W E D N E S D A Y   October 6, 2010
Mike Peluso

Theme: Fly Like an Eagle — Four themes answers, each one a different definition of "Eagle."

Hey, everybody! Doug here, filling in for PuzzleGirl. She was called away to some high-level meetings today. I don't want to give too much away, but she's on the short list to be Obama's new Wrestling Czar.

Theme Answers:
  • 20A: Eagle (KEEN-EYED BIRD)
  • 33A: Eagle (LUNAR LANDER)
  • 41A: Eagle (TWO UNDER PAR)
  • 54A: Eagle (HIGHEST SCOUT)

OK, if you're reading this, then I didn't break the blog. So far, so good!

This is a theme type that some solvers don't care for, but I enjoy seeing it every now and then. I liked the first three "Eagles," especially LUNAR LANDER & TWO UNDER PAR. Those are nice in-the-language phrases and don't look out of place in the grid. HIGHEST SCOUT feels a bit off. HIGHEST SCOUT RANK would be better, but that's 16 letters long. (Constructors hate 16-letter phrases.) Or maybe I'm a little bitter because I only made it to First Class in my Boy Scout career. That's three ranks below Eagle, if you're keeping score at home.
  • 18A: Former credit card giant (MBNA). An odd entry that came to me immediately. Wikipedia tells me it was "the world's largest independent credit card issuer," so I guess those initials leaked into my brain at some point.
  • 23A: Big pix: Abbr. (ENLS). That entry is all kinds of ugly. We shall not speak of it again.
  • 47A: Composer Berlioz (HECTOR). I've heard of Berlioz, but I had no idea his first name was Hector. Hector? Really? My favorite Hector is the one from the Trojan War.
  • 5D: Harris of country (EMMYLOU). This is a cool name to see in the grid. Embedding videos is above my pay grade right now, so after you're done reading this, go to YouTube and watch an Emmylou Harris video.
  • 9D: Destructive 2005 newsmaker (KATRINA). Another cool name, but I always cringe when I see devastating hurricanes referenced in clues for Katrina, Ivan, Agnes, etc. Wouldn't it be nicer to use Katrina and the Waves in the clue? After you watch that Emmylou Harris video, check out "Walking on Sunshine."
  • 27D: Girardi's predecessor as Yankee manager (TORRE). I'm pretty excited about his successor as Dodger manager, Don Mattingly. He was the only bright spot on some very bad Yankee teams when I was growing up. But I'll never get used to seeing him in Dodger Blue. Donnie, come home!
  • 32D/7D: Feeling better (ON THE/MEND). I like the way the constructor rescued a partial by pairing it with another entry. Nice touch.
  • 45D: Cleanup hitter's stats (RBIS). Postseason starts tonight. Play ball!
  • 59D: Pin cushion? (MAT). Cute clue. And perhaps a shout-out to our new Wrestling Czar.
OK, that's enough for my first day. This is harder than it looks.

Everything Else — 1A: Dance fundamental (STEP); 5A: Spreading trees (ELMS); 9A: Cosmic payback (KARMA); 14A: __-up: slow Web connection (DIAL); 15A: Bubbly label name (MOET); 16A: Like some kites (AVIAN); 17A: Menlo Park middle name (ALVA); 19A: Shakespeare's title Athenian (TIMON); 24A: Reagan era prog. (SDI); 25A: Ball club (BAT); 28A: Pancho was his sidekick (CISCO); 30A: Running independently (ON AUTO); 32A: Trite (OLD); 37A: Leg-shaving alternative (NAIR); 39A: "Science Guy" Bill (NYE); 40A: Baking soda target (ODOR); 46A: Tint (HUE); 48A: WWII blockade vessel (U-BOAT); 50A: Joseph of ice cream fame (EDY); 51A: Tic __: mint (TAC); 53A: Sale condition (AS IS); 59A: Ambulance attendant (MEDIC); 62A: Cathedral section (APSE); 63A: "Dark Angel" actress Jessica (ALBA); 64A: Worship (ADORE); 65A: Bring up (REAR); 66A: Diver's haunt (REEF); 67A: Au courant, with "in" (TUNED); 68A: Ancient Persian (MEDE); 69A: Ilk (SORT); 1D: Nebr. neighbor (S. DAK.); 2D: Roofer's piece (TILE); 3D: Whence icicles hang (EAVE); 4D: Does a cabinetmaking task (PLANES); 6D: They may be pierced (LOBES); 8D: Pierces (STABS); 10D: Zealous (AVID); 11D: Part of most eyeglasses (RIM); 12D: "Little Red Book" author (MAO); 13D: Ex-Texas governor Richards (ANN); 21D: Check sent with a ltr., e.g. (ENCL.); 22D: Adored one (IDOL); 25D: Sanskrit for "awakened one" (BUDDHA); 26D: Enjoyed Denny's, say (ATE OUT); 28D: Scratched (CLAWED); 29D: Stupidity (IDIOCY); 31D: "That's __": "Uh-uh" (A NO); 34D: Toledo-to-Detroit dir. (NNE); 35D: Port on the Firth of Clyde (AYR); 36D: Sen. counterpart (REP.); 38D: Road to nowhere, metaphorically (RUT); 42D: Spied (NOTICED); 43D: Schlep (DRAG); 44D: Like monastic life (AUSTERE); 49D: Annual Hollywood gala, with "the" (OSCARS); 52D: Amulet (CHARM); 53D: Syrian leader (ASSAD); 54D: Take on (HIRE); 55D: Fencing sword (ÉPÉE); 56D: Stick on the table (OLEO); 57D: Opposite of unter (UBER); 58D: First president to take up golf (TAFT); 60D: University URL (EDU); 61D: Put on (DON).



