THEME: Radio Lingo — theme answers begin with words used in radio communication: ROGER, COPY, OVER, and OUT
A smooth, easy puzzle. I can't imagine what those who have resisted the switch from the TMS to the LAT puzzle (in syndication nationwide) could have to complain about with this one. Straightforward, very doable. Nothing to write home about, from a creativity standpoint, but solid as a rock. I speed solve these early-week puzzles, and this one fell a little quicker than the average Monday, even with slight trips here and there. For instance, I couldn't come up with BLAST (4A: Great time) until I got the damned "B" from "BAR" (4D: Tap room). Also, I misread the clue at 13D: Kids' book connectibles (DOTS) as [Kids' book collectibles]. No idea what I could have filled in for a clue like that. I started to write in DRY UP for 37A: Go through rehab, in a way, but knew that Had to be wrong. Good answer for [Shrivel, in a way], bad answer for this clue. I guess I'm not used to thinking of DETOX as a verb. Lastly, as snags go, right at the end I hesitated at 50A: Popular jeans (LEE'S). The possessive seemed wrong. I can see the word "LEE" written on the back tag ... is it really "LEE'S"? No it is not. It's "LEE." I guess "LEES" is a plural here? Bah. NARTHEX! (sorry, still channeling another puzzle I did recently).
- 18A: "Framed" toon in a 1988 film (ROGER RABBIT)
- 27A: Xerox product (COPY MACHINE)
- 47A: In an awkward position (OVER A BARREL)
- 61A: Like oysters in summer months (OUT OF SEASON)
There were some nice juxtapositions in today's grid. EMO (40A: Funny Philips) crossing HUMOR (31D: Funny business) was nice, though EMO Philips hasn't been funny (or seen by anyone) in fifteen years at least. DETOX over NARC (41A: Pusher chaser) gives you a nice drug-related subtheme for your Monday morning. Did Abe VIGODA (26D: Abe of "Barney Miller") wear a RUG (36A: Toupee, slangily)? He could have. His hair was at least thinning — though every time I remember seeing him, he was unrugged. Not that thrilled that the puzzle missed a chance at a "Three's Company" clue with ROPER (68A: Lasso wielder). Also not thrilled about POD (44A: Pea holder) and IPOD (58D: Music-playing Apple) in the same grid. Recently accepted a Facebook IPOD challenge — hit "shuffle" on your IPOD (or iTunes) and simply record the first 20 songs that come up. These were my results:
- 1. My Man's Gone Now - Nina Simone
- 2. Oh! You Pretty Things - David Bowie
- 3. Omerta - The Phoenix Foundation
- 4. That's Really Super, Supergirl - XTC
- 5. Behind the Mask - Eric Clapton
- 6. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G, Op. 58: III. Rondo (Vivace) - Beethoven (c/Brendel, Chicago SO / James Levine)
- 7. Goodbye to Love, The Carpenters
- 8. Concerto in E Major for Violin, BWV 1042 - I. Allegro - Bach (d/Manze, Academy of Ancient Music)
- 9. I Love My Leather Jacket - The Chills
- 10. Let's Get It On (Big Daddy Mix) - Steinski
- 11. Drive Slow - Kanye West
- 12. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz.106: II. Allegro - Bartok (c/Reiner, CSO)
- 13. Magic - Olivia Newton-John
- 14. Two Pictures Sz. 46, II. Village Dance: Allegro - Bartok (c/Xiao, Budapest Phil.)
- 15. Kidnapped - B Herrmann, "N by NW" soundtrack
- 16. One Minute - Kelly Clarkson
- 17. Rock Star - N*E*R*D
- 18. Postcard Blues - Cowboy Junkies
- 19. Love For Sale - Billie Holliday
- 20. Evangeline - Matthew Sweet
Crosswordese 101: PLATS (29D: Land maps) — there are other, perhaps better candidates for a Crosswordese lesson, but I'm going to leave them for another day and take this guy, if only because I learned the word from crosswords and it has come in handy on multiple occasions. You don't see it too frequently, but frequently enough for it to be worth knowing. PLATS are typically maps of municipalities made by surveyors for an official purpose (showing streets, property lots, etc.). A PLAT is also a braid (see also PLAIT, which appears to mean virtually the same thing). And PLAT can be a verb, "to braid," but typically if it shows up in your puzzle, it's clued as a map.
- 22A: Keystone lawman (KOP) — as in "The Keystone Kops," a series of films about incompetent policemen. The KOPS debuted in the silent era, but Wikipedia says that the "KOPS" spelling was not official in any way until the 1955 film "Abbot and Costello and The Keystone Kops." It's not clear to me that the "KOP" spelling was used in any official capacity except in the Abbot & Costello movie. But ... I have no real way to verify that. The "K" spelling has come to be commonly accepted, but ... appears not to have been original. I think. Maybe.
- 53D: Peseta replacer (EURO) — the puzzle loves its foreign currenncy, and with 75% vowels, EURO is likely the most common puzzle currency there is. RIAL and RIEL are right behind.
See you Friday,