04.09 Sat

April 9, 2011
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None — It's Saturday, remember?

Well, this puzzle was sure a nice way to wrap up the week. A little on the easy side for a Saturday, but lots of sparkle and, for the most part, a smooth solve. I'm not entirely convinced this is really a Barry Silk puzzle though. Sure, there's the 15A: 1962 Brenda Lee hit (ALL ALONE AM I), which you would expect. And there are a couple of baseball players in the grid, like 24A: 2003 Cy Young Award-winning reliever Eric (GAGNE) and 2D: 1953 A.L. MVP (AL ROSEN). But, you see, the baseball answers were actually the tip-off. Yes, you expect baseball in a Silk puzzle but … they're not Phillies. HA! You've been unmasked! Who are you and what have you done with Barry Silk?!

Entries worth highlighting include:

  • 1A: Site of many a wet bar (BACHELOR PAD).
  • 29A: There are 300 feet between them (END ZONES).
  • 1D: It's under Wayne Manor (BATCAVE).
There's nothing like the feeling of throwing a long answer in with no crosses, is there? I got that feeling today with EAST LANSING (57A: Home of Spartan Stadium). Sometimes it's awesome to be a Big Ten fan. I've even been to East Lansing once for a sporting event and I must say it's a lovely, lovely town.

As usual for a late-week puzzle, there were a few things that I just flat-out didn't know:
  • 16A: __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone (LIA).
  • 49A: Hindu "Destroyer" (SIVA).
  • 30D: Customizable online avatar (ZWINKY).
  • 51D: Den __, Nederland (HAAG).
It really really really seems like ZWINKY is something I should know but … ? Nothin'. I got nothin'.

  • 18A: Pres. Obama received an honorary one from Notre Dame (LLD). Some type of law degree.
  • 25A: Flight formation (VEE). Please tell me I'm not the only one who misread the clue as "flight INformation."
  • 47A: Riskily off base (AWOL). And here's where you end up feeling like a real sucker when you finally get the answer. It's a Barry Silk puzzle. You've already seen a few baseball clues so you reasonably assume this clue is about baseball too. And then BAM! Something completely different.

  • 54A: Washington attraction (NATIONAL ZOO). Been there a couple times. It's, well … it's a zoo. I don't love zoos. Except the monkeys. I could watch the monkeys all day.

  • 8D: Give another memory jog to (RECUE). I think this is the only thing in the grid that I really didn't like. Maybe it's legit, but it sure doesn't sound like something I would ever say.
  • 10D: Double agent Aldrich (AMES). Thank you for not using that other clue for this answer.
  • 13D: Chalk feature? (SILENT L). "You cannot trick me with these types of clues any longer! I am much too savvy!" (That's what I hope your reaction was to this one.)
  • 14D: Gloom (SADNESS). First I had BAD NEWS, then when I figured out the W had to be an S I tried BADNESS which would be a terrible entry. Thank goodness it wasn't right.
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Everything Else 12A: Long-eared critter (ASS); 17A: Protected company asset (TRADE SECRET); 19A: Sine's reciprocal, in trig (COSEC); 20A: Petitions (SUES); 21A: Observed (SEEN); 22A: Egyptian hazards (ASPS); 23A: Look (MIEN); 26A: It holds the line (ROD); 27A: Vacation souvenirs (T-SHIRTS); 32A: Bike power sources (PEDALS); 33A: Novelist, e.g. (WORDSMITH); 35A: Nunavut native, formerly (ESKIMO); 38A: Spanish for "little cake" (TORTILLA); 42A: Cockapoo pop, perhaps (SPANIEL); 44A: Asian "path" (TAO); 45A: 39-Down article (EIN); 46A: Early transport (TRIKE); 50A: Like some breezes (EASY); 51A: Frost (HOAR); 52A: Wide zoot suit feature (LAPEL); 53A: View (EYE); 56A: Côte d'Azur view (MER); 58A: Old leftist gp. revived in 2006 (SDS); 59A: Very long time (AGES AND AGES); 3D: Held tight (CLASPED); 4D: It's guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus (HADES); 5D: Util. bill item (ELEC.); 6D: California's __ Gatos (LOS); 7D: Biased (ONE-SIDED); 9D: Rear (PARENT); 11D: Code sound (DIT); 12D: Hay fever treatment brand (ALLEGRA); 21D: Greeted, with "to" (SAID HI); 23D: Last president to wear a powdered wig (MONROE); 24D: Renewal target (GHETTO); 26D: College cohort (ROOMIE); 28D: Nice pass (SPIRAL); 31D: Bygone flier (SST); 34D: Droid maker (MOTOROLA); 35D: Treasures (ESTEEMS); 36D: Dealt with bugs, in a way (SPRAYED); 37D: German leaders (KAISERS); 39D: Home of the Bach-Archiv (LEIPZIG); 40D: Con man's dream (LIVE ONE); 41D: Parallels (ANALOGS); 43D: Philosopher associated with 44-Across (LAO-TSE); 48D: Serves, with "on" (WAITS); 49D: Lively Cuban dance (SALSA); 52D: Touch down (LAND); 54D: PBS supporter (NEA); 55D: Asian flatbread (NAN).


