August 26, 2011
- 20A: Easy-to-use sock drawer organizer? (PEDS DISPENSER).
- 28A: Dog show eye-catchers? (COOL BREEDS).
- 36A: Feline alpha groups? (TOP PRIDES).
- 48A: "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions"? (QUEEN SIDES).
- 56A: Winter Olympics winner's wall hanging? (BLADES OF GLORY).
Today we're looking at a simple sound substitution theme. It's a cute idea, but I can't help thinking a bunch of Zs would make the grid more interesting, so it's kind of shame they're being taken out. What I'm really looking for in a theme like this is a theme answer where both the original and resulting phrases are interesting and colorful. Two of the five fit the bill today: COOL BREEDS and BLADES OF GLORY. But look at the others. PEZ DISPENSER is cool, but PEDS DISPENSER? Besides the fact that I don't even think it makes sense (PEDS = socks??), I've gotta believe that if "sock drawer organizer" is the best clue you can come up with for a theme answer, I'd say it's time to look for a better theme answer. QUEEN SIDES is an interesting phrase (and it has a great clue), but it started out as QUEEN-SIZE which is … a type of mattress. TOP PRIDES has the distinction of being a boring answer and based on a boring phrase. Ta-da!
- 1A: Henri's here (ICI). Starting right off at 1-Across with … French!
- 10A: Druid's sacred hill (TARA). There were Druids in "Gone With the Wind"?
- 18A: Bandit feature? (ONE ARM). Cute clue! This is a reference to a slot machine. But you knew that.
- 63A: 36 for nine, often (PAR). Golf.
- 64A: Votes for (AYES). Tricky. "Votes" in the clue is actually a noun, not a verb. E.g., "We've got three votes for and two against."
- 66A: Owner of Abbey Road Studios (EMI). Anyone else try ONO here first?
- 2D: Set pieces? (CAMERAS). Movie set.
- 6D: Appearance announcement (PRESTO). I couldn't tell what this clue was going for, but this is a great entry.
- 29D: No right __ (ON RED). This is embarrassing to admit, but I actually entered OF WAY first. Yes, I realize that's a terrible answer.
- 39D: Subj. of an '80s-'90s financial crisis (S AND L). I had a hard time parsing this. It's Savings & Loan.
- 40D: EPA concern (AQI). Air Quality Index. I think.
- 46D: St. Louis team, familiarly (THE RAMS). I know it's only been, what? fifteen years or so? I just can't think of the RAMS as being in St. Louis.
- 57D: Price or Battle (DIVA). I knew these were both last names of opera singers, but.
- 66A: Owner of Abbey Road Studios (EMI).
- 8D: Empty weight (TARE).
- 30D: Jasmine neckwear, perhaps (LEI).
- 58D: Genesis grandson (ENOS).
Everything — 1A: Henri's here (ICI); 4A: Sci-fi psychic (EMPATH); 10A: Druid's sacred hill (TARA); 14A: What Lin's D.C. wall commemorates (NAM); 15A: Craps table tactic (PARLAY); 16A: Like some terrible reviews (ACID); 17A: Wee (SMA); 18A: Bandit feature? (ONE ARM); 19A: Watch lights, briefly (LCD'S); 20A: Easy-to-use sock drawer organizer? (PEDS DISPENSER); 23A: Emphatic words (I REPEAT); 24A: Run-of-the-mill (USUAL); 27A: Track position (RAIL); 28A: Dog show eye-catchers? (COOL BREEDS); 32A: Cornerstone abbr. (ESTAB.); 34A: Just outside of (NEAR); 35A: Rolls in the grass? (SOD); 36A: Feline alpha groups? (TOP PRIDES); 40A: Palm Sunday carrier (ASS); 43A: German battleship Graf __ (SPEE); 44A: 1945 "Big Three" conference site (YALTA); 48A: "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions"? (QUEEN SIDES); 52A: Slangy negatives (NAHS); 53A: 14th-century Russian prince (IVAN I); 54A: Retro tees (TIE-DYES); 56A: Winter Olympics winner's wall hanging? (BLADES OF GLORY); 60A: Prussian pair (ZWEI); 62A: Stimulate (INCITE); 63A: 36 for nine, often (PAR); 64A: Votes for (AYES); 65A: Semi-sheer fabrics (VOILES); 66A: Owner of Abbey Road Studios (EMI); 67A: Orkin target (PEST); 68A: Speak with conviction (ASSERT); 69A: Decoding org. (NSA); 1D: Fire up (INSPIRE); 2D: Set pieces? (CAMERAS); 3D: Cry from one reaching the top (I MADE IT); 4D: Lyrical poetic form (EPODE); 5D: Zealot-plus (MANIAC); 6D: Appearance announcement (PRESTO); 7D: Gain __: get further ahead in the race (A LAP); 8D: Empty weight (TARE); 9D: Mass music (HYMN); 10D: "Honor Thy Father" author (TALESE); 11D: Grows (ACCRUES); 12D: Purged (RID); 13D: Spots with slogans (ADS); 21D: Egg toss miss indicator (SPLAT); 22D: Light carriage (SURREY); 25D: Flap (ADO); 26D: Dr. Leary's turn-on (LSD); 29D: No right __ (ON RED); 30D: Jasmine neckwear, perhaps (LEI); 31D: Wicked (BAD); 33D: Sarajevo's region (BOSNIA); 37D: Forgetful writer's letters? (P.P.S.); 38D: Louvre Pyramid designer (PEI); 39D: Subj. of an '80s-'90s financial crisis (S AND L); 40D: EPA concern (AQI); 41D: Toyota RAV4, e.g. (SUV); 42D: Navy builders (SEABEES); 45D: Expose (LAY OPEN); 46D: St. Louis team, familiarly (THE RAMS); 47D: Ancient kingdom on the Tigris (ASSYRIA); 49D: Sign on (ENLIST); 50D: Star of France (ÉTOILE); 51D: Bakery utensil (SIFTER); 55D: Discharge (EGEST); 57D: Price or Battle (DIVA); 58D: Genesis grandson (ENOS); 59D: H.S. courses (SCIS); 60D: Cook quickly, in a way (ZAP); 61D: Three-switch railroad track section (WYE).