July 16, 2011
Posting late today because I had a lot of trouble with this one, but I wasn't ready to give up. I started it last night and got about half of it done. Then PuzzleHusband wanted to watch a couple episodes of "Friday Night Lights" and I really couldn't say no. I decided I'd get up this morning and finish it, but of course I slept in. So here we are.
The northeast and southwest corners came together pretty easily, but the others … not so much. Up in the northwest, I had several answers that went in, came out, went in, came out. It just seemed to take a lot of finagling to get that section to make any sense. Thank God for AXL ROSE (2D: Frontman on the 1987 debut album "Appetite for Destruction") who at least gave me something up there that I knew was right. It was HERBIE (23D: Beetle of note) that finally broke that section open for me. It made GEYSERS become clear (28A: Surface phenomena affected by magma) and allowed me put HOLD back in (23A: A plan may be put on it) which got me to see NATIONS (7D: United __). And then I was off and running. Just one question, though: PASQUINADE?! Really? (1A: Public mockery.)
Other missteps for me included FLORIDIANS for ALLIGATORS (17A: Everglades denizens), NAVY SEALS for SWAT TEAMS (29D: Elite tactical units) and SANTANA for ESTEFAN (36D: Grammy winner for the 1993 album "Mi Tierra").
I definitely had some "aha" moments along the way. My favorite entries include:
- 26A: Pregnant pause, perhaps (TENSE MOMENT).
- 41A: Established favorable conditions (for) (SET THE STAGE).
- 51A: Independent way to live (OFF THE GRID).
- 56A: Private (ONE-STRIPER).
- 11D: Raked it in (MADE A MINT).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 16A: First Dominican-born Major League Baseball manager (ALOU).
- 44A: Narrow ridge (ARETE).
- 48A: Scented souvenirs (LEIS).
- 10D: __ est percipi: to be is to be perceived (ESSE).
- 46D: Pola of the silents (NEGRI).
- 52D: President when the U.N. was created (HST).
Everything Else — 11A: Opening movement of Holst's "The Planets" (MARS); 15A: Cleans up (EXPURGATES); 19A: Occupation (TRADE); 20A: "Lady, shall __ in your lap?": Hamlet (I LIE); 21A: They may be geological (ERAS); 22A: Direct (BOSS); 24A: Artist son of Andrew Wyeth (JAMIE); 25A: Kyrgyzstan city (OSH); 30A: Judges (DECIDES); 31A: Complex design (WEB); 32A: Fatal opening? (NON-); 33A: Statement of equality (IT'S A TIE); 37A: Coastal freeze (FAST ICE); 43A: Pita look-alike (NAN); 45A: Faithful (TRUE); 46A: Crack agent? (NARC); 47A: "Okay then" ("I SEE"); 50A: Poet Walter __ Mare (DE LA); 54A: Railing with molded supports (BALUSTRADE); 1D: Moor feature (PEAT BOG); 3D: Flamboyant (SPLASHY); 4D: Plugs of tobacco (QUIDS); 5D: Seriously suggest (URGE); 6D: Supermarket chain with Chicago H.Q. (IGA); 8D: Components of the Maldives (ATOLLS); 9D: Scoffed at (DERIDED); 12D: Protected, in a way (ALARMED); 13D: Arugula alternative (ROMAINE); 14D: Down times? (SUNSETS); 24D: Playful (JOCOSE); 26D: Use a ring, maybe (TEETHE); 27D: Household (MENAGE); 33D: Discussion-ending words (I SAID SO); 34D: In a word (TERSELY); 35D: Pinball ball, perhaps (STEELIE); 37D: Thomas Mann's "Doktor __" (FAUSTUS); 38D: Caught (IN A TRAP); 39D: Four-wheel drive? (CAR RIDE); 40D: Spy, at times (ENCODER); 42D: Gimcrack (TRIFLE); 48D: Western howler (LOBO).