Author: Mark Feldman
Theme: Phrases describe men and end in things made from dough.
- 18a: Clever doughboy? (SMART COOKIE).
- 27a: Macho doughboy? (STUD MUFFIN).
- 48a: Doughboy, to his main squeeze? (SWEETIE PIE).
- 60a: Wimpy doughboy? (MILQUETOAST).
I like this theme, even though it feels flawed. Which of these things does not belong: cookie, pie, muffin, toast? Toast just seems a little off, in that it's not sweet like the other three and in that you don't make it directly from dough -- you make bread first, and then slice it and toast it. But I'm willing to overlook this. Why? Because MILQUETOAST is just such a great entry, that's why. It would be a shame not to use it.
- 1a: Bridge designer's deg. (DDS). Dental bridge, that is.
- 4a: Thailand currency (BAHT). I knew this one right off. Probably from puzzles.
- 16a: Simple house (A-FRAME).
- 17a: Not irr. (STD). I started with ORD (for Ordinary). Don't know why.
- 20a: Golden brew? (COORS). Got this one right away, too. Coors, as you probably know if you've seen their hundreds of commercials, is brewed in Golden, Colorado.
- 22a: Oscar-nominated actor in "The Crying Game" (REA). A crossword staple.
- 23a: Makes the first bet (OPENS). Love the poker terms.
- 24a: Oenophile's adjective (OAKY). Wine lovers. You will see OENO- in later-week puzzles, so keep it in mind if you don't know it.
- 32a: Hardtop convertible from Volkswagen (EOS).
- 36a: Gung-ho (RAH-RAH).
- 53a: Platte River tribe (OTOE).
- 56a: Radius neighbor (ULNA). I broke them both as a teenager, so I'll always remember this one.
- 59a: One in the majority? (ADULT). Good clue.
- 64a: Wannabe intellectuals (PSEUDS). I've never heard of this as a noun, but it makes sense.
- 1d: Dance halls (DISCOS).
- 2d: Perform perfectly (DO TO A T). Four "words" in six letters can really throw you for a loop. It took me a while to figure out what was going on here.
- 3d: Crossword alternative (SUDOKU). You know when you clue this that it's going to raise the ire of crossword fans all over, don't you? Sure, there are similarities, but "alternative" implies a sort of "one is as good as the other"-ness that just doesn't sit well. I don't know many people who sit down and say, "Gee, I really feel like doing a crossword, but hey, here's a sudoku. I guess I'll do that instead." To me it's like cluing fish as a chocolate alternative. Sure, they're both food, but when you're in the mood for one, the other one is just not going to cut it.
- 4d: Big enchilada (BOSS). Also the climactic opponent of many a video game.
- 7d: Detached, as a sheet from a notepad (TORE OFF). I had TORE OUT to start, which slowed me down.
- 12d: Fame (EMINENCE).
- 19d: Language related to Malayalam (TAMIL).
- 21d: Gere's "Autumn in New York" costar (Winona RYDER).
- 25d: Hedgerow makeup (BUSHES). Can you guess the song I'm going to link to here?
- 34d: Surfing option (WIFI). Web surfing, of course.
- 36d: Co. in "The Farnsworth Invention" (RCA). I never even saw this clue. Good thing.
- 37d: Firebug (ARSONIST).
- 38d: Certain innkeeper (HOSTELER).
- 40d: Wizard of id (FREUD). Yeah, okay.
- 44d: Certain red algae (SEA MOSS).
- 47d: Twisting force (TORQUE).
- 50d: Stuff completely (PLUG UP).
- 54d: Piano player's practice piece (ETUDE). Here's Sviatoslav Richter playing a Chopin étude. It's more than just a practice piece.
Suns of Bitches:
- 8d: Little ___ (protagonist of the video game Punch-Out!!) (MAC). Never heard of it. Got it from the crossings.
- 62d: Fu Manchu creator Rohmer (SAX).
I've got to admit, this puzzle did not fall like a typical Tuesday for me. I was not on the same wavelength for many of the clues and sections, so it solved in time and manner much more like a later-week puzzle. Which is not a complaint, since I prefer a bit of a challenge -- just an observation.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.