April 6, 2011
- 1A: *"Bohemian Rhapsody" group (QUEEN).
- 6A: *Poet Whitman (WALT).
- 52A: *Cry of surprise (HEIGH-HO).
- 68A: *Frosted flakes (SNOW).
- 69A: *Chess side (WHITE).
- 23A: *Painfully shy (BASHFUL).
- 26A: *Tormented by pollen, say (SNEEZY).
- 31A: *Cross (GRUMPY).
- 40A: *Medico's address (DOC).
- 44A: *Like a quiet town (SLEEPY).
- 13D: *All smiles (HAPPY).
- 48D: *Not very bright (DOPEY).
- 48A: *He won 26 Oscars, including an Academy Honorary Award (consisting of one full-sized and seven miniature statuettes) for the film depicted in this puzzle's starred answers (DISNEY).
With so much theme, I'm a little surprised that I found two entries that really stood out to me as awesome: WAFFLE (6D: Hem and haw) and STAGE MOM (42A: Parent who minds how her kid acts?). Speaking of STAGE MOMs, I think we've talked about "Toddlers & Tiaras" here before, haven't we? Well, the first season is now available on Netflix instant stream (or whatever that's called) and I watched the very first episode and I must say it was completely horrifying. Even more than I thought it would be. Those STAGE MOMs are absolutely nutty. And I certainly don't mean to leave the dads out. They're wacky too.
There were two places in the grid where knowing a little more than I needed to slowed me down. That happens to people who are experts in certain areas. A clue will seem completely obvious to the rest of us, but the expert is going "Well, in the northern hemisphere the blah-blah-blah genus is more prevalent, and it's probably not the blah-blah-blah, because that's found only in a few villages in Pakistan…." My areas of expertise are not quite so lofty as horticulture or medicine, however. Today, in fact, they're John Irving books and country musicians. Yep, I had to think quite a bit before coming up with GARP for the 19A: Irving hero. My first thought was Owen Meany because that's one of my favorite books of all times. Then I considered Charlotte Simmons even though that's not actually John Irving, it's Tom Wolfe, so maybe being an expert wasn't actually my problem here? The other clue that caused me to think a little more than necessary was 54D: Brooks of C&W. I actually thought of Kix Brooks first. That's right, Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn. I mean that's just sad. Not that there's anything wrong with Kix Brooks, but come on. He's not exactly in the same league with GARTH.
Hey, remember how we were talking yesterday about women and sports references? Did you catch the clue for CTR today? CTR is, of course, an abbreviation for CENTER, which is a position in a lot of sports including basketball. The clue in today's puzzle, though, explicitly references women's professional basketball — 47A: WNBA position. I love it when stuff like that happens that makes it seem like I know what I'm talking about.
That's about all I have time for today. So, in conclusion:
- 24D: Stop in Québec? (ARRET). French!
- 10A: Exotic food fish (OPAH).
- 27A: Torino time period (ORA).
- 67A: "Son of Frankenstein" role (YGOR).
- 3D: Hosp. test (EEG).
- 7D: On the safer side (ALEE).
Everything Else — 14A: Año Nuevo month (ENERO); 15A: Irish Spring variety (ALOE); 16A: Wife of Zeus (HERA); 17A: Sudoku fill-in (DIGIT); 18A: Fronded plant (FERN); 20A: Starbucks pickup (COFFEE); 22A: Man with morals (AESOP); 28A: Good thinking (REASON); 34A: Overhauls (REBUILDS); 39A: Aladdin's helper (GENIE); 41A: Red simile words (A BEET); 45A: Dojo discipline (KARATE); 55A: Quarterfinals complement, e.g. (OCTAD); 56A: Danube capital (VIENNA); 58A: Like a noted piper (PIED); 59A: Watch (TEND); 60A: Roads scholar? (TRAMP); 64A: Feminine suffix (-ENNE); 65A: Corleone family head (VITO); 66A: "We're out of choices" (OTHER); 1D: Proof abbr. (QED); 2D: Cycle prefix (UNI-); 4D: "Love Story" novelist Segal (ERICH); 5D: __ this world: bizarre (NOT OF); 8D: Passed-down stories (LORE); 9D: Downing Street number (TEN); 10D: "My goodness" ("OH GEE"); 11D: "__ porridge hot ..." (PEASE); 12D: Paella ingrediente (ARROZ); 21D: Faulkner's "The Sound and the __" (FURY); 22D: Like some reports (ANNUAL); 23D: His 3,000th hit was a homer (BOGGS); 25D: Healthful hot spot (SAUNA); 26D: Cry noisily (SOB); 29D: Starbucks pickup (AROMA); 30D: NYSE overseer (SEC); 32D: "Top Gun" foe (MIG); 33D: Didn't wait for Christmas (PEEKED); 35D: "May __ of service?" (I BE); 36D: Hanger-on (LEECH); 37D: Pool statistic (DEPTH); 38D: Start to foam? (STYRO-); 40D: Palme __: Cannes film award (D'OR); 43D: Has the okay (MAY); 44D: Spotted (SEEN); 46D: Market index, familiarly (THE DOW); 49D: Best part of the cake, to some (ICING); 50D: Shorthand pro (STENO); 51D: "Unsafe at Any Speed" author (NADER); 53D: Attached to a trailer hitch (IN TOW); 56D: Vital thin blue line (VEIN); 57D: Passionate about (INTO); 59D: RCA products (TV'S); 61D: Sushi bar tuna (AHI); 62D: Congregated (MET); 63D: Not post- (PRE-).