El Amazonas, e.g. / SUN 3-8-15 / Subject of a prophecy in Genesis / Israeli diet / English author Blyton / One end of the hotline / Betide / Beast imagined in "Beasts of the Southern Wild" / Smith of "Downton Abbey"
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Constructor: Tom McCoy
Relative difficulty: Sunday-ish
THEME: PI DAY — Rebus squares contain the symbol for pi, which reads as the letters "PI" for the down answers and as "TT" (which it kind of looks like) in the across answers.
Hey, everyone. PuzzleGirl here filling in on this glorious weekend. Seriously, it was like in the 40s here in the D.C. area today. A welcome 9-Down from the crazy cold and snow we've been dealing with lately. Rex is at the Finger Lakes puzzle tournament today and asked me to join you with the Sunday puzzle, which, of course, I'm delighted to do. So let's get to it.
- 23A: RO[TT]EN EGG (The last one in, perhaps)
- 26A: MAD HA[TT]ER ("Why is a raven like a writing desk?" asker)
- 29A: GUIL[T T]RIPS (Shames into action)
- 117A: TA[TT]LE (Snitch)
- 120A: DO[TT]ED (Like two lowercase letters of the alphabet)
- 3D: TY[PI]CALLY (As is usual)
- 9D: RES[PI]TE (Breather)
- 15D: RA[PI]D-FIRE (How questions may be asked)
- 102D: STU[PI]D (Cry exclaimed while facepalming)
- 105D: UTO[PI]A (More work)
- 69A/94A/72A HOW I WISH I COULD CALCULATE PI EASILY (A mnemonic for the first eight digits of [symbol in the middle of the grid])
This puzzle wasn't particularly easy for me, but I did finish it eventually. The ETRUSCAN / TOKYO / LICKED / PLAYER (76A: Like much of Italy in 700 B.C. / 81A: ___ Bay, site of a historic Admiral Perry visit of 1853 / 66D: Trounced / 67D: Ladies' man) section was the last to fall. But fall it did and I cried: "Victory is mine! Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land!" Okay, not really. I don't actually get that excited about finishing puzzles, plus it's not breakfast time. But you get the idea.
- 41A: Bully on "The Simpsons" (NELSON) — HAha!
- 43A: "THERE'S no doubt" — This seems really random to me. I mean, I'm sure this is a phrase people say, but it's not really a thing, is it? "___ no 'I' in team" would work for me. Or "___ gold in them thar hills." "___ more where that came from." "___ no place like home." "___ no crying in baseball." "___ one in every crowd." I think I've made my point.
- 46A: 2009 Newbery-winning author Gaiman (NEIL) — I always get Neil Gaiman confused with Neil Postman, who was also a writer. As far as I can tell, the things they wrote about don't overlap At All, so I'm not sure why they live in the same part of my brain. Besides the obvious.
- 71A: XV years before the Battle of Hastings — Now, see, that's just not fair.
- 88A: It never starts with 666 (SSN) — Who knew?
- 103A: Computing pioneer Lovelace (ADA) — I've seen a couple articles recently about a campaign to take Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with a woman. I think Ada Lovelace would be a good choice.
- 107A: It's revolting (MUTINY) — Good clue.
- 108A: One way of learning, it's said (OSMOSIS) — Is this for real? I think when I've heard the phase "learning by osmosis" it's been said in jest. Wikipedia says:
An example of social osmosis would be knowing a show exists that you have never seen, and yet possessing detailed information concerning aspects of the show without actively acquiring this knowledge ....Well that sounds like crossword puzzles to me!
- 113A: Belch (ERUCT) — Pretty sure I've never seen this word before. (Eruct, not belch. I've seen the word belch before.)
- 123: 1/2, for one (DATE) — I like this tricky clue. I read it as "one-half" instead of "January 2," which I assume you did too and that was the whole point.
- 39D: Frat pack member Ben (STILLER) — Others in the frat pack: Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell. Now you know.
- 58D: Threatens, as a king (CHECKS) — Love me a good chess clue.
- 59D: "HOGAN'S Heroes" — I believe I would be horrified to watch this show today and recall how much it made me laugh back when I was a kid. On a side note, PuzzleDaughter has a teacher named Mr. Klink. Whenever she mentions him I say "You mean, Colonel Klink?" and I laugh hysterically. She rolls her eyes and waits for me to finish. (That last part actually happens a lot around here.)