May 28, 2011
Bonnie L. Gentry
What better way to start out a long holiday weekend than with a tough Saturday themeless. This one was a pretty good workout, don't you think? There are a couple entries that stood out to me. I like HIPSTER (1A: Hardly a square), especially because the other day I tried to enter it into a grid where POP STAR was supposed to go. HAIL A CAB (28A: Decide not to walk, perhaps) looks good in the grid and has a pretty tricky clue. I tried TAKE A BUS first. And what can I say about EGG AND I (64A: Ma and Pa Kettle debut film, with "The")?! Never heard of the movie and I have to admit the title made me laugh.
Today I'm going to walk you through some of the trickiness in this grid, and then we're going to call it good so you can get outside where you belong.
First, the ambiguous word clues.
- 24D: Apple and peacock, e.g. (LOGOS). What the heck could an apple and a peacock have in common? No wait, maybe the reference is to colors? Apple red? That's not really a color. Oh, I get it! They're both used as LOGOS for a couple of pretty well-known companies.
- 31D: Place for snaps (ALBUM). "Snapshot" seems like an old-fashioned word to me. Is it used much any more? In any case, a "snapshot" can also be referred to as a "snap" (kind of like "picture" and "pic"), and you might find snaps in a photo ALBUM.
- 37D: American enticements (LOW FARES). Enticements for American people? Enticements to become American? To come to America? Huh?? Ohhhh, American Airlines! That company uses LOW FARES to entice people to fly with them.
- 15A: Duty-free? (ON LEAVE). "Duty-free" means without tax, right? Right. But the question mark means you need to think about the words in a different way. Like someone who is "free" of all their "duties."
- 17A: Moving locks? (HAIR REPLACEMENT). I don't really have a go-to definition for the phrase "moving locks," so this one doesn't really feel like a question mark clue to me. Does the phrase "moving locks" mean something? In any case, the "locks" in this clue aren't related to canals or security, but rather to hair.
- 41A: Team feature? (NO I). In this case, you shouldn't be thinking about actual features of actual teams, but rather a feature of the word "team" itself. As the saying goes: "There is no I in team." (But there are three Us in "Shut the f*** up.")
- 58A: Exact opposites? (BALLPARK FIGURES). The phrase "exact opposites" makes me think of two people that are, well, exactly opposite. An outgoing person and a wallflower. A cynic and an idealist. But in this clue, you need to think about how you might descripe the opposite of the word "exact."
- 61A: Letters read with feeling? (BRAILLE). Was your first thought some type of love letter? A Dear John letter maybe? "Letters" in this clue doesn't refer to correspondence, it refers to the actual components of an alphabet. Letters written in BRAILLE are — literally — read with feeling.
- 11D: Long ride? (LIMO). Nope, not a road trip, just a stretched out automobile.
- 19A: Service rank (ONE-A).
- 39D: Caspian feeder (URAL).
- 48D: Willem of "Spider-Man" (DAFOE).
- 57D: Piedmont product (ASTI).
Everything Else — 8A: Duplicate (REPLICA); 16A: Unlikely to cheat (ETHICAL); 20A: Muddy, as water (ROIL); 21A: Signal agreement (NOD TO); 22A: Juice source (BATTERY); 24A: "The Sea-Wolf" captain (LARSEN); 33A: Made an impressive delivery (ORATED); 34A: Corner key (ESC); 35A: Exclusive (SOLE); 36A: Gain notoriety, as via 38-Across (GO VIRAL); 38A: See 36-Across (YOUTUBE); 40A: Eclipse, to some (OMEN); 43A: Appear unexpectedly (CROP UP); 44A: Got comfy in a sofa (SANK DOWN); 46A: Women-only residences (HAREMS); 47A: Nonbeliever, to some (INFIDEL); 49A: Crossing the keel (ABEAM); 53A: Pre-med subj. (ANAT.); 54A: Magical beginning (ABRA); 62A: Raving (ON A RANT); 63A: Fixes, as pumps (REHEELS); 1D: Cream-filled treat (HO-HO); 2D: __ instant (IN AN); 3D: Bend at the barre (PLIE); 4D: Medical supplies (SERA); 5D: Gob (TAR); 6D: From time to time (EVER AND ANON); 7D: Find a new home for, in a way (REPOT); 8D: Not at all complicated (REAL EASY); 9D: And more: Abbr. (ETC.); 10D: Derived from benzene (PHENYL); 12D: Bumped off (ICED); 13D: Jargon (CANT); 14D: Glee club member (ALTO); 18D: Pliant (LITHE); 22D: Suds, so to speak (BEER); 23D: Glancing (RICOCHETING); 25D: Bakery emanation (AROMA); 26D: First bird off the Ark, in Genesis (RAVEN); 27D: Deserve no stars (STINK); 29D: Notable Titanic casualty (ASTOR); 30D: Compact, perhaps (COUPE); 32D: Summons (BEEPS); 42D: How hard crosswords are usually not done (IN INK); 45D: Golf ball feature (DIMPLE); 49D: Can. or Mex., e.g. (ABBR.); 50D: Reveal (BARE); 51D: Where Goliath was slain (ELAH); 52D: "I Just Can't Live __": Carrie Underwood song (A LIE); 54D: Mystique (AURA); 55D: Cereal material (BRAN); 56D: Rip to bits (REND); 59D: Completely (ALL); 60D: __ rule (GAG).