June 7, 2011
Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel
- 17A: Ali ring trademark (ROPE-A-DOPE).
- 23A: Epcot's "giant golf ball" (SPACESHIP EARTH).
- 37A: Painter of outdoors scenes (LANDSCAPE ARTIST).
- 50A: Rolling over, so to speak (GIVING UP EASILY).
- 62A: Soup ingredients, and a hint to the hidden theme in 17-, 23-, 37- and 50-Across (SPLIT PEAS).
All the theme answers are pretty good. If we're going to rank them by awesomeness, ROPE-A-DOPE seems like an obvious front-runner. Other than, I noticed a baseball mini-theme:
- 32A: Miracle Mets' stadium (SHEA). Ah, the good old days when baseball stadiums weren't named after corporations.
- 36A: Stat for Cliff Lee (ERA). I actually threw RBI in there at first (Me: "stat, baseball, three letters…"), but remembered a split second later that Cliff Lee is a pitcher. Now that I think about it though, he plays in the league where pitchers also hit, right? So RBI would have been a legitimate answer, too!
- 68A: Home run jog (TROT). I swear to you when I filled this in, I thought "Well sure, unless you're somebody like Charlie Hustle." And then … bam!
- 25D: Red Rose (PETE). Speaking of the devil!
- 26D: "A League of __ Own" (THEIR).
- 9D: Member of Congress, say (LAWMAKER).
- 54D: Some storytellers (LIARS).
- 55D: Like some limited-choice questions (YES/NO).
- 14A: Restrictive membership word (ONLY). Remember those Members Only jackets that were so cool back in the 80s? Do they still make those? Oh man they do.
- 21A: Conestoga-made grooves (RUTS). Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, I know what a conestoga is now.
- 22A: Church-owned Dallas sch. (SMU). The abbreviation in the clue hints that the answer will also be an abbreviation.
- 64A: Des Moines resident (IOWAN). Me: My niece?
- 7D: "For those who think young" soft drink (PEPSI). Is this a relatively new slogan? I'm pretty sure I've never heard it before.
- 34D: Listless feeling (ENNUI). Great word.
- 49D: Damon of "Invictus" (MATT). For those of you who watch "Friday Night Lights": Don't you think Landry looks like Matt Damon? (Also, I always expect Buddy Garrity to fly off into a Robin Williams riff.)
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 1A: Ivan the Terrible, e.g. (TSAR).
- 35A: Eyelid annoyance (STYE).
- 65A: Slithery fish (EELS).
- 33D: Game start? (HARD G).
Everything Else — 5A: Deadly snakes (ASPS); 9A: Simple hoops shot (LAY-UP); 15A: Digital water testers? (TOES); 16A: Make laugh (AMUSE); 19A: Alumnae, e.g. (WOMEN); 20A: La la lead-in (OOH); 28A: Victoria in Africa (LAKE); 29A: Comics scream (EEK); 30A: Easter basket delivery gait? (HOP); 42A: Coffee hour vessel (URN); 43A: It was often worn over a tunic (TOGA); 44A: Rocks to refine (ORES); 45A: Academic address letters (EDU); 46A: Carnival resort (RIO); 47A: Battling group (ARMY); 56A: Fingers for the D.A. (ID'S); 57A: Opposite of pre- (POST-); 58A: Subside, with "down" (DIE); 59A: Subside (ABATE); 66A: "Heck!" ("DARN!"); 67A: Lived (DWELT); 69A: To boot (ALSO); 1D: Bulls in Argentina (TOROS); 2D: Poke around (SNOOP); 3D: Pack leader (ALPHA); 4D: Corned beef bread (RYE); 5D: Just after sunset (AT DUSK); 6D: Relieve (SOOTHE); 8D: Duluth-to-Dubuque dir. (SSE); 10D: Love in Lille (AMOUR); 11D: "Tasty" ("YUM"); 12D: Exploit (USE); 13D: Con's home (PEN); 18D: Vicinity (AREA); 22D: "Gotta run!" ("SEE YA!"); 24D: Dressed (CLAD); 27D: Silver in old Westerns (HORSE); 31D: Loving strokes (PATS); 32D: Swing around (SLUE); 35D: Hot tub (SPA); 38D: Grating (STRIDENT); 39D: Nickel and dime (COINS); 40D: Wide-eyed (AGOG); 41D: Kids' stuff (TOYS); 47D: 17-mission NASA program (APOLLO); 48D: Fight back (RESIST); 51D: Indispensable (VITAL); 52D: Berth place (UPPER); 53D: Perfect (IDEAL); 59D: Help (AID); 60D: Gift decoration (BOW); 61D: Blow away (AWE); 62D: Tennis unit (SET); 63D: iPhone, e.g. (PDA).