Oh my, a real treat to have Doug Peterson stand in for Puzzlegirl today.
Enjoyed your writeup!

I liked this puzzle because as an AVIAN admirer (birder) I liked seeing an “Eagle” theme. Soon we’ll be going down to the Mississippi River to view the Eagles… an exciting event!

This puzzle took me longer than the usual Wed. puzzles, but still, I didn‘t need Google.

New WOTD for me: TIMON. Actually not new, but forgotten.

ENCL crossing ENLS. Yuck!

Not sure I liked OLD being clued as “Trite”. I’m OLD, but I’m far from being trite. Oh well, it is a legit clue.

HECTOR Berlioz’s “March to the Scaffold” is often used as theme music for Halloween. Hmmm, what’s that ODOR?

Sorry about the breakfast prelude.

G’day all!

Tinbeni said...

Doug, good job pinch hitting.

I must be TUNED in to Mike's wavelength today. Four great theme answers. My fave was the LUNAR LANDER.

Like you the only HECTOR I remember is the the one from Troy. All crosses. Same with AYR and MEDE.

Liked the baseball.
Yup, I miss Joe TORRE as my NY Yankees Mgr.
Girardi's OK and at least he has the Joe thingy going.

BAT for 'Ball club" was clever.
RBI'S, what I'm hoping for from my teams.

Where Icicles hang, EAVE ... how the hell am I suppose to know this?
I live in the Tampa Bay (RAYS) area. So I guess this is 'always' a 'Wild Ass Guess' (a wag). lol.

Since we had the KITE bird in a theme last week, AVIAN was perfectly clued and adds to the theme.

Only write-over, I put in Neet before NAIR cleared up that RUT.

This was a FUN Wednesday.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you Doug for stepping in for PG - great write up!!

Really liked the reference to Katrina and the Waves - I'll have that song in my head all day now -:)

Would have loved to see a reference to the 70s Rock Band but can't have that plural -

Lastly, I don't get how ENLS or ONAUTO fit with the clues hopefully someone can let me know.

Have a great hump-day y'all

Van55 said...

"Seeing" Jessica ALBA in the grid almost made up for any other issues I had.

Couldn't make OXYMORON fit for "Enjoyed Denny's."

Another random direction between randomly chosen cities... This has to be the constructor's last resort, no?

But for crosswords, I would have continued to think that EDY's is named after a woman rather than Joseph EDY.

Enjoyable puzzle!

Doug P said...


ENLS is an abbreviation for enlargements, i.e, "Big pix." (Oops, I said we weren't going to speak of that one again.)

ON AUTO is short for "on autopilot," so that works for "Running independently." I liked that entry, but it's hard to figure out if you imagine it as one word.

JANDIZ said...

Sorry this is off topic, but www.WillShortz.com- who has the inside on this puzzle? something with a movie??? www.ItWPathway.com??

burner10 said...

Nice write up and as I marvel at some of my blog buddies ab ility to post clips, and on my retro blackberry I can't see them anyway - I appreciated your getting there without going there (whatever).
In stead of you tube I went to my picture file and found this fabulous pic of Emmy Lou that I took three rows back from the stage in 2009. And, tried and failed to share.
Insert a squiggle face emoticon.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you Doug - I was trying to make ONAUTO one word - oops and I will not mention the other unmentionable word :)

hazel said...

@Doug P - nice debut!! Its almost like you were channeling PG a little - and I mean that in the best possible way!!

Nice puzzle - ASSAD/MEDE was a thorny xing (for me), but plenty of stuff to like, including Joe TORRE and BUDDHA.

C said...

Enjoyable puzzle, didn't exceed my limit for number of "random letters for answers" entries in the puzzle.

I liked seeing KARMA as an answer. Made the Radiohead song KARMA Police run through my head and that is a good thing.

Tuttle said...

I too enjoyed KARMA since I watched the old Nick Cage movie Valley Girl last night wherein the girl asks her hippie parents why they don't just ground her like other parents do; Her mother replies "Bad KARMA dear".

My favorite HECTOR; the bulldog from the old Warner Brothers cartoons.

I could argue the MEDE clue, but it was an easy get.

CrazyCatLady said...

Thanks Doug P for stepping up to BAT for PG today. Great write-up! Enjoyed this puzzle and theme, but I agree with Doug that HIGHEST SCOUT was a little awkward.
My major sticking points were the crosses of MAO and TIMON and ASSAD and MEDE. I have a really difficult time keeping my Middle Eastern and Asian bigwigs straight. I liked seeing KARMA and BUDDAH.

I've been an EMMYLOU fan for ages. Here's a clip I hope. I think I've finally figured out how to do this.


*David* said...

I also have a problem with the last EAGLE, I have never called an EAGLE SCOUT just an EAGLE.

ddbmc said...

This took me a while, but it was all good and no Googles. Just kept plugging! Thanks, Doug, for filling in for our CW Wrestling Czar! Undoubtably, she has to run off and help Linda McMahon with her Senate campaign in CT! (Wrestling magnate, that she is!)

Got HECTOR Berlioz, from years ago piano lessons. But TIMON came with crosses (Lion King comes to mind, here!)
Liked the EAGLE theme, but not being a golfer couldn't remember how many UNDER PAR an EAGLE was. Started with ONE, as for some reason thought TWO would be a DOUBLE EAGLE...

KARMA got the song "KARMA Chameleon" song running through my head....I better quick go listen to Katrina and the Waves!
Karma Chameleon

Sfingi said...

Liked it; clever.

Never heard of MBNA; Didn't know that about TAFT. Didn't like ENLS. Didn't get MAT until I realized it was sports, not sewing.

@John - agree on OLD not = trite. Couldn't find a not equal symbol on my character map.

@David - But the question as I see it is "What is the highest scout? An _____ scout.