September 17, 2011
Theme: Nothing! It's themeless! Welcome to Saturday!
Despite the continuous stream of mathematics homework coming my way, it's never Neville here again while PG is away for the weekend. Big ups to Gareth for taking the reins yesterday; hopefully I'll do as nice a job as he did.
Where did you break into this puzzle? I started on the left hand side with the 4D. Long-odds bet (TRIFECTA) which led me down to 25A: Othello game piece (DISC). It wasn't long before I got the star of this puzzle: 36A. Beyond unethical (MORALLY BANKRUPT).
Seems to go against the (ETHOS) clued by 46A: Underlying values, doesn't it? 27D: Settings for "Junkyard Wars" had to be (SCRAPHEAPS), since SCRAPYARDS had overlap with the clue. Slowly I was able to make my way to the right hand side of the puzzle, eventually remembering what the word (JINGOISTIC) means. (IRON AGE) made the NE corner come more easily, since 16A: When forging started was rather straightforward. Eventually I was able to complete this puzzle, but it felt like more of a trial than the usually Saturday puzzle. That wasn't a bad thing - there's nothing really objectionable in this fill - just a tough construction to break!
- 52A: Akkadian king who conquered Mesopotamia (SARGON). This seems like it's part of that classic series "Fiction with Thomas Heilman" - but apparently this is a real person. He's busted to the right.
- 28A: Corpulent (FAT) is right above 31A. Make fit (CRAM IN). I'm reminded of the hubbub a few years back with airlines requiring larger customers to purchase two seats. Seems like that money is now being used to provide WiFi on flights!
- 12D: Classroom response, at times (LAME EXCUSE). I love this entry, but not this clue. If I had to pick a thing that's lame, I'd say, "A student's excuse." It's completely in the language and has an X, which endears me too it much more than usual. But this clue made me want something like "Yes, teacher," which is an actual response from the whole classroom. It technically works, but I'm not a fan.
- 18A: Discarded storage technology (BETAMAX) - not my first hunch of Zip disk. Not sure how mainstream those were, but at my elementary school, they talked about them like you could fit the entire world into those 100 megabytes. Frankly, the Betamax predates me.
- 29A: Unfavorably influence (JINX) - you owe me a soda! You cannot speak until you buy me a coke. Those are the rules of Jinx, and they are unflinchingly rigid.
- 1A: Make even in a way (JUSTIFY). Look at that - I've managed to justify the text in this bullet point! See? Flush on both the left and the right. Technology allows us so many options. I think that's the meaning that Tom's going for in this clue.
- 23D: She played
Ellea mermaid in "Kill Bill""Splash (DARYL). That's what it would've taken me to get so much as near to the correct solution.
- 8A: Key rings? (JANGLES). Cutest clue I've seen in a while across all outlets. Those would be the noises made when you shake your keys!
- 22A: Moving experience? (EXODUS) is a close second to JANGLES as far as awesome entries go.
- 58A: "Olly olly oxen free!" - (IT'S SAFE). I wanted something more hide & seek related, but this is quite clever. Nice to know that it is safe - I never saw the ending of Marathon Man.
- 14D. Times of prayer in the Fivine Office. (SEXTS). Who wants to take responsibility and let Rich Norris know that isn't what sexts means.
At least Mrs. Robinson isn't trying to seduce him?
- 2D: Fonda role (ULEE)
- 57D: "___ tu cle maahiary": Verdi lyrics. (ERI). The what?
- Like I said, most of it is nice - not much crosswordese here!