05.14 Sat

May 14, 2011
Victor Fleming

Theme: None

Well isn't this just a breath of fresh air after yesterday. Blogger being down most of the day stressed me out then, of course, there was the puzzle. Thank you, Judge Fleming! My solving experience with this grid was pretty much perfect (i.e., the way I like it late in the week). My first pass through the acrosses, I didn't have much to go on. But I was able to piece it together bit by bit with a little struggle. But not too much! Very nice.

Highlights in the grid for me include three awesome colloquial phrases:

  • 19A: Was left out, facetiously (DIDN'T GET THE MEMO).
  • 11D: Disappointed, slangily (BUMMED OUT).
  • 35D: Matrimonial prize (GOOD CATCH).
Causing problems for me were answers where I had a few letters in place and then couldn't get wrong answers out of my head. For example, for [16A: Goes without saying?] I had the M and the T and couldn't get MUTES out of the way long enough to see MOUTHS. And with I***LIZES in place for [33D: Puts on a pedestal], all I could visualize was IDOLIZES, which made it hard for me to see the correct IDEALIZES. That particular entry had the added disadvantage of being a down answer, which I have so much trouble with sometimes that I write them horizontally just so I can see them in the right perspective.

Other than that, no major hang-ups. I don't know what a 23D: Puff ADDER is (I'm guessing snake?) and I needed one letter in place to remember TERI Bauer (41A: Jack's wife in Season 1 of "24"). Oh, and the AIRE (55D: Leeds's river)? Look, I know I suck a rivers, but most of them that show up in grids are rivers that I've at least heard of. AIRE? That's a new one on me.

  • 28A: Milky way? (UDDER). I have a mental block with this word. I try to spell it UTTER every. single. time.
  • 35A: It's good to be in one (GROOVE).

  • 45A: Case, for instance: Abbr. (SYN.). The words "case" and "instance" can be SYNonyms. I still get tricked by this type of clue pretty much every time, so don't feel bad.
  • 9D: It's across the Missouri from Council Bluffs, Iowa (OMAHA). I've been to wrestling tournaments in both Council Bluffs and OMAHA. Just sayin'.
  • 10D: Point from which one must proceed? (NO RETURN).

  • 27D: Henri, e.g. (NOM). "Henri" is a French name and "nom" is the French word for "name." That's right … French!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 23A: Duchamp contemporary (ARP).
  • 2D: Et __ (ALII).
  • 14D: Sinclair Oil rival (ESSO).
  • 51D: Shortstop Vizquel (OMAR).
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Everything Else 1A: "American Pie" actress (TARA REID); 9A: Leading, usually (ON BASE); 15A: Refinement (ELEGANCE); 17A: Subtle differences (NICETIES); 18A: "Where ignorant __ clash by night": Matthew Arnold (ARMIES); 21A: Round-topped topper (TAM); 22A: Ticked (IRATE); 26A: Nursery employee (NANNY); 32A: Rye server (DELI); 34A: Trifle (TOY); 36A: Something taken by a shooter (DEAD AIM); 38A: Some incentives (BONUSES); 39A: Non-acidic vitamin brand (ESTER-C); 40A: Labor gp. that initially supported FDR (CIO); 42A: Therapy goal (REHAB); 43A: Bridge units (HANDS); 46A: Last straw (LIMIT); 48A: Video end? (CAM); 50A: Man, to Aristotle (POLITICAL ANIMAL); 57A: Throws (AMAZES); 58A: "Sure, why not?" ("LET'S DO IT"); 59A: Meet people? (RACERS); 60A: Pedigree (ANCESTRY); 61A: Black-tie (DRESSY); 62A: Diamond gem (NO-HITTER); 1D: Keep an eye on (TEND); 3D: Like most mailed pkgs. (RECD.); 4D: Deal maker (AGENT); 5D: Palm prevalent in Indonesia (RATTAN); 6D: Hard to figure out (ENIGMATIC); 7D: Frozen pop brand (ICEE); 8D: Fortune (DESTINY); 12D: End in __ (A TIE); 13D: Noah's eldest (SHEM); 20D: Subject to strain (TRY); 24D: Eponymous candy company founder (REESE); 25D: "Lady Lazarus" poet (PLATH); 29D: Doctor's orders (DOSES); 30D: All possible (EVERY); 31D: Mastic, for one (RESIN); 37D: Judges (ARBITERS); 38D: Storage unit (BIN); 40D: Pablo Casals, e.g. (CATALAN); 43D: Sound heard after a lot of shots? (HIC); 44D: Third-generation Japanese-American (SANSEI); 47D: Rapper Elliott (MISSY); 49D: Core (MIDST); 50D: Frontier friend (PARD); 52D: Oxford fastener (LACE); 53D: Star seen around midnight (LENO); 54D: Suffragist Lucretia (MOTT); 56D: Astron. distance (LT. YR.).


PJ said...

Thank you for all your posts, Puzzle Girl. I read daily, and just realized I have never thought of posting a thank you to you!

Eric said...

Ditto, do the LA occasionally but always like the write-up. Thanks

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yes, a relief after yesterday's debacle! Felt like a good puzzle today, an apt puzzle for a Saturday--which, for me, is one I must struggle with, but also finish. I did get hung up at the end--stuck for the longest time on Video MAM and couldn't for the life of me (kicking self!) leap to CAM.

Margaret said...

Well, I confidently entered CELLIST for Pablo Casals, which gave me no end of trouble for a while there. And I've never heard of ESTERC. Loved DIDNTGETTHEMEMO! And laughed out loud at Milli Vanilli, thanks!

C said...

This was an excellent puzzle. Tough but fair, good answers. Makes yesterday's puzzle seem like a bad dream.

Nighthawk said...

Saturdays still knock me for a loop.
Particularly the more recent popular culture clues/answers.

Ack! Does this mean I'm going to have to turn ON my TV and start watching shows and movies to do better on crosswords? I don't THINK so!

Like @PG, I had a tough time getting a foothold. TARA REID and American Pie are totally unknown to me. Had Brach for REESE which brain-locked me from ARP for a while. Never seen one episode of 24, so TERI could have been anything until a few crosses.

Was pretty BUMMED OUT about progress, then slo-o-o-wly, things started to fill.


Pretty cool that ON BASE doesn't negate a NO HITTER.

Hand up for cellist at 40D before CATALAN.

Thought DEAD AIM, LIMIT, POLITICAL ANIMAL, and LET"S DO IT were very fresh. And topical.

mac said...

A very good puzzle from Mr. Fleming! Also wanted cellist, but Catalan was showing up with the crosses. No problem.
Political animal is great!

Anonymous said...

found this puzzle just impossible . the only entries I had in bottom half were three words - all wrong: 61a formal, and 60a breeding crossing 55d tyne the few words I had in top half were correct but too sparse to help me figure out the crossings.

*David* said...

Just got to the party, this one took all I had but got it done. Pretty sweet and clean puzzle.

M. Bouffant said...

Like Fowler, I had "good match" for a loooong time.