March 22, 2011
Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette
- 17A: Having a sense of the Prairie State? (FEELING ILLINOIS).
- 27A: Webster's impression of the Natural State? (NOAH'S ARKANSAS).
- 44A: Watch the Evergreen State? (EYE WASHINGTON).
- 59A: Close to the Magnolia State? (NEAR MISSISSIPPI).
Good morning, everyone! I'm not quite back to my usual awake and cheerful self, but I'm definitely getting closer. Sleeping for, say, eight hours all in a row really does make a difference. I had So Much Fun at the tournament over the weekend. I'll try to write up a summary later today before it gets to be old news. In the meantime, let's talk a little bit about this puzzle and then I need to be off to work where, with any luck, I'll be a little more focused than I was yesterday.
Solid, early-week theme here. Base phrases NOAH'S ARK and NEAR MISS are quite a bit better than FEELING ILL and EYE WASH, but overall, yes, fine. Not a lot of sparkle in the fill, but again it's only Tuesday so okay. Highlights for me include:
- 67A: Things to solve for, in some equations (X AND Y).
- 2D: West Point rookie (PLEBE). (I tried CADET first.)
- 45D: Nut (WEIRDO).
- 15A: The Big Easy, briefly (NOLA).
- 4D: Beethoven's fifths? (SOLS). We talked about solfege not too long ago. I think solfege is Italian for "sight singing system that results in strong opinions." I played piano (and other instruments) for many, many years and never saw SOL written as SO until I saw it in a crossword puzzle. Other people have apparently never seen it written SOL, which I find really strange because it's, ya know, different than my experience. If you really feel strongly about something like that, though (and really, who doesn't?), I recommend a quick Google or two.
- 6D: Latino's white American buddies (ANGLOS). I had the G in place and wanted the answer to be GRINGOS.
- 7D: Sorbonne silk (SOIE). This is pretty high-end French for a Tuesday.
- 8D: What it takes, in an inclusive idiom (ALL SORTS). I wanted ALL KINDS, but already had some crosses in place that forced me to rethink it.
- 10D: Toe inflammation (BUNION). Ew.
- 19D: __ Canarias (ISLAS). The Spanish spelling in the clue is hinting that the answer will also have a Spanish spelling.
- 29D: Very, in music (ASSAI). My first thought was MOLTO, which also means "very" but, in this case, isn't the correct answer.
- 34D: Feeling sluggish (LOGY). I was going to complain about this "word" until I remembered that Doug and I put it in a puzzle once. No, I'll complain about it anyway. And you should all feel free to complain about it if you ever see it in a grid of mine. That's just a terrible word.
- 46D: More snoopy (NOSIER).
- 52D: Most popular baby girl's name, 1996-2007 (EMILY). Got it with no crosses. No idea how.
- 54D: The Mediterranean, to Hans (MEER). I guess this is German for "sea." According to cruciverb.com data base, MEER has never been clued this way before. Again, like SOIE, seems pretty high-end for a Tuesday foreign language clue.
- 23A: "V for Vendetta" actor Stephen (REA).
- 25A: Scandinavian capital (OSLO).
- 48A: One-named Deco designer (ERTÉ).
- 63A: Sooner State tribe (OTOE).
- 24D: Its cap. is Abu Dhabi (UAE).
- 33D: Architect's S-curve (OGEE).
- 43D: Lyon summer (ÉTÉ).
- 58D: Old Italian dough (LIRA).
Everything Else — 1A: Crick in the neck, e.g. (SPASM); 6A: Exec's "I want it now!" (ASAP); 10A: Sci. class (BIOL.); 14A: Foil maker (ALCOA); 16A: Golden rule word (UNTO); 20A: Retreats (EBBS); 21A: Pub quaffs (ALES); 22A: Between then and now (SINCE); 24A: Mil. morale booster (USO); 33A: '50s song, e.g. (OLDIE); 35A: Fr. holy women (STES.); 36A: Not con (PRO); 37A: Soccer score (GOAL); 38A: En __: all together (MASSE); 40A: Like the Reaper (GRIM); 41A: Breakfast food (EGG); 42A: __ rug: dance (CUT A); 43A: Skip over (ELIDE); 49A: Mine output (ORE); 50A: Verizon forerunner (GTE); 53A: Test during pregnancy, briefly (AMNIO); 56A: Start of a birth announcement (IT'S A); 58A: Potting soil (LOAM); 62A: Have to have (NEED); 64A: Staggering (AREEL); 65A: Estimate words (OR SO); 66A: Political org. until 1991 (USSR); 1D: Not so dangerous (SAFER); 3D: Injury treatment brand (ACE BANDAGE); 5D: Spring month in Paris (MAI); 9D: Buddy (PAL); 11D: Aware of (IN ON); 12D: Suffix with narc (-OTIC); 13D: Misplace (LOSE); 18D: Poet Ogden (NASH); 26D: __-Ball: arcade game (SKEE); 28D: Olive or peanut product (OIL); 30D: Emulate a jack-in-the-box (SPRING OPEN); 31D: Saharan (ARID); 32D: Vague number (SOME); 38D: Has to (MUST); 39D: Nonbelievers (ATHEISTS); 40D: Mop & __: floor cleaner (GLO); 42D: Pool shot (CAROM); 47D: Mardi __ (GRAS); 51D: Recorded, in a way (TAPED); 53D: A.D. part (ANNO); 55D: Scot's turndowns (NAES); 57D: General __ chicken (TSO'S); 60D: Debt acknowledgment (IOU); 61D: Clinton played one (SAX).