August 20, 2011
Theme: None — Cuz, ya know, it's Saturday
So yesterday was really not my favorite day so far. First, I dropped the PuzzleKids off at camp and went to work. Then I figured out how to get my van home from the shop even though PuzzleHusband is out of town. So far so good, right? Yeah. At the end of the day, I grab the kids and race home to meet the landlord who's coming over to fix the air conditioning. Poor PuzzleSon is kind of staggering around — he didn't sleep well because he has swimmer's ear and it hurts. I make some small talk with the landlord and finally get him out of here so I can address PuzzleDaughter's lice issue. We're a couple minutes into applying the lice shampoo aaaand … the power goes out. Did I mention that I haven't made dinner yet and it's almost 8:00? So, yeah, not the best day really. The power did eventually come back on in the middle of the night, but I had given up and gone to bed. Oh, and I"m supposed to leave this morning at 8:00 to shuttle the kids to the PuzzleParents with whom they're going to spend the next couple of weeks. (I guess that's a good news. Did I just say that out loud?) All that to say that I don't have much time this morning. And I just spent a bunch of it whining. Hey, that's how I roll. (P.S. Sorry if your head is itching now.)
Super hard puzzle this morning, right? I ended up with a DNF because I've never heard of TANGANYIKA (12D: It merged with Zanzibar in 1964). I guessed an E where that second N was supposed to go. If I had run the alphabet I might have figured out that N worked with the cross and was a better choice, but I just didn't have time.
Not too much other stuff that I just flat-out didn't know:
- 15A: Muse of sacred music (POLYHYMNIA). Although after it's in it looks kinda appropriate.
- 53A: __ Bacon: "East of Eden" character (ABRA). Who knew?
- 46D: Wedding announcement (BANNS). I have no idea what this means.
- 17A: Does a bit of informal polling (ASKS AROUND). Awesome colloquial phrase with a great clue.
- 21A: Model born Lesley Hornby (TWIGGY). I didn't know her name, but the TW gave it away.
- 33A: Texas Rangers CEO (NOLAN RYAN). When I saw "Rangers," I immediately thought "hockey" and knew there was no way I would know this answer. With a couple crosses in place, I realized we were talking about baseball. Whew!
- 36A: Story writer/poet Grace who studied with Auden (PALEY). Story writer? That makes her seem kinda lightweight (which she's not).
- 38A: Honey Ryder and Xenia Onatopp, e.g. (BOND GIRLS). Those Bond Girls have the stupidest names.
- 26D: Dow 30 company (EXXON MOBIL). Got the two Xs in place pretty early, so this one basically wrote itself in.
Everything — 1A: They're dirty pool (CHEAP SHOTS); 11A: WNBA positions (CTRS.); 15A: Muse of sacred music (POLYHYMNIA); 16A: Brest milk (LAIT); 17A: Does a bit of informal polling (ASKS AROUND); 18A: Paquin of "True Blood" (ANNA); 19A: Note (SEE); 20A: Puzzle (out) (SUSS); 21A: Model born Lesley Hornby (TWIGGY); 23A: Equinox mo. (SEP.); 24A: Accepted (NORMAL); 25A: "GoodFellas" Oscar winner (PESCI); 28A: Reckon, in the boonies (S'POSE); 30A: OR abbr. (NEG.); 32A: One who's done stretches? (EX-CON); 33A: Texas Rangers CEO (NOLAN RYAN); 35A: Leap on blades (AXEL); 36A: Story writer/poet Grace who studied with Auden (PALEY); 37A: Classic Leontyne Price role (AIDA); 38A: Honey Ryder and Xenia Onatopp, e.g. (BOND GIRLS); 40A: Out of line (ASKEW); 41A: Inseparable (ONE); 42A: Some rectangular bars (OLEOS); 43A: Feinting spells? (SPARS); 44A: Ore.'s highest point (MT. HOOD); 46A: Broker's advice (BUY); 47A: Any regular on "The View" (COHOST); 48A: Numbers for closers (ERAS); 50A: Cone head? (SNO-); 53A: __ Bacon: "East of Eden" character (ABRA); 54A: Got at (INSINUATED); 57A: Structure on piles (PIER); 58A: "When pigs fly!" ("NOT ON A DARE!"); 59A: More than asked (PLED); 60A: Safari sights (GRASSLANDS); 1D: They're no. experts (CPA'S); 2D: It may wind up around the house (HOSE); 3D: Paul's "The Prize" co-star (ELKE); 4D: Bard's interjections (AYS); 5D: Introduce by degrees (PHASE IN); 6D: Stack sweetener (SYRUP); 7D: GP gps. (HMO'S); 8D: Weight (ONUS); 9D: Can across the pond (TIN); 10D: "I'm afraid the news is not good ..." ("SAD TO SAY …"); 11D: One may be filed (CLAIM); 12D: It merged with Zanzibar in 1964 (TANGANYIKA); 13D: Gangbuster's target (RING LEADER); 14D: Inn time (STAY); 22D: Singer of complex songs (WREN); 23D: Baste (SCOLD); 24D: Phrase of emphasis (NO LESS); 25D: R&B singer Bryson (PEABO); 26D: Dow 30 company (EXXON MOBIL); 27D: When, in Act Two of "Macbeth," the Porter knocks at the gate (SCENE THREE); 28D: Caught (SNARED); 29D: Taquería meat (POLLO); 31D: Irritates, with "at" (GNAWS); 34D: Far from mellifluous (RASPY); 36D: At the helm of (PILOTING); 39D: Nursery sounds (GOOS); 40D: Like much business? (AS USUAL); 45D: Put away (HOARD); 46D: Wedding announcement (BANNS); 47D: Stupefyin' Jones creator (CAPP); 48D: First-year Spanish verb (ESTÁ); 49D: Mexican waterways (RIOS); 50D: Persian for "place of" (STAN); 51D: One needing social work? (NERD); 52D: Confucius's "Book of __" (ODES); 55D: Bergen's home: Abbr. (NOR.); 56D: Org. working on bridges (ADA).