THEME: No theme today—Just a themeless Saturday puzzle
Yet another easy-peasy Saturday puzzle, the second-easiest L.A. Times crossword I've done this week. It's all topsy-turvy—the Friday and Saturday puzzles were easier than the Monday through Thursday puzzles. Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and sigh.
Barry's previous puzzles have paid homage to his beloved Philadelphia in various ways. This time, it's the 18A: Phillies pitcher who received the 2008 World Series MVP Award, some guy I never heard of named COLE HAMELS. A more notable Cole:
The only other answer that felt completely unfamiliar to me was 22A: Easier version, in music scores (OSSIA). Do the musically inclined among you know this term, or is it pretty far down the list of Musical Vocabulary I Ought to Know?
- 21A: Instants of revelation, as for puzzle solvers (AHA MOMENTS). Oprah has 'em, too. In fact, she thinks she owns the phrase, but she most certainly does not.
- 25A: Sports intermission (HALF-TIME). My kid has finally taken an interest in football thanks to the Madden NFL '08 Wii game, but he is not yet drawn to televised games, much less to half-time hooey [see also 16A: NFL commentator Long (HOWIE)].
- 39A: Photographer known for his black-and-white American West scenes (ANSEL ADAMS). Always good to have a first name/last name combo of a famous person (famouser than COLE HAMELS, even!), but good gravy, does the clue hit you over the head with a lot of identifying information or what?
- 8D: Wind-speed measurer (ANEMOMETER). Almost as fun to say aloud as "sphygmomanometer." In case you were wondering, the word shares a root with crossworddom's favorite seven-letter flower, the anemone (which means "daughter of the wind").
- You can get these crosswords FOR A SONG (26D: Dirt-cheap).
- Shhhh, IT'S A SECRET so 29D: "Don't tell anyone." It's probably suboptimal to have this answer crossing SECRETES (42A: Emits, as pheromones), given the shared roots of the S-words. Plus, the word SECRETES is kinda gross. Like seeping.
- 43D: Mork's partner (MINDY). I had one of those aspirational crushes on Mindy—I wanted to be her. This does not explain why I wore the Mork rainbow suspenders in 7th grade.
Crosswordese 101: A T-TOP is a 20A: Car roof with removable panels. Do y'all use this term when you're talking about cars? because I know it only from crosswords. Here's the definition from a Wikipedia article: "An automotive T-top is an automobile roof with removable panels on either side of a rigid bar running from the center of one structural bar between pillars to the center of the next structural bar." The sorts of phrases you'll see in TTOP clues include 'Vette option, sporty car roof, and sporty sunroof. If it's got four letters and has to do with sportscar roofs, plug in TTOP.
Everything Else — 1A: Dr.'s calendar item (APPT.); 5A: Arizona's southwesternmost county, or its seat (YUMA); 9A: Narrow one's brows (at) (SCOWL); 14A: Tigger's pal (POOH); 15A: "Stop pouring now!" ("WHEN!"); 17A: Prefix with marketing (TELE-); 24A: Iditarod destination (NOME); 28A: Elvis's swivelers (HIPS); 32A: Co-proprietor (JOINT OWNER); 34A: French 101 verb (&Ecir;TRE); 35A: Existing independent of experience, in logic (A PRIORI); 36A: Libya neighbor (TUNISIA); 38A: Pimples (ZITS); 41A: Citrus peel (ZEST); 43A: Part of MSG (MONO); 44A: Snow coasters (SLEDS); 47A: Angler's item (FISHING ROD); 53A: Bra size (B CUP); 54A: Carefully entering (EASING INTO); 55A: Cube maker Rubik (ERNO); 56A: Goaded, with "on" (EGGED); 57A: Fiddling tyrant (NERO); 58A: Flat fee? (RENT); 59A: Hotsy-__ (TOTSY); 60A: Dutch export (EDAM); 61A: Souped-up Pontiacs (GTOS); 1D: Is __: probably will (APT TO); 2D: Meter experts? (POETS); 3D: Golfers' tops (POLO SHIRTS); 4D: 2002 film about a musician who survived the Holocaust (THE PIANIST); 5D: Girls' rec. center (YWCA); 6D: "Here comes trouble" ("UH-OH"); 7D: Skin pigment (MELANIN); 9D: Humiliate (SHAME); 10D: Arrive (COME); 11D: Wilson of "Marley & Me" (OWEN); 12D: Droop like aging flowers (WILT); 13D: Not so much (LESS); 19D: Self-government (HOME RULE); 23D: Range below soprano (ALTO); 27D: Like some remote-control planes (TWIN ENGINE); 28D: German university city (HEIDELBERG); 30D: Schoolmarmish (PRIM); 31D: Sailors' milieus (SEAS); 32D: Cool cat's music (JAZZ); 33D: Mayberry tyke (OPIE); 37D: Washington team (NATS); 40D: Treated with disdain (SCORNED); 45D: Slangy "Beats me!" ("DUNNO!"); 46D: Windex targets (SPOTS); 47D: Word after bare or square (FEET); 48D: "Othello" traitor (IAGO); 49D: USMC rank (SSGT); 50D: Goes quickly (HIES); 51D: Other, in Oaxaca (OTRA); 52D: Dire destiny (DOOM).