Ill-gotten wealth / MON 10-29-12 / Old Soviet naval base site / Porky's porcine sweetie / New York city with name from antiquity / Muhammad Ali strategy / Company that originated Frisbees Boogie Boards / Spy grp dissolved in 1991 / Instrument with metal keys / Imam's holy book
Monday, October 29, 2012
Constructor: Gareth Bain
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: animal business — two-word verb phrases where an animal is the verb
- WOLF DOWN (17A: Devour)
- MONKEY AROUND (24A: Waste time playfully)
- PONY UP (39A: Pay what's due)
- PIG OUT (41A: Eat, eat, eat)
- SQUIRREL AWAY (49A: Hoard)
- BEAR UPON (63A: Pertain to)
Word of the Day: PELF (3D: Ill-gotten wealth) —
Wealth or riches, especially when dishonestly acquired.
[Middle English, from Medieval Latin pelfra, pelfa, probably from Old French pelfre.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/pelf#ixzz2AdUEk42A
• • •
What, no COCK BLOCK!?
PELF meant, or that it was even a word, you may feel differently. Either way, it's very solvable. The theme is simple and amusing—BEAR UPON was a bit sad, first because BEAR DOWN has more oomph and second because (unlike all the other theme answers, except PONY UP, I think), the verb in this answer has nothing to do with the actual behavior of the animal that bears (!) its name. But this is more observation than criticism. The fill on this puzzle is pretty close to ideal for an easy, high-word-count, early-week puzzle. Zing and zazz all over the place. Grid's got every letter except "J" or "V"; "Oh, so close, why didn't he go for the pangram? They're so *fun*!" A: Because the puzzle would clearly have been WORSE. And I doubt the grid could be any funner than this. Gareth knows what he's doing.
Loved ROPE-A-DOPE most of all (8D: Muhammad Ali strategy). Got stymied by QU'RAN, not 'cause I didn't know it, but 'cause I couldn't spell it (went QARAN at first, which now that I look at it is a horrible guess) (50D: Imam's holy book). CYAN is not a Monday blue, but it's not *so* strange (22D: Blue shade). WHAM-O always looks like it should have one more "M" (else I want to pronounce it WHAY-MO) (52D: Company that originated Frisbees and Boogie Boards). Love the fact that PIG OUT is followed by PETUNIA—recalls the fact that when Porky the "pig" came "out," it was a grave disappointment to his girlfriend (42A: Porky's porcine sweetie).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld