10.08 Sat

October 8, 2011
Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Sorry I'm late. Also sorry this will be short. I've got something weird going on with my eye and need to go to the doctor. I'm sure it's not life-threatening (otherwise I wouldn't be here), but it just looks like something I need to get checked out. And it's not really my eye so much as it's some swelling under my eye, which probably isn't related to my actual eyeball at all, so really, not a huge deal. But I'm gonna stop talking about it now so I can say a few things about this puzzle.

It's always a treat to see Brad's name in the byline and this puzzle turned out to be pretty much exactly what I expected. A tough workout with lots of sparkle. There were only a couple things I just flat-out didn't know:

  • 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN). It's possible I'm the least-well-read English major you'll ever meet.
  • 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA). Brad is a huge opera buff so in one of his late-week puzzles, you can pretty much count on a clue like this for a common crossword entry.
  • 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT). I had only the U in place for quite a while and I can't be the only one who thought the answer was going to be A GUN.
  • 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA).
Lots of sparkle in the triple stacks:
  • 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME).
  • 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE). The clue is a little cutesy for my taste, but the answer is awesome.
  • 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS). Ha!
  • 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET).
  • 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE). "Duffer" is a word used to describe someone who is not very good at golf.
  • 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES). I tried BABIES first.
  • 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER). "Improved" in this clue is an adjective, not a verb. Tricky.
  • 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT). I only know what a MOLE RAT is from the kids' show "Kim Possible." Don't judge.
  • 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER).
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Everything 1A: Esther Williams number (WATER BALLET); 12A: One who "must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES": Eliot (CAT); 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME); 16A: Opposite of hence (AGO); 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN); 18A: Grille cover (BRA); 19A: Composer of "The Lovely Bones" music (ENO); 20A: 1986-to-2001 orbiter (MIR); 21A: In sequence (ORDERED); 23A: Mason's fee (RETAINER); 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES); 27A: Storm's dir. (NNE); 28A: Ulster, for one (OVERCOAT); 30A: Indicate indifference (SHRUG); 33A: Printers' primary colors (CYANS); 34A: Debt-laden fin. deal (LBO); 35A: Derisive call (HOOT); 36A: Pep rally climax, perhaps (CHANT); 37A: Transfer consequence, familiarly (RELO); 38A: Wood used in bows (ELM); 39A: Grinds (TOILS); 40A: Auto club recommendation (MOTEL); 41A: It's for the dogs (LEASH LAW); 43A: Trig. function (COS); 44A: Like some prescription lenses (TINTED); 45A: Took after (EMULATED); 50A: Establish firmly (ENGRAFT); 52A: __ Zion Church (A.M.E.); 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA); 54A: Milne tyke (ROO); 55A: Hippie era swinger? (BEAD CURTAIN); 58A: Heel in a bakery (END); 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE); 60A: Paris's Pont __ Arts (DES); 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS); 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER); 2D: Mark Yom Kippur (ATONE); 3D: Letter-shaped workbench groove (T-SLOT); 4D: School subj. for an au pair (ESL); 5D: Seuss hallmark (RHYMING); 6D: Big ox, say (BOVINE); 7D: Au courant (AWARE); 8D: Copier tray size: Abbr. (LTR.); 9D: Adriatic vacation destination (LIDO); 10D: Coming into view (EMERGENT); 11D: Chicken option (TENDERS); 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET); 13D: Easy (AGREEABLE); 14D: Forest dweller with a cap (TOADSTOOL); 22D: Ref. work (ENC.); 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT); 25D: Sovereign euphemism (ROYAL WE); 29D: 37-Across rentals (VANS); 30D: Like a prime candidate for disillusionment (SHELTERED); 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE); 32D: Mars and Mercury (ROMAN GODS); 33D: Mint family plant (CHIA); 36D: Eleventh-hour panic (COLD FEET); 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA); 39D: String in a preschool class? (THE ABC'S); 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT); 42D: Narrow waterway: Abbr. (STR.); 43D: Fluffy clouds (CUMULI); 46D: Colorful talker (MACAW); 47D: Style, as hair into a bouffant (TEASE); 48D: Crusader's targets (EVILS); 49D: Kierkegaard et al. (DANES); 51D: Butler's estate, for a time (TARA); 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER); 57D: Pewter component (TIN).


