Candy man Russell / SUN 11-11-12 / Title gunfighter of 1964 #1 hit / Villainous Star Wars title / Words are loaded pistols / Carved polynesian talisman / Irish lullaby opener / Battle of 1796 Napoleon victory / Neutrogena competitor
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Bottoms Up!" — familiar phrases have their final word flipped around, resulting in wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style
- 3D: Cash for trash? (JUNK REWARD)
- 4D: Angry slight? (HOT CROSS SNUB)
- 10D: Great Danes, e.g.? (GIANT PETS)
- 14D: One-of-a-kind Dutch cheese? (CUSTOM EDAM)
- 24D: Demon's weekend plans? (SATURDAY NIGHT EVIL)
- 60D: Catherine's demand of Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights"? ("GO TO YOUR MOOR!")
- 70D: Dracula's bar bill? (VAMPIRE TAB)
- 75D: Celebratory swig after a football two-pointer? (SAFETY NIP)
- 67D: "How's it going, fish?"? ("WHAT'S UP, COD?")
Word of the Day: Yani TSENG (74A: 2010 and 2011 L.P.G.A. Tour Player of the Year Yani ___) —
Yani Tseng (Chinese: 曾雅妮 Zēng Yǎní; born 23 January 1989) is a Taiwanese professional golfer playing on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour. She is the youngest player ever, male or female, to win five major championships and is ranked number 1 (since 2011) in the Women's World Golf Rankings. (wikipedia)
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A simple, fun little romp. I made a puzzle like this once. It was called "Final Twists" and all the theme answers were modifications of crime novels titles. I certainly wasn't the first (or fifth, or tenth) person to imagine such a theme concept. But you don't need utter originality to make an entertaining puzzle. In the case of this theme type, what you need are funny phrases and outlandish clues, and this puzzle has them. It also has all-Down theme answers—highly unusual. I got confused with the first theme answer because I couldn't figure out how JUNK REWARD was a play on anything. Or, rather, I thought it was a play on JUST REWARD, but ... how?! Only later did I see that it was REWARD that was the played-upon word.
HI, GUY" as anything other than some kind of weird, artificial, ironic/retro sort of greeting (38A: Informal greeting). Unless the one being greeted is named "Guy," in which case I totally get it. It also took me a while to get "YA DIG?" which has the virtue of being something one might plausibly say (or plausibly say some time before the start of the Reagan era, at any rate) (98A: "Capeesh?"). Never heard of TSENG, but given her stature in the world of women's golf (see "wotd," above), she's clearly worthy. There's something about the clue on COMAS that isn't sitting right with me (64D: Head cases?). Something about using a cutesy "?" clue, playing off a word for crazy or disturbed people, to clue a very serious condition just seems wrong. No idea who this gunfighter RINGO is (110A: Title gunfighter of a 1964 #1 hit). Number one?? Wow, I have to play that now just to be *sure* I haven't heard it. [... listening ...] Oh, OK, I've very possibly heard this before. Lorne Greene! His deep, rough voice is kind of awesome.
I have never heard of a SOMBRERO but now I really, really want one (100A: Kahlúa and cream over ice). I got confused briefly at 103A: Place that sells shells? (TACO STAND), because, between the placement of the answer and the "?" clue, I thought it was a theme answer. "OCAT STAND? TACO DNATS? What the...?"
- 29A: "Too Late the Phalarope" novelist (PATON) — I think I actually own this novel. It's somewhere in the collection of 2500 or so vintage paperbacks I've got here in my home office. And yet: this did not help me—I think my first guess was SETON. ANYA Seton (a crossword denizen herself) was a writer of historical romances.
- 44A: Candy man Russell (STOVER) — I don't eat drug-store chocolate, so this took me forever. The only answer I wanted was NIPSY.
- 65A: Bored employee's quest (NEW JOB) — I kept reading this as "request," which of course made no sense. Also, this clue should have "perhaps" or "maybe" tacked on the end. Plenty of bored people aren't doing a damn thing to change their situation.
- 105A: Like about 7% of the U.S. electorate (LATINO) — surprised it's that small. It's only going up.
- 7D: The fox is Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" (TOD) — really? People know this? And know how to spell it?
- 37D: Irish lullaby opener (TOORA) — Put in TOOLA. This has something to do with Tallulah Bankhead and something to do with "Boola boola!" and less to do with "Tora! Tora! Tora!"