July 30, 2011
Looks like we're ending the week with a tough, fun Saturday romp from Neville Longbo… er—Fogarty. As I write about this puzzle I'm going to try to forget that Neville is responsible for the completely irritating song that's stuck in my head right now. You really don't wanna know. Okay, okay, if the suspense is killing you, go ahead and click on this link. I wouldn't recommend it though. You Have Been Warned!
There are some pretty nice stacks in this grid. I think my favorite is LADY GAGA / ALGEBRA I / PIERRE, S.D. (12D: Singer known for unconventional outfits / 13D: Basic math course / 14D: Second-least populous st. capital). Other stand-out entries to me include BANANARAMA (60A: Female pop trio since 1979 — was it really that long ago??) and RV HOOKUP (36D: KOA amenity). That last one was a gimme for me. When I took my epic road-trip across the country mumble-mumble-teen years ago I camped at KOAs along the way and was kind of surprised to learn that there's a whole RV culture out there. I had no idea! Some of the nicest people I've ever met too. They thought this (relatively) young woman traveling alone and sleeping in a tent was a little on the nutty side, but they looked out for me, which was really nice and comforting.
This next part I'm going to write is a little … sensitive. Please select the text here and you can see what I've written. Neville, you should just skip this and go on to the bullets. [TIR? AMOY?? Seriously?? WTF?? Those entries are completely ridiculous! Blech!]
- 1A: Revisiting the past? (TIME TRAVEL). Immediately brings to mind "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Back to the Future," both of which are awesome.
- 11A: __ shot (SLAP). Who knew how many different kinds of shots could come into a person's head at one time? Bank shot, drop shot, rim shot, etc., etc. Of course this particular shot is from one of the few sports I know nothing about (hockey). Fortunately (?), PuzzleHusband often quotes from the movie "SLAP shot," so the phrase was knocking around in my brain somewhere.
- 15A: "Been there" ("I CAN RELATE"). If you know anything about me, you know I love seeing colloquial phrases in the grid. This one is awesome, as is "AS I SAID …" (<39A: "To reiterate …").
- 34A: Tales you can also read backwards? (SAGAS). You can't actually read the tale itself backwards, but you can read the word SAGAS backwards. Cute!
- 42A: Jenny Fields's son, in a 1978 best-seller (T. S. GARP). Man it must be a hundred years since I read this book and the answer came to me immediately. Now if I could only remember what I came in here for ….
- 58A: Whitman of "Arrested Development" (MAE). I always get this show confused with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in my head. They're both on my Need To Watch List.
- 65A: Only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist (EVERGLADES). Look how this kinda boring answer is dressed up with a cool clue.
- 2D: Mariner from Japan (ICHIRO!).
- 11D: Duck in the Eurasian taiga (SMEW). Duck in the Eurasian what-ga?
- 35D: Shepherd-protecting org. (ASPCA). One of two misleading dog clues in this puzzle. See also CANINE (29A: Like some boxers).
- 38D: Pioneer in side-scrolling video games (NINTENDO). Who knew?
- 50D: One may come with wings (BREAST). Mmmm… chicken.
- 63D: Emulate Sir Mix-A-Lot (RAP).
Everything — 1A: Revisiting the past? (TIME TRAVEL); 11A: __ shot (SLAP); 15A: "Been there" ("I CAN RELATE"); 16A: Country with a green, yellow and red flag (MALI); 17A: Israelites, to many (CHOSEN ONES); 18A: Hone (EDGE); 19A: The sport of shooting, in Soissons (TIR); 20A: Took in (ATE); 21A: Finn's friend (SAWYER); 23A: Sarah McLachlan's record label (ARISTA); 25A: Chinese port also known as Xiamen (AMOY); 27A: 2012 games host country, in Olympics code (GBR); 28A: Come to (COST); 29A: Like some boxers (CANINE); 31A: "Who __ we kidding?" (ARE); 32A: Personification (AVATAR); 34A: Tales you can also read backwards? (SAGAS); 36A: Fakes (RINGERS); 39A: "To reiterate ..." ("AS I SAID …"); 41A: Notable Nixon gesture (V-SIGN); 42A: Jenny Fields's son, in a 1978 best-seller (T. S. GARP); 44A: Luv (HON); 45A: Talked up (TOUTED); 47A: Certain dieter's concern (CARB); 51A: Go (for) (OPT); 52A: Objects (ENDS); 53A: Glassy-eyed one (STARER); 55A: Brand named for two states (ORE-IDA); 57A: __ favor (POR); 58A: Whitman of "Arrested Development" (MAE); 59A: Essex neighbor (KENT); 60A: Female pop trio since 1979 (BANANARAMA); 64A: Go back, in a way (UNDO); 65A: Only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist (EVERGLADES); 66A: Lowly worker (PEON); 67A: Pans, and how (TEARS APART); 1D: Popular mint (TIC TAC); 2D: Mariner from Japan (ICHIRO); 3D: "The Piano" extras (MAORIS); 4D: USNA grad (ENS.); 5D: Pay for (TREAT); 6D: Airport offering (RENT-A-CAR); 7D: Succulent genus (ALOE); 8D: Cargo carrier (VAN); 9D: Summer abroad (ÉTÉ); 10D: Good thing to learn (LESSON); 11D: Duck in the Eurasian taiga (SMEW); 12D: Singer known for unconventional outfits (LADY GAGA); 13D: Basic math course (ALGEBRA I); 14D: Second-least populous st. capital (PIERRE, S.D.); 22D: Bridge response (AYE SIR); 24D: Immortal college coach (STAGG); 25D: Santa __ (ANA); 26D: Illusion (MIRAGE); 30D: Ready to father (AT STUD); 33D: Let it all out (VENTED); 35D: Shepherd-protecting org. (ASPCA); 36D: KOA amenity (RV HOOKUP); 37D: Petroleum processing by-product (ISOPRENE); 38D: Pioneer in side-scrolling video games (NINTENDO); 40D: Tearjerkers of a kind (SAD SONGS); 43D: 61-Down crossers: Abbr. (STS.); 46D: How some stunts are done (ON A BET); 48D: Fighting force (ARMADA); 49D: Hole widener (REAMER); 50D: One may come with wings (BREAST); 54D: Refrain from singing? (TRA-LA); 56D: "Bring __!" (IT ON); 57D: Tudor widow (PARR); 61D: See 43-Down (AVE.); 62D: Gp. for teachers (NEA); 63D: Emulate Sir Mix-A-Lot (RAP).