September 10, 2011
Sorry I'm posting so late today, but [24D: "My alarm didn't go off," e.g.]. A lame EXCUSE, I know. The fact is, I didn't even set an alarm. And I would have woken up at my usual super early time except that PuzzleDaughter had a friend sleep over last night and let's just say there was some drama in the middle of the night. Ugh. In any case, there's always a lot to talk about on Saturdays, so let's get to it.
First of all, I just want to get this out of the way. Brad, you know I love you, but OVERWEENING? Really? I've Ne-Ever heard this word before and it caused me all kindsa trouble up in the northeast corner. That second E (well, technically the third E) was the last letter I filled in and I spent a good five minutes running the alphabet a couple times to make sure that was my best guess. Obviously didn't help that I've also never heard of WEIL (10D: "Gravity and Grace" writer Simone). At one point, I was sure the correct answer was OVERBEARING, but every other cross looked totally solid, so I eventually had to scrap that idea. I finally gave up — decided I either had it right or had it wrong and there wasn't anything else I could do about it. And I had it right. Yay.
Other entries I've never heard of? Why, yes, there are a few. Can't say that I've ever heard of SHELL STEAK, though it was relatively easy to figure out (64A: Cut with the tenderloin removed). That second L was a sticking point, though. As you may know, science isn't exactly my forte so HCL (59D: Strong acid, chemically) was a total guess and that last letter could have been anything. In the end, it seemed like L was the best guess. Again, I guessed right. Whew.
The other things I flat-out didn't know are all names:
- 26A: Dean's reality TV partner (TORI).
- 27A: Hall of Fame NFL owner Wellington __ (MARA).
- 46A: Cymbeline's daughter, in Shakespeare (IMOGEN).
- 57D: Two-time Tony-winning playwright Yasmina __ (REZA).
Stand-out entries today include BARBED WIRE and MYSTIC PIZZA (4A: Range barrier / 62A: 1988 film set in a New England pie maker's shop). Didn't I just post a picture of Lili Taylor this week?!
Not too many write-overs today. The two that caused me the most trouble are both related to French (French!). I had NÉE where AKA was supposed to go (17A: Link between handles?), and MAI for MAY, thinking we needed the French spelling (45A: When the French Open starts). But I sure am chatty today. Let's get to the bullets so I can wrap this thing up.
- 31A: Divided country (USA). I don't understand this clue. Is it because it's divided into 50 states? Does it have something to do with use of the initials? My first thought put this clue in a political light, but we really don't see that in mainstream puzzles, so I'm sure it can't be that.
- 37A: Sch. whose students have won more than 200 Olympic medals (UCLA). Nice bit of trivia here.
- 41A: Steamy container (SOUP POT). Oh, another write-over. I tried STEW POT first.
- 53A: Mystery middle name (ALLAN). The middle name of Edgar ALLAN Poe.
- 61A: Yegg's haul (ICE). Yegg, which we've covered in CW101 before, is a slang word for safecracker, which I learned from crosswords. ICE is a slang word for diamonds. So there you go.
- 3D: Shipping inquiries (TRACERS). Hmmm. I would just call these TRACES. TRACERS have a more drug-related meaning to me. Did I say drugs? I meant fireworks. Yes, that's what I meant! Fireworks! (Hi, Mom!)
- 30D: Sci-fi character named for an Asian sea (SULU). Some more good trivia. My first though: "There's a sci-fi character named Aral?"
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
Everything — 1A: Charade (ACT); 4A: Range barrier (BARBED WIRE); 14A: Roller coaster part (CAR); 15A: Pompous (OVER-WEENING); 17A: Link between handles? (AKA); 18A: Risky telecast (LIVE EPISODE); 19A: Reduced in status (DECLASSE); 21A: Gave away (LET ON); 22A: Some Olympians' tools (ÉPÉES); 23A: Movement traced to an ancient flower sermon (ZEN); 26A: Dean's reality TV partner (TORI); 27A: Hall of Fame NFL owner Wellington __ (MARA); 28A: Natural history museum attractions (T-REXES); 31A: Divided country (USA); 32A: Sucker (ENSNARE); 34A: Court address (COUNSEL); 36A: 1998 Apple rollout (IMAC); 37A: Sch. whose students have won more than 200 Olympic medals (UCLA); 38A: Reach equilibrium (EVEN OUT); 41A: Steamy container (SOUP POT); 45A: When the French Open starts (MAY); 46A: Cymbeline's daughter, in Shakespeare (IMOGEN); 48A: Japanese script (KANA); 49A: Botched (BLEW); 51A: Palindromic Altar (ARA); 52A: 2008 Palin counterpart (BIDEN); 53A: Mystery middle name (ALLAN); 55A: "Dead Man Walking" Oscar winner (SARANDON); 58A: Tenant, say (LEASEHOLDER); 61A: Yegg's haul (ICE); 62A: 1988 film set in a New England pie maker's shop (MYSTIC PIZZA); 63A: Hammer site (EAR); 64A: Cut with the tenderloin removed (SHELL STEAK); 65A: Oink spot (STY); 1D: Egghead's environs (ACADEME); 2D: Where the batter goes (CAKE PAN); 3D: Shipping inquiries (TRACERS); 4D: Corded weapons (BOLAS); 5D: Alamo rival (AVIS); 6D: Tach count (REVS); 7D: Succeed without difficulty, with "in" (BREEZE); 8D: Romano source, usually (EWE); 9D: ATM transaction (DEP.); 10D: "Gravity and Grace" writer Simone (WEIL); 11D: Cartographic closeup (INSET); 12D: Uninhibited (RIOTOUS); 13D: Stand behind (ENDORSE); 16D: Good-natured (GENIAL); 20D: Sit angularly, as a wall (LEAN IN); 24D: "My alarm didn't go off," e.g. (EXCUSE); 25D: One who's now right-brained? (NEO-CON); 28D: Therapist's concern (TRAUMA); 29D: Parish leader (RECTOR); 30D: Sci-fi character named for an Asian sea (SULU); 33D: Mine, in Metz (À MOI); 35D: You'll need more than one in a rib joint (NAPKIN); 38D: Insulate from change (EMBALM); 39D: Big dips (VALLEYS); 40D: Very slim margin (EYELASH); 42D: Rice fields (PADDIES); 43D: Baseball-like game with two bases (ONE O' CAT); 44D: Leather maker (TANNERY); 47D: Like many Sherlock Holmes settings (GASLIT); 50D: Profligacy (WASTE); 52D: 2000 Camp David summit attendee (BARAK); 54D: Diamond in music (NEIL); 56D: Bladed tool (ADZE); 57D: Two-time Tony-winning playwright Yasmina __ (REZA); 59D: Strong acid, chemically (HCL); 60D: Black __: spy doings (OPS).