6.07.2010

MONDAY, June 7, 2010 — Gail Grabowski

Theme: Access — Theme answers are familiar phrases that end with a word that can be an item you use to gain access.


Theme answers:
  • 20A: "Just what we need!" ("THAT'S THE TICKET!").
  • 38A: "Thanks, but none for me" ("I'LL HAVE TO PASS").
  • 57A: "Furthermore ..." ("BY THE SAME TOKEN …").
This is a fine Monday puzzle. I solved it smoothly and quickly — so much so that I didn't notice the theme until I was done. The theme is fine. The cluing is fine. Everything about this puzzle is just … fine. But here's the thing. With only three theme answers, it seems to me that should give you enough leeway to throw in some sparkle. When "HERE GOES" (11D: Words before an attempt) and HUMVEE (47D: Square-bodied military vehicle) are the most exciting entries in the grid, well, there's just not a whole lot to say. Oh and SNAFU (27A: Chaotic situation). People usually have a few things to say about SNAFU.

There isn't really anything that looks like it needs to be explained, so I'm kind of at a loss here. I tell you what. The phrase IN PUBLIC (38D: For all to see) always reminds me of a story Ron White tells that's pretty funny. So if you have a few minutes, take a listen to this. Then let me know in the comments what you think is noteworthy about this puzzle.



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Everything Else — 1A: Rarely read e-mail (SPAM); 5A: Edible pockets (PITAS); 10A: Bottled model (SHIP); 14A: Contemporary of Ella and Sarah (LENA); 15A: Make up (for) (ATONE); 16A: Verne skipper (NEMO); 17A: Hardwood trees (OAKS); 18A: "Buzz off!" ("SCRAM!"); 19A: Extremely dry (ARID); 23A: "Love __ Madly": Doors hit (HER); 24A: Caustic substance (LYE); 25A: Stately (REGAL); 29A: Fraidy-cat (SISSY); 33A: Extra NHL periods (OTS); 34A: Approximate fig. (EST.); 36A: "Uh-uh" ("NAH"); 37A: Follow the advice of (HEED); 42A: Irksome swarm member (GNAT); 43A: Place to apply gloss (LIP); 44A: Elephant's floppy feature (EAR); 45A: Mil. base enforcers (MPS); 46A: Shrubby landscape (HEATH); 48A: Like Dylan Thomas, by birth (WELSH); 52A: Sweetie pie (CUTIE); 54A: NAFTA signatory (USA); 56A: "Sands of __ Jima": 1949 film (IWO); 62A: Stein fillers (ALES); 63A: Find the answer to, as an equation (SOLVE); 64A: High point (PEAK); 65A: "The King and I" setting (SIAM); 66A: Engaged in, as a trade (PLIED); 67A: Dog of old mysteries (ASTA); 68A: 220-by-198-foot plot, e.g. (ACRE); 69A: Classroom jottings (NOTES); 70A: In need of a map (LOST); 1D: Slow-moving leaf eaters (SLOTHS); 2D: Pheasant female (PEAHEN); 3D: Turkish capital (ANKARA); 4D: One of a yawl's pair (MAST); 5D: Pale (PASTY); 6D: Rash reactions? (ITCHES); 7D: Verbally attacked, with "into" (TORE); 8D: Medical school subj. (ANAT.); 9D: Rig on the road (SEMI); 10D: Boa or cobra (SNAKE); 12D: Copies (IMITATES); 13D: Pea's place (POD); 21D: Partly melted snow (SLUSH); 22D: Have a bawl (CRY); 26D: Source of a hippie's high, perhaps (LSD); 28D: Sensed (FELT); 30D: All thumbs (INEPT); 31D: Took a load off (SAT); 32D: Pump or clog (SHOE); 35D: Tall story (TALE); 37D: Fabled runner-up (HARE); 39D: During 2009 (LAST YEAR); 40D: Itinerary word (VIA); 41D: Play with, kitten-style (PAW AT); 42D: Yukon automaker (GMC); 46D: Sly chuckle sound (HEH); 49D: In this way (LIKE SO); 50D: Workout wear (SWEATS); 51D: Greet with a beep (HONK AT); 53D: "Who's there?" response (IT'S ME); 55D: Watermelon discards (SEEDS); 58D: Channel for jocks (ESPN); 59D: New pilot's milestone (SOLO); 60D: Touched down (ALIT); 61D: Play-of-color gem (OPAL); 62D: Quick-wink link (AS A).

