April 29, 2011
- 17A: Entrance exam study guide? (ABOUT DOORS).
- 62A: Behar's home? (ABODE TO JOY).
- 11D: Steal office supplies? (ABDUCTTAPE).
- 28D: Missing letters? (ABSENT MAIL).
How about this puzzle? Weird theme. I mean, there's nothing necessarily weird about adding letters to the beginning of phrases to make theme answers, but AB? Why? This puzzle needed a title or a reveal answer or something. (No, the title I included isn't really the title of the puzzle, it's just something I made up like I do every day (except Sunday).) Could ABSORB (9D: Engross) somehow have been used to wrap up the theme? If not, it probably shouldn't be in the grid. You can't make a theme out of adding AB to the beginning of words and then include a word starting with AB that doesn't work with the theme. Well, I guess you can, but my point is that you probably shouldn't.
The resulting phrases themselves are okay. ABDUCT TAPE made me chuckle. But the clue for ABOUT DOORS is overly cute and the clue for ABODE TO JOY is just plain awkward. Come to think of it, there are a lot of places in this puzzle where the cluing just seems, I don't know, weird. [67A: Six-sided rooms] for ELLS seems kind of random. Maybe that's a common construction or architectural term or something, but it doesn't mean anything to me. [10D: Snoopy-wearing-shades trait] is on the strange side. Nothing against Joe Cool, but that's just an awkward way to clue COOLNESS, a word that's pretty awkward all on its own.
I do appreciate some of the tricky clues though. [42A: They're tucked in a cannonball] is fun for KNEES. And [54A: Sink or swim, perhaps] for NOUN is just mean (but in a good way). So that's about all I have time for today. No bullets, but of course you can talk about whatever entries you want in the comments.
In conclusion: RACQUETS!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 6A: Aptly named lotion (AFTA).
- 16A: Reed in a pit (OBOE).
- 19A: Jim Davis pooch (ODIE).
- 23A: Mediterranean high spot (ETNA).
Everything Else — 1A: Put one's hands at ten and two (STEER); 10A: 1970 NBA expansion team (CAVS); 14A: Poet Neruda (PABLO); 15A: Affect, in slang (GRAB); 20A: Parlor treat (SUNDAE); 21A: "Break a leg" ("GOOD LUCK"); 25A: Dazes (TRANCES); 26A: They go nowhere (DEAD ENDS); 30A: Lead singer Michaels of Poison (BRET); 31A: Sphere (ORB); 32A: American patriot Deane (SILAS); 34A: Legally prevent (ESTOP); 37A: Game with a Ural territory (RISK); 39A: Only part of Egypt in Asia (SINAI); 41A: "Ditto" ("SAME"); 44A: Suisse capital (BERNE); 46A: Selfish sort (PIG); 47A: Russian refusal (NYET); 49A: Squash relative (RACQUETS); 51A: Flanders city (ANTWERP); 55A: Cross, often (MEMORIAL); 57A: Title for Bovary (MADAME); 61A: Man __ (O' WAR); 64A: John __, the Lone Ranger (REID); 65A: Atty.-to-be's exam (LSAT); 66A: Maternally related (ENATE); 68A: Guidelines: Abbr. (STDS.); 69A: Battle of the __ (SEXES); 1D: Mudbath offerers (SPAS); 2D: House of Dana perfume (TABU); 3D: "By a swan's __ bill": Keats (EBON); 4D: Gave the runaround (ELUDED); 5D: Spins (ROTATES); 6D: Back (AGO); 7D: Throat trouble (FROG); 8D: Card worth a fortune? (TAROT); 12D: Declare (VOICE); 13D: Looks for (SEEKS); 18D: Menace with a blond cowlick (DENNIS); 22D: Schoolyard pressure (DARE); 24D: Stage surprise (AD LIB); 26D: Doofus (DORK); 27D: "__ Brockovich" (ERIN); 29D: Less fruity? (SANER); 33D: Wrap around a wrap, maybe (SARAN); 35D: Drop (OMIT); 36D: Identifies (PEGS); 38D: Googling elements (KEY WORDS); 40D: Net __ (INCOME); 43D: 8-Down user (SEER); 45D: Puts on a par (with) (EQUATES); 48D: Olympic qualifying events (TRIALS); 50D: Incomplete (UNDONE); 51D: Martin's "That's __" (AMORE); 52D: Staircase support (NEWEL); 53D: Its maker claims it won a blue ribbon in 1893 (PABST); 56D: Pack (LOAD); 58D: Trojan War hero (AJAX); 59D: Floating speck, perhaps (MOTE); 60D: Looks closely at (EYES); 63D: Some NFL linemen (DT'S).