Author: Justin Smith
Theme: Phrases with two animals in them.
- 4d: Elaborate presentations (DOG AND PONY SHOWS).
- 7d: Implausible tale (COCK AND BULL STORY).
- 15d: You might toy with your opponent during it (CAT AND MOUSE GAME).
A pretty straight-forward Monday theme here. No funky wordplay or blank stares trying to figure out what the theme entries have in common. Just a smooth, easy theme with three colorful dual-animal phrases.
- 23a: Cast supporters (SLINGS). Very good clue.
- 47a: Meet, as expectations (LIVE UP TO). Great phrase, which brings to mind a scene from one of my favorite movies, "The Sting", where the guy portraying FBI Agent Polk says to Lt. Snyder, "Sit down and shut up, will ya? Try not to live up to all my expectations." What a great film.
- 67a: Judy Jetson's little brother (ELROY). Gotta love "Jetsons" clues.
- 70a: Poker Hall of Famer Brunson (DOYLE). Kudos for the poker reference, too. His son, Todd, is also a formidable player.
- 17a: Ticket, in slang (DUCAT).
- 22a: Chance to hit (AT BAT). This seems to be showing up a lot lately.
- 25a: Bomber missions (AIR RAIDS).
- 29a: Robotically compliant (STEPFORD). As in "Stepford Wives".
- 37a: Bee Gees surname (GIBB). My sister had that Andy Gibb poster on her wall growing up. I had the Farrah Fawcett one. Wonder which one I should post?
- 42a: Landing place for ships (QUAY).
- 51a: Snobs (HIGH HATS).
- 54a: Results of some botched hit-and-run plays (STEALS). More often than not, though, it results in a guy getting thrown out at second.
- 65a: Football team with a gold helmet (ARMY).
- 3d: Maker of the arcade classic Tempest (ATARI). You don't have to have played this game (though I have) to guess that the answer's going to be ATARI. If you don't remember the game, here's a clip (not the original, but you'll get the idea).
- 24d: L.A. flaw? (SMOG). A weak "L.A. Law" pun.
- 28d: La Salle of "ER" (ERIQ). Let's see, Eriq La Salle hasn't been on "ER" since 2002. Has he done nothing of consequence since then?
- 29d: Villain in "The Lion King" (SCAR).
- 33d: Cavil (CARP).
- 35d: Broadway role for Christopher Plummer (IAGO). From "Othello", not to be confused with 50d: Opera based on a Shakespeare play (OTELLO). That's a tough too much Othello in one puzzle for me.
- 41d: They often wear dark eyeliner (GOTHS). One of the best ever "South Park" episodes is called "Raisins", and features Stan joining the Goths after Wendy dumps him for Token. It's really phenomenal all the way through. Here's a clip near the end of the episode.
- 48d: Art Deco designer (ERTÉ). We've been seeing a lot of him lately, too.
- 56d: King Julien in "Madagascar," e.g. (LEMUR).
Suns of Bitches:
Other than the 15x16 construction, to accommodate the long central theme entry, there's nothing particularly unusual about this puzzle. It's a nice, easy Monday to get your week started.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.