "IT" are clued in unexpectedly, amusingly literal ways
Word of the Day: ANN Sothern (23A: "Maisie" star Sothern) —
Ann Sothern (born Harriet Arlene Lake, January 22, 1909 – March 15, 2001) was an Americanfilm and television actress whose career spanned six decades. [...]
In 1949, Sothern appeared in the Oscar winning film, A Letter to Three Wives. The film earned her excellent reviews, but failed to stimulate her career. During the 1950s, she made a few movies, including The Blue Gardenia (1953), but mainly appeared on television shows. In 1953, she landed the lead in the series Private Secretary. After Private Secretary ended in 1957 due to a contract dispute between Sothern and producerJack Chertok, she appeared in her own show, The Ann Sothern Show, from 1958 to 1961. Both were successful and earned Sothern four Emmy Award nominations. Ann Tyrrell and Don Porter were her co-stars in both series. (wikipedia)
• • •This was pretty funny but awfully easy. Theme answers all came very quickly except for GET ON WITH IT (not sure why). Oh, I had OAT for HAY, that's probably why (93D: Stable supply). I guess a single OAT doesn't really qualify as a "supply." Makes sense. That SW corner was the only place I was slowed down even mildly. In fact, I got the final three theme answers without ever looking at their clues (which kind of tears the heart out of the puzzle, as the theme clues are clearly its raison d'être). But when I can look at the "IT" phrase and see exactly what it is without having to bother with the clue-hunting eyeskip, then that's what I'm gonna do. I can always look at those (funny) clues later.
- 22A: "Talking isn't going to reseal that wine bottle!" ("PUT A CORK IN IT!")
- 25A: "Quit trying to make a paper doll by ripping the paper!") ("CUT IT OUT!")
- 26A: "I can see why shoppers avoid this off-brand white bread!" ("IT'S NO WONDER!")
- 36A: "I already know my homemade cold cream is useless!") ("DON'T RUB IT IN!")
- 38A: "So you finally got the gist of that Stephen Hawking book!" ("IT'S ABOUT TIME!")
- 63A: "Of course this car isn't voice-controlled!" ("IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!")
- 88A: "This tippy Christmas tree is driving me crazy!" ("I CAN'T STAND IT!")
- 91A: "Stop dillydallying and use your boarding pass!" ("GET ON WITH IT!")
- 104A: "How dare you climb a barbed-wire fence wearing my sweater!" ("THAT TEARS IT!")
- 106A: "I'm in a hurry to see that bug squashed!" ("STEP ON IT!")
- 110A: "Yeah, I'm asking for people's impression of this inkblot—so?" ("WHAT'S IT TO YOU!?"
- 78A: Peabody Essex Museum city (SALEM) — Oregon? Massachusetts? That clue is basically [Three random words city] to me. (It's Salem, MA, btw)
- 96A: Mechanical engineer Howe (ELIAS) — he invented something ... not the cotton gin ... how do I know this guy's name (this was a gimme)? Aha, sewing machine! Also, apparently his descendants also own the Big Boy restaurant chain, prompting a waitress to correct me and my sister when we referred to the place we were eating in as "Bob's." "It's Elias Bros. Big Boy." We may have laughed in her face. We were pretty young. Also, this has nothing to do with ELIAS Howe.
- 23A: "Maisie" star Sothern (ANN) — ANN Sothern sounds familiar, but I know Maisie only as this mouse character I had to read far too many books about when my daughter was young. She's now reading Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series. On her own. Yes, I am bragging that my almost-12-yr-old can read! She also mostly knows her left from her right. Verrrrry gifted.
- 38D: Eisner's successor as Disney chief (IGER) — only name I had in my arsenal was ILER. Good name to have in your arsenal. Not the right name here.
- 52D: Besieged city during the Spanish Civil War (OVIEDO) — Like Ovid, only ... vowelier.
- 62D: Like Tarzan's mannerisms (SIMIAN) — wanted something like "crude" or "wooden" or "improbable," before hitting on SIMIAN. Also, I am currently having an impromptu Twitter contest to see who can come up with the stupidest "50 Shades of Grey" parody idea. My first offering: "Tarzan, Jane, and lots and lots of vine in ... Fifty Shades of Greystoke!"
- 74D: Demotion victim of 2006 (PLUTO) — Printed this out on one page, which made type really small, which made me read this as [Demolition victim of 2006], which made me think "Holy Crap They Blew Up PLUTO!?"
- 86D: Kid aged 10-12 (TWEENER) — yeah, they're called tweens now, but whatever. I think a TWEENER is a tryst you have 'tween noon and dinner time.
Thanks, I'll be here all year, be sure to tip your waitress, etc.