Author: Peter A. Collins
Theme: Phrases that end in European cities
- 18a: John Gotti's nickname, with "the" [United Kingdom] (TEFLON DON).
- 20a: Tiffani-Amber of "Beverly Hills 90210" [Germany] (THIESSEN). Do you realize how hard it is to find a picture of her that's actually appropriate to post? Nice to know people love you for your acting talent.
- 61a: Trattoria apéritifs [France] (CAMPARIS). This seems a little stretchy for a Monday to me.
- 63a: Minnesota city where the first Target store opened [Spain] (ROSEVILLE). Roseville. Minnesota. Really, we're supposed to know this?
- 10d: Villain in "The Incredibles" [Italy] (SYNDROME). I've seen the film, but I couldn't remember the name off the top.
- 40d: Irreligious individuals [Greece] (HEATHENS).
For the most part I like these theme entries, though I'm not convinced they're all Monday fare. Still, the theme was simple enough and the crossings were, for the most part, super-easy. So, no harm no foul, I guess.
I have to do a quick write-up today, as I'm exhausted and need to get to bed.
- 39a: Clint Eastwood TV series (RAWHIDE).
- 41a: Caligula, for one (EMPEROR).
- 7d: Explosive shell thrown by hand (GRENADE).
- 45d: Places of prophecies (ORACLES).
I like the crossing 7s through the center of the puzzle. They're especially interesting if you consider them as phrases: RAWHIDE EMPEROR and GRENADE ORACLES. I don't know, I think Emily Jo Cureton might be getting to me.
- 1a: Fitness regimen based on martial arts (TAE BO).
- 6a: Taj Mahal's home (AGRA). Standard trivia fare.
- 14a: Cartoon character Fudd (ELMER). Get that wascally wabbit!
- 16a: The end of December (YULE).
- 23a: Margarita glass liner (SALT). Personally, I prefer them without salt.
- 44a: New York City divisions, informally (BOROS).
- 48a: Project Patriot org. (DAR). Daughter's of the American Revolution.
- 49a: Ball honoree, for short (DEB). Do debutantes still have balls, or is that a thing of the past. It certainly doesn't happen in my neck of the woods.
- 51a: 1992 John Goodman film (THE BABE). Not to be confused with "Babe". I think John Goodman is a great and underrated actor.
- 58a: Baking potatoes (IDAHOS).
- 65a: Folklore monsters (OGRES). We've been seeing a lot of OGREs lately. How about some ORCS, ENTS, and ELVES to balance things out?
- 2d: With 1-Down, early software trials (ALPHA/TESTS). As a software engineer, I appreciate these entries.
- 3d: Letter that might include an emoticon (EMAIL).
- 4d: Tête toppers (BERETS).
- 5d: Bauxite and cinnabar, e.g. (ORES).
- 8d: WWII fliers (RAF). Royal Air Force.
- 9d: Tips of shoelaces (AGLETS). Another common vocabulary trivia.
- 21d: Word with green or house (SALAD).
- 25d: Puzzling problem (POSER). I like the word POSER, even though it kind of sounds made up.
- 30d: "Doctor Zhivago" heroine (LARA).
- 31d: Activewear brand (IZOD).
- 32d: In-group outcast (NERD). Yeah, but what if nerds are the in-group? I don't actually like the word "outcast" here. Nerds are not necessarily outcasts. It depends on how shallow the "in crowd" happens to be.
- 35d: Fly-by-nighters? (OWLS). Cute clue.
- 37d: Skewered dish (KEBAB). One of several possible spellings for this word.
- 50d: Snoopy's breed (BEAGLE).
- 52d: ___ lane (where carpoolers drive) (HOV). High-occupancy vehicles.
- 53d: Boxers Max and Buddy (BAERS).
- 55d: Product whose business is in the pits? (ARRID). Okay, that's clever, though not particularly appealing.
- 58d: 1963 movie role for Shirley (IRMA La Douce).
- 59d: Make dead meat (DOOM). Couldn't get a first-person-shooter video game clue here, huh?
- 62d: Magic show sound (POOF). You gotta love POOF. If I had a list of favorite onomatopoeic words, POOF would definitely be on it.
Suns of Bitches:
- 26a: "Magic Tree House" book series illustrator Murdocca (SAL). Didn't know this one.
- 29a: Six-time Pro Bowl center Kreutz (OLIN). I suppose I should know this, but somehow, I don't recall ever hearing the name.
- 57d: Jumeirah ___ House (hotel on Central Park South) (ESSEX). Reasonable guess after a few crossings.
Overall, a decent Monday, with more-difficult-than-usual theme entries balanced by generally really easy fill.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.