19 comments:

Sfingi said...

Quick and easy.

I did have a problem cluing MPS using the word "military."

Had "wasp" before GNAT and "beer" before ALES, mostly because I've become more daring.

Van55 said...

Nice, if unremarkable puzzle.

David L said...

Surely 2D is wrong. PEAHEN is a female PEACOCK, which is an entirely different bird from a PHEASANT.

And 14A: Who are Ella and Sarah and their friend/rival/enemy Lena? I just don't know this one.

David L said...

@Al: thanks for cluing me in. Not a jazz fan, and although I know those names I wouldn't have come up with them from the first names alone.

And on further research (wiki), I discover that the peacock is in fact a member of pheasant family. Did Not Know That. The creature I know as a pheasant turns out to be just one example of a whole bunch of pheasant-y birds. Different from the Partridge Family, of course.

Tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tinbeni said...

@Sfingi
45A could have been clued "Base enforcers" which would have provided some mis-direction to Ump. for the MPS.

Puzzle was a typical easy-breezy Monday. 3 themes seem too few. I could not SOLVE faster.

@PuzzleGirl
Excellent write-up of a simple Monday offering.
The Ron White clip reminds me they call me "Noodle salad!"

Rex Parker said...

3:00

Had trouble seeing theme. Easy to get first and last theme answer — built them from front. Harder to get middle — built it from back. Surely there's a lesson there in how to solve more efficiently.

chefbea said...

Easy puzzle.

I'll be absent for about a week. See you when I return

Anonymous said...

I was a little worried by "fraidy-cat" since I started with the last 3 letters, and was drawn in by the cat reference... but, of course she wouldn't!

gespenst said...

LOL 10:06 Anonymous!

I haven't been stopping in every day since little gespenstsbaby arrived, but I'm VERY glad I came by today ... worth every minute of the Ron "Tater Salad" White video (which helped distract me from pumping, bonus!)

I couldn't figure out the theme once I had the answer, but I agree that 3 is too few (though they were long ones).

Didn't see anything too exciting, but nothing too lousy, either. I agree w/ the bland assessment of this puzzle.

chefbea said...

@gespenst - congrats on new baby!! Girl? Boy? How big? etc etc

Tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shrub5 said...

Did anyone put SNAILS before SLOTHS? I did and then went on to put NINA (Simone) instead of LENA. Once I cleaned up that mess, the rest of the puzzle went smoothly. I think the longness and the "in the language"-ness of the theme clues more than made up for being few in number.

@gespenst: glad to hear from you! Hope you and the little CUTIE are doing well...and that big sister is being a good helper.

chefbea said...

@tinbeni - thanx for the baby info. Some how I missed it.

appelipp = what you get when someone throws an apple in your face

Sfingi said...

@Anon1006 - Haha.

@Shrub5 - New puzzle!

@John'sHome - I've been called worse (than pasty), but wouldn't ever wear 'em. 3/18 comments are yours? Doesn't count.

A crossword baby was 14 pounds? Yow.
I feel your pain.

Tinbeni said...

@Sfingi
I meant to type 7 lbs, 14 oz.
SEVEN pounds.

I guessed it was going to be a girl, on 6/1, 7 lbs, 7 oz at 4:28 am.

@gespenst reported I was only half right. I got day, date, off by 7 oz (its all in the extra cuteness) and off by 14 hours (ladies like to be a little late).

@JNH
You were missed ... missed ,,, missed, but where was the ELLA embed?

NJ Irish said...

51D had toot at before HONK, that’s because
I started from the bottom. Very nice Monday
puzzle.

Love the comments about 5D. A little risqué
for a Monday.

46A is my WOTD, never heard of HEATH for
shrubby landscape.

mac said...

Nice little puzzle, easy and smooth.
Save travels, ChefBea! Enjoy CT and your daughters.
@Gespenst: go get some sleep!

CrazyCatLady said...

Nothing to not like about this puzzle. Had a SNAFU with my daughter's car today which took me away from crossworld world most of the day. FELT, PAW AT, PASTY - hmmm...ILL HAVE TO PASS. Liked LIP next to EAR.
@JNH Welcome back. People have been wondering where you were.
@Gespenst Glad things are going well with baby #2.