Gareth Bain said...

You tried AGUN, I tried ANUN. Don't judge.

Orange said...

If it's an inflamed swelling on the edge of an eyelid, you could be that rare creature: a crossword fan afflicted by a crosswordese STYE.

Longbeachlee said...

Cyan, as a primary color, is unique so I object to cyans. Validation, my spell checker just objected to cyans. I was so sure about this that I had the chicken option as Cordon Bleu and thought the other elements of 33 across were red, orange, yellow, and green.

Margaret said...

Very enjoyable puzzle and an easier than usual Saturday for me, since WATERBALLET dropped into place immediately. Everything flowed pretty well after that except I'd like to whine that "wood used in bows" should have been YEW not ELM, right? I'm sure that Robin Hood had a fine yew bow! I don't care about reality, I get all my facts from books and movies.

PS I laughed out loud at Gareth's comment.

Anonymous said...

It refers to a violin bow

Anonymous said...

55 across! I went for a real stretch and wrote in Dean Martin. I said to myself, yeah, he was swingin' with his songs back in the '60's. Sometimes it is so much fun to be so wrong.

Longbeachlee said...

I saw Esther Williams at the SF Fair, but still took several crosses to let go of swim or aqua. I usually get the geezer stuff right off. Margaret, are you a geezerette?

Steve said...

Couple of missteps that took a while to correct - PROVINCE for "Ulster" and DEADLINE instead of COLDFEET. Serves me right for not confirming with a couple of crosses before jumping in.


Also LOL @ Gareth's comment.

@PG Get well soon! Hope it's just a minor irritation.

Anonymous said...

I started with full figure on first clue then remembered that was jane russell not esther williams
not a good start for me today.

JIMMIE said...

I just bought print cartridges for my HP and two of the primary colors are Cyan and light cyan, hence two CYANS.

Gene said...

@pg puxxle wife also had a "red swekkubg" under her eye. Turned out to be infected eye tooth.....and subsequent root canal and cap. Yikes, another $1600!

Carolanniejoan said...

I have to disagree with "Milne's tyke.". Poo is the bear, not the little boy (tyke); that would be Christopher Robin.

mac said...

Crisp puzzle, enjoyed it a lot!
And then Gareth and Anonymouse 11.41 topped it with their comments, LOL!

I also had trouble seeing Roo as a tyke.

Hope you'll be ok soon, PG.

Margaret said...

@Anon 10:45, thanks, violin bow would never occurred to me in a million years.

@Longbeachlee, I guess I am a geezerette (sigh), but mainly I've always loved old movies (in fact, the Robin Hood I pictured in my comment above was, of course, Errol Flynn and none other!) I think of Esther Williams along with old Busby Berkeley musicals with their crazy patterns as filmed from above.

Anonymous said...

"Roo" is the baby of Kanga, thus the use of the tyke- but still sounds like a human I agree. Pooh is not spelled Poo.
On call today, so I diagnose a STYE too. Warm packs!!

Anonymous said...

I found this one difficult and could not solve without PuzzGirls help!
The west quadrant was all I could muster. A lot of "erasures" (I solve confidently in ink!) Nice...


Rube said...

Found this difficult, but doable without Googles. The eleven that caught my attention was DOLLY VARDEN... I only know that as a species of trout. There's apparently also a band and others, per Google.

Lots of excellent long elevens with very little bad fill. Took quite a while to figure out it was Perry Mason who had a RETAINER. The NE was toughest until CABRIOLET popped out. Best feature: minimal pop culture.

mac said...

@Rube: That's so funny. When I saw the mason clue, I thought it was a wordplay on a retainer wall!!

Anonymous said...

could be allergies i get what looks like a blister under and have seen several doctors over the years and theyall say the same thing

Steve said...

@Carolanniejoan - the answer was "ROO", Kanga's son. Pooh is spelled with an H.