February 26, 2011
R. M. (Bob) Peoples
I'm getting a late start this morning and have a lot to get done today. PuzzleHusband has called a Budget & Finance Committee Meeting for this evening so I need to pull together spreadsheets, charts, and PowerPoint slides. Not really, but I do need to crunch some numbers along with all the other stuff working people get done on the weekend, now that I'm a working person. (Aside: I've found that working full-time really eats up a big chunk of the day most days.)
Before I forget, though, I want to let you know that we heard a rumor that tomorrow's syndicated puzzle would have an Oscar theme, so we found a guest blogger who actually knows a little something about the Oscars to fill in. If you do tomorrow's puzzle and/or if you're interested in the Oscars, you should come on back to LACC tomorrow.
So, today's puzzle. The good news is that I'm not going to whine about it not being hard enough. (LACC readers respond: "That is good news!") Overall, I found the sheer number of plural entries very distracting. IDEAS and LILIES are passable, but HAIR GELS and CALLER ID'S? Not so much. I also felt like in a lot of cases the struggle didn't seem particularly worth it for the pay-off. But there is definitely some good stuff in this grid. I particularly like the ATTACK AD / FROM HELL stack in the southeast corner (58A: Part of a smear campaign / 61A: Worst of the worst).
Other highlights in the grid for me include:
- 33A: Skunk River city (AMES IOWA). Obviously, I'm not a fan of the college in this particular town, but I do like seeing both the city and state in the grid. Kinda like when we see a person's full name instead of just first or last.
- 37A: Utter fiasco (WATERLOO). I'm sure this clue is fine, but it's not how I personally think of a WATERLOO. Of course, my first idea of WATERLOO is … another town in Iowa.
- 1D: Without notes (BY HEART).
- 3D: "Most assuredly" ("QUITE SO").
- 9D: Coleridge, Southey and Wordsworth (LAKE POETS).
- 42D: Eccentric (ODDBALL).
- 1A: It might make marks on your dog (BBQ GRILL). That would be a hot dog.
- 21A: One concerned with bites (DENTIST). Pretty sure this clue is here so that even once you understand that the "dog" in 1A is a "hot dog," your mind will keep going to bite marks and not be able to figure out what other kind of marks might be on your dog. Not that that's what happened to me or anything.
- 30A: Subj. partner (PRED.). Predicate. I'm all "Verb? But that's not an abbreviation."
- 52A: Ones going to court? (SUITORS). Cute clue. Not a court of law, but courting as in wooing.
- 54A: Sony competitor (NEC). The only CW101 word in the grid that we've already covered.
- 57A: Verdi title bandit (ERNANI). Crosswordese 301.
- 5D: 1997 Emmy winner for TV's "Rebecca" (RIGG). That second G was the last letter I entered into the grid. Never heard of this miniseries, although I have heard of Diana RIGG.
- 49D: Shaped like a megaphone (CONED). I tried CONIC first.
- 55D: Outfit you don't want to be seen in, briefly (CAMO). Hands-down best clue in the grid. Love it.
Everything Else — 9A: Walks quickly (LEGS IT); 15A: "Great job!" ("YOU DID IT!"); 16A: Johnson & Johnson skin care brand (AVEENO); 17A: Some mousses (HAIR GELS); 18A: Destinies (KARMAS); 19A: Auto insurer's request: Abbr. (EST.); 20A: "__-Jin": Clavell novel (GAI); 22A: Rate __: be perfect (A TEN); 24A: Entrapments (SET-UPS); 26A: H.S. support group (PTA); 27A: Start over, in a way (RESET); 29A: Make go away (SHOO); 31A: Geographical parallel (TROPIC); 35A: Entirely, with "from" (HEAD TO TOE); 40A: Logo, e.g. (SYMBOL); 44A: "__ Esau": kids' rhyme book (I SAW); 45A: Advanced (LENT); 47A: Restaurateur known for satiric wall art (SARDI); 48A: Recipe amt. (TSP.); 49A: Post product (CEREAL); 51A: Network meeting point (NODE); 56A: Japanese band (OBI); 60A: Brought home (NETTED); 62A: Some smart phones (DROIDS); 63A: Spoon (CANOODLE); 2D: Bigmouth (BOASTER); 4D: E. Berlin's land (GDR); 6D: Head lights? (IDEAS); 7D: Ornamental flowers (LILIES); 8D: West Point grads: Abbr. (LTS.); 10D: Mary Ann __, George Eliot's birth name (EVANS); 11D: Goldfinger portrayer Fröbe (GERT); 12D: Part-time, in a way (SEMI-PRO); 13D: Het up (IN A STEW); 14D: Taco relative (TOSTADA); 21D: Milano cathedral (DUOMO); 23D: One crying uncle? (NEPHEW); 25D: Choice words (THAT ONE); 28D: Level (TIER); 30D: Acquaintance of Simon (PIEMAN); 32D: Revealing numbers (CALLER ID'S); 34D: Edamame beans (SOYS); 36D: They don't just sit around (DOERS); 37D: Giving-up point (WIT'S END); 38D: One offering comfort (ASSURER); 39D: Draw on (TAP INTO); 41D: Put up with (BROOKED); 43D: Remain in mothballs (LIE IDLE); 46D: Asian enlightenment doctrine (TANTRA); 50D: Gave away (LET ON); 53D: Filmmaker Jacques (TATI); 58D: Jets' org. (AFC); 59D: John who played Sulu in "Star Trek" (2009) (CHO).