MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2006 - Sarah Keller

Monday, October 9, 2006

Solving time: 5:45

THEME: DAY, DEE, DIE, DOUGH, DUE appear, in that order, in the puzzle's long answers [which I failed to notice initially - thanks kratsman]

Busy day today, so time only for a short entry. This puzzle was remarkable only in that its SW corner ("Phoenix"? "Tempe"?) was noticeably more difficult than the rest. Slowed me down a bit. So let's start there.

50A: Airs, in Latin (aurae)
45D: Homeland, to Horace (patria)

Really, you're gonna bring the intersecting Latin words (familiar but not especially common) on a Monday? "Airs" seems a bit off as a clue, as it suggests songs, or the phrase "putting on airs," neither of which applies here. These weren't actually the clues that slowed me down, though. I wanted 47D: Record label for many rappers (Arista) to be "Def Jam" (but RUN-DMC are on Arista, which I should have known) and I wanted 63A: Verb type: Abbr. (intr.) to be "irr.," because I had the "i" - never mind that it's one letter short - and I heard 46D: Tempting (luring) as an adjective and I had not heard the expression 66A: "What _____!" ("How Cool!") [a gas] in a long time, if ever (I think I've only ever heard "it'll be a gas!" or "it's a gas!"). All in all, "Phoenix" felt very Wednesday, which would be fine if today were Wednesday. Actually, it's fine. The corner only cost me about 30-45 seconds, truth be told. Felt like much longer.

30A:Gidget player in "Gidget" (Sandra Dee)

"Look at me, / I'm Sandra Dee, / Lousy with / Virginity. / Won't go to bed / 'Til I'm legally wed. / I can't / I'm Sandra Dee!" Ooh, Sandra Dee was married to Bobby Darin. That's hot. I had no idea.

32A: "_____ Abner" (L'il)

Mmm, old-timey comics. Bring it on!

64A: _____ Park, Colo. (Estes)

Hey Amy, remember my trip to Estes Park? Good times. [My sister lives in Colorado. On my way to her wedding, I got a bit, er, misrouted. Rockies are beautiful, but not when you're desperately searching for your sister's wedding and you are the Maid / Man of Honor. Or one of them. I have no idea what became of the other one.]

10D: It was once Siam (Thailand)

Yes, that's a good clue. I would have gone with "it was once a putative democracy" or "it was once unoccupied by tanks," but "Siam" is good too.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 7:54 PM  

You may want to re-check the long entries for a theme. The Mon-Thurs puzzles almost always have one. Today's is "common phrases that end in alphabetically sequential "d" words." (Whew--call re-write.)

For example, the puzzle has (in order):



Rex Parker 10:45 PM  

"Alphabetically sequential" is dead on - and yet doesn't seem to get at the crucial feature, which is that the vowel sounds are those of a, e, i, o, u, in order, or rather ... hmm, actually, not necessarily the sounds of those letters, but the way those letters sound when you say them, as letters. You know what I mean. I hope. Say it: "aeoiu" "daydeediedoughdue" - I don't know what you call it, but it's cute (like Sandra Dee).

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