October 6, 2011
Peter A. Collins
Theme: Surprise Elements — Elements hidden inside of theme answers.
- 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY).
- 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER).
- 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL).
- 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS).
- 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51-, and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT).
I appreciate the fact that every word in each theme entry is part of a hidden element. Hiding TIN in SET IN STONE wouldn't be as cool, because STONE doesn't contribute to the hidden word.
- 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG). A Mickey Finn is an alcoholic drink laced with a drug that'll knock you unconscious. Wikipedia tells me that it's likely named for a notorious Chicago bartender, Michael "Mickey" Finn, who was accused of using knockout drops to incapacitate and rob some of his customers.
- 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE). At a singles bar. For the record, "Wanna see this crossword I made?" has proven to be a horrible pickup line.
- 60A: Net reading (BLOG). I typed EMAG here first, and I was happy it was wrong, because BLOG is a much better answer. Mere seconds later...EMAG appeared at 1-Down. With the same clue! The life of a crossword blogger is never boring.
- 2A: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE). The phrase "the writing on the wall" originates in the book of Daniel. A disembodied hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall: "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin," foretelling the demise of the Babylonian Empire. Hmmm, I always thought it was ""Klaatu, barada, nikto."
- 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK). Cool entry. That's where Kellogg's is headquartered. Do you think the whole city smells like Pop-Tarts?
- 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE). Remember when they changed the name to "Freedom onion soup"? And forced chefs to make it with All-American American cheese slices.
- 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB). National Transportation Safety Board. Yep, nothing funny to say about that.
- 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS). You know, I've never seen a single episode of any of the various CSI incarnations. But I have seen a lot of episodes of "Bewitched." (I had to figure out some way to use this Elizabeth Montgomery picture again.)
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE).
- 47A: Bit of code (DAH).
- 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO).
- 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR).
- 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL).
- 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS).
Everything - 1A: Smoldering bit (EMBER); 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG); 10A: It may have all the answers (CRIB); 14A: Stiller's partner (MEARA); 15A: High rollers' destination (RENO); 16A: Half of 10? (ZERO); 17A: Speed skater Apolo __ Ohno (ANTON); 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY); 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER); 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE); 23A: "Friendly skies" co. (UAL); 24A: __ center (REC); 27A: PC time meas. (MSEC); 29A: Performed, in a way (SANG); 32A: Band that performed "Whip It" (DEVO); 33A: Bars in stores (UPC); 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE); 35A: Aaron's team for 21 seasons (BRAVES); 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51- and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT); 40A: Make (CREATE); 41A: Gloom mate (DOOM); 42A: Rural stretch (LEA); 43A: "... two fives for __?" (A TEN); 44A: Skin malady, perhaps (CYST); 45A: What crews use (OARS); 46A: Expression of disappointment (TSK); 47A: Bit of code (DAH); 49A: Hair care purchase (TINT); 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL); 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS); 59A: Baggy (LOOSE); 60A: Net reading (BLOG); 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO); 62A: Ban's predecessor at the U.N. (ANNAN); 63A: Bastes, e.g. (SEWS); 64A: Attic constructions (WEBS); 65A: Bridge seats (WESTS); 1D: Net reading (E-MAG); 2D: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE); 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK); 4D: Steamy (EROTIC); 5D: Arrested (RAN IN); 6D: Bore (DRAG); 7D: Bank takeback, briefly (REPO); 8D: Deprive of juice? (UNPLUG); 9D: Israel's Meir (GOLDA); 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR); 11D: Thing to stop on (RED); 12D: Savings for later yrs. (IRA); 13D: When repeated with "oh" in between, "Wow!" (BOY); 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL); 21D: Mythical beast, to locals (NESSIE); 24D: Epiphanies (REVELATIONS); 25D: Score-tying shot (EVENER); 26D: Olympics broadcaster Bob (COSTAS); 27D: Mideast capital (MUSCAT); 28D: Last lap efforts (SPURTS); 30D: Spa sounds (AHS); 31D: Indigent (NEEDY); 32D: Lake creator (DAM); 34D: Interior decorator's concern (ART); 35D: Juiced (BLOTTO); 36D: Sleep acronym (REM); 38D: Cooking utensil (PAN); 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS); 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE); 45D: Numbers after nine, often (ONE ONE); 47D: Sam & Dave, e.g. (DUO); 48D: Nixon's first veep (AGNEW); 50D: Union acquisition? (INLAW); 51D: Vandalizes, in a way (EGGS); 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB); 53D: Those, to Pedro (ESOS); 54D: Future atty.'s hurdle (LSAT); 55D: Eye part (LENS); 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS); 57D: Microbrewery buy (ALE); 58D: Altercation (ROW).