THEME: The Saturday puzzle is themeless—the game is decoding tougher clues and figuring out a slew of longer words and phrases
I just learned from crossword blogger Brian Cimmet that a Barry Silk puzzle will contain some sort of baseball reference. Here, there are two. 43A: Speaker of baseball is TRIS, and really, there's no other valid way to clue TRIS, is there? 47D: Infielder's cry is MINE; this grabby word could be clued plenty of other ways, but maybe Barry was just in a baseball frame of mind.
This'll be a short write-up because baseball puts me to sleep. No! Just kidding. This'll be short because a long day puts me to sleep, and it's apparently past my bedtime.
Crosswordese 101: Let's take a look at some old-school crosswordese: ANIL. It's clue is 26A: Shrub of the genus Indigofera. ANIL is where we get indigo from, and where would blue jeans be without indigo dye? If you've heard of ANILINE dye, I believe that's related. Other crosswordese dye you may encounter: AZO dyes are "any dyes whose molecules contain two adjacent nitrogen atoms between carbon atoms"—or, as crossword clues refer to them, "kind of dye" or "nitrogen-based dye].
Favorite Answers and Clues:
- 1A: Super (WHIZBANG). Terrific word. One might even call it...whizbang.
- 18A: Turkey appendage (WATTLE). How 'bout that wattle over there? Not even a 95-year-old person can rival that.
- 31A: Kawasaki watercraft (JETSKI). Barry Silk likes to include uncommon letters, like J and K.
- 55A: Space science (ROCKETRY). My son is a little into space travel these days.
- 57A: London-born supermodel (KATE MOSS). I'm a sucker for first/last name combos in the crossword grid.
- 8D: Two-ton predator (GREAT WHITE SHARK). Ooh, that's a great 15-letter answer there.
- 32D: Multipurpose roll (DUCT TAPE). Duct tape is good for anything. They say it even cures warts.
- 42D: Knight who sings (GLADYS). You like her music? Enjoy:
Bullets That Hurt: Among the more out-there answers and clues were these ones:
- 46A: Yom __: holiday, in Hebrew (TOV). Is this related at all to "Mazel tov"?
- 54A: Picket fence (PALING).
- 2D: Hydrocarbon obtained from petroleum (HEXANE). The what now?
- 3D: Weather phenomenon also known as pogonip (ICEFOG). Pogonip!
- 4D: Prestone competitor (ZEREX). I don't know what this stuff is,
Everything Else — 9A: Winged mimics (MYNAHS); 15A: Listening device (RECEIVER); 16A: Where to see saucers (TEASET); 17A: Drill (EXERCISE); 19A: Trysting places, perhaps (CAFES); 20A: Sagan's subj. (ASTR); 22A: Sugary ending (OSE); 23A: Presidential middle name (KNOX); 24A: Needing to reorder (OUTOF); 27A: Line part: Abbr. (SEG); 28A: Major artery: Abbr. (EXPWY); 29A: It may be fine (PRINT); 30A: God to more than a billion (ALLAH); 32A: Immigrant's status, perhaps (DUALCITIZENSHIP); 36A: Detach, in a way (UNCLIP); 37A: Yellowish brown (TAWNY); 38A: Honored formally (CITED); 39A: O'Connor of "Xena: Warrior Princess" (RENEE); 40A: Slump (SAG); 44A: German-speaking Swiss city (BASEL); 45A: Manhandle (MAUL); 47A: Course with many functions (MATH); 48A: Dance with a kick (CONGA); 49A: Mate's response (AYESIR); 51A: Declared (ADJUDGED); 56A: Bastille Day party site (ELYSEE); 1D: Totals (WRECKS); 5D: Some pens (BICS); 6D: Prefix with fauna (AVI); 7D: Super __: game console (NES); 9D: Cal. sequence (MTWTF); 10D: Time for a revolution? (YEAR); 11D: Jazzman Adderley (NAT); 12D: Amaze (ASTONISH); 13D: National Museum of Finland site (HELSINKI); 14D: Dart feature (STEELTIP); 21D: Vegan staple (SOY); 24D: Plant in the primrose family (OXLIP); 25D: __ the crack of dawn (UPAT); 26D: Bohemian (ARTSY); 28D: Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 (ELCID); 29D: Trattoria offering (PENNE); 30D: Everything, to Ernst (ALLES); 31D: Valuable rock (JEWEL); 33D: It merged with Goodrich in 1986 (UNIROYAL); 34D: In an energetic way (ACTIVELY); 35D: First name in Western fiction (ZANE); 39D: Turncoat (RAT); 40D: Serenaded (SANGTO); 41D: Boring things (AUGERS); 44D: One might precede a tug (BARGE); 45D: Way to the Web (MODEM); 48D: Salad veggie (CUKE); 50D: Reunion moniker (SIS); 52D: 1988 noir remake (DOA); 53D: Where sts. meet (JCT).