April 19, 2011
- 18A: Grassland burrower (PRAIRIE DOG).
- 23A: Mojave lizard (DESERT IGUANA).
- 37A: Flippered ocean critter (SEA LION).
- 51A: Sure-footed Rockies denizen (MOUNTAIN GOAT).
- 60A: Playful swimmer (RIVER OTTER).
This puzzle is a direct response to Scott Atkinson's fun LAT offering of Monday, 6/28/2010 where he used a "double animal name" theme with TIGER SHARK, ELEPHANT SEAL, SPIDER MONKEY, and TURTLE DOVE. After saluting Scott and kicking myself for not thinking of it first, I realized I could raise the stakes a notch by getting three layers in there: a critter, its habitat, and its characteristic behavior. Some fun!We've got a lot of what we expect from John in this grid: primarily nature and classical music. I don't recall thinking that John is particularly fond of foreign languages, but there's a little Spanish, a little German, and some French:
- 5A: Comme ci, comme ça (SO-SO).
- 8D: "Yes, yes, Fifi" ("OUI OUI").
- 11D: Earth, in Germany (ERDE).
- 12D: 60-Across habitats, to José (RIOS).
- 21D: Cinq moins deux (TROIS).
- 61D: That, in Toledo (ESO).
By far my favorite entry in the grid is GEEZERS (4D: Old coots). Fun to say (both clue and answer). I also love seeing one of my favorite movies of all time in the grid: 52D: "Paper Moon" Oscar winner O'Neal (TATUM). She really was fantastic in that movie.
The only head-scratcher for me today is 62D: Fast-spinning meas. (RPS). No idea what this means and a quick Google search doesn't help.
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm moving this weekend, so write-ups will be relatively short this week. So far, everything going pretty smoothly — thanks for all the good wishes. We're only moving about two miles away from where we are now, which I think is going to make this easier than our last move (from Iowa to Virginia). I guess we'll see.
And with that, I'll leave you with one last note from John Lampkin:
Oddly, I've never photographed any of these species, but I do have a nice image of a pair of mating MONARCHS. For those of you contemplating trying this at home, do not, I repeat, do not attempt this in a hammock.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
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Everything Else — 1A: Chase, as a fly (SHAG); 9A: Whaler's rear end (STERN); 14A: "__ Fly With Me": Sinatra standard (COME); 15A: Swan's "Swan Lake" wear (TUTU); 17A: Boo-boo, in tot talk (OWIE); 20A: "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer Franz (LISZT); 22A: "My __!" (GOODNESS); 26A: Boulevard, e.g. (ROAD); 27A: Comical Coca (IMOGENE); 31A: "You betcha!" ("YESSIREE!"); 35A: Bad doings (EVIL); 36A: Soft drink suffix (-ADE); 42A: Zoom or macro (LENS); 44A: Orange-and-black-winged butterflies (MONARCHS); 46A: Dangles a carrot in front of (ENTICES); 50A: Jay with jokes (LENO); 56A: Prayer set to music by Schubert and Gounod (AVE MARIA); 59A: 1945 conference site (YALTA); 63A: Object of worship (IDOL); 64A: Some '80s Chryslers (K-CARS); 65A: Crescent's tip (CUSP); 66A: It flows through Egypt (NILE); 67A: Feel intuitively (SENSE); 68A: AMA concerns (HMO'S); 69A: Slippery fish (EELS); 1D: Chew out (SCOLD); 2D: Canadian comic Mandel (HOWIE); 3D: Not quite right (AMISS); 5D: "The Racer's Edge" (STP); 6D: "... __ daily bread" (OUR); 7D: College football immortal Amos Alonzo __ (STAGG); 9D: Verbally refused (SAID NO); 10D: Like most adolescents (TEENAGE); 13D: Strips in a photo lab (NEGS.); 19D: Wander (ROAM); 25D: Gray matter creation (IDEA); 28D: Flood emergency op (EVAC); 29D: Gp. that funds psychiatric drug testing (NIMH); 31D: "Boola Boola" university (YALE); 32D: Paradise (EDEN); 33D: Email status (SENT); 34D: "Slippery" tree (ELM); 38D: Kansas city (IOLA); 39D: R.E.M.'s "The __ Love" (ONE I); 40D: Au pair (NANNY); 43D: Almost boils (SIMMERS); 45D: Hair-raising product? (ROGAINE); 47D: Like some sandpaper (COARSE); 48D: Continental coin (EURO); 49D: Tattletale (SNITCH); 53D: Nostalgic record (OLDIE); 54D: Ring-shaped reef (ATOLL); 55D: Fairy stories (TALES); 56D: Torah holders (ARKS); 57D: Smoking or drinking, some say (VICE); 58D: "__ Almighty": 2007 film (EVAN).