Rex Parker said...

Except for RECUE, this was nice, but yes, waaaaay too easy. Felt like Wednesday.


Rex Parker said...

Oh, easy except ZWINKY!!! Good night, what the heck?

imsdave said...

What Rex said. My eraser never touched the paper, which is rare on a Saturday. Mr. Silk's usually diabolical cluing must have been editted away (sadly).

Cathy said...

Yes this was a pretty easy one for Saturday - only had to look up one clue about baseball.

Anonymous said...

Also read 25A as flight information. Couldn't figure out what VEE was until I read the blog.

Anonymous said...

Also read it information for formation. Got the VEE with the crosses, then went, DUH.

sjok said...

The "endzone" IS a zone. "Endlines" are 100 yards apart. Fishing line is held by the reel - the rod is usd to guide the line. "Easy breezes" who and where is this ever used??? By the way, I NEVER buy a printed Tshirt when on vacation - or ever, for that matter.

Pete said...

I would have gotten SILENTL except for the fact that it's not really silent.
Why give someone an honorary LLD when he's already got a real one? I guess it's better than what Arizona wanted to do.
@sjok: My house is 100 yards from my neighbors house. It's also 101 yards, 102, etc up to about 130 yards, depending upon which part of my house and which part of their house we're talking about. We customarily just speak of the distance between the houses as the distance between the two closest parts because, well, we're normal.

backbiter said...

I only had one slip-up today. I entered "grasped" instead of "clasped". Easily fixed. *sigh* I was hoping for a higher difficulty level. Oh, well.



Oh, and I stomp on bugs, not spray 'em. I can't stand the smell of pest sprays. Blech!

Rube said...

I took too much Geology to not get fooled by "Chalk feature"! Otherwise, nice, easy puzzle. ZWINKY, indeed!

C said...

If the 'L' in chalk is silent, then so is the C in my posting name.

Not the challenge I was looking forward to today but a nicely filled puzzle.

TWG said...

Definitely easier than usual for a Saturday -- I know this because I actually finished it! Had RECUR instead of RECUE initially because I was not familiar with MIEN. Plus, it seems like something recurring would jog a memory, no?


backbiter said...

This comment has absolutely nothing to do with the puzzle. I'm just wondering when Angela is gonna recite "48 Hours" for us. Just saying is all.

Duane said...

I agree @PG -- Zwinky? -- I saw the answer as ETA or something other than the clue that was flight formation -- as in INformation. Me thinks we read TOO fast over the clues to let the actuality set in.

I really enjoy this place -- I learn new meanings to meanings, if you captcha my draft. Anywho, one thing that gets me is how you can tell how a puzzle SHOULD or MIGHT go according to the constructor.

This is the 1st Sat. puzzle I ever finished without outside help.