Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Title: Themeless Thursday
Author: Jeffrey Harris
Theme: None

Sunny Spots:

  • 1a: Go-go gadget? (DISCO BALL). A great clue and awesome fill at 1-Across.

  • 17a: Pu pu platter portion (SPARE RIBS). Mmmm... spare ribs.

  • 43a: "14 Shades of Grey" group (STAIND). I saw these guys live a few years back. Very good. Here's the song you'll know, if you've heard them before. Or the following, which is my favorite:

  • 8d: Drives in the back seat of a car? (LIBIDOS). This was hands down my favorite clue/answer pair in the puzzle. Inspired!

  • 35d: Song with the repeated lyric "Mr. Mojo risin'" (L.A. WOMAN). I like the Doors. Always have. Plus, for you puzzlers out there, "Mr. Mojo Risin'" is an anagram of "Jim Morrison".

  • 18a: Hotel founder Ritz (CESAR). I didn't know this, but thankfully it's a normal-enough name.

  • 19a: Signal to start speaking, perhaps (TONE). At the tone, please leave a message...

  • 20a: Wryly incredulous query (IS THAT SO?).

  • 22a: Woodworking tools (AWLS). I generally think of awls more in terms of leatherworking, but I guess they're used for wood as well.

  • 25a: Murrelet relative (AUK). I had the _UK before I even read this clue, so it wasn't a big stretch to figure out.

  • 26a: Two points, maybe (FEE). Points here as in percentages, as when closing a mortgage.

  • 27a: Gambol (CAVORT). Both excellent words.

  • 29a: After-dinner mints, e.g. (FREEBIES).

  • 31a: Go off the edge of the page (BLEED). Thank you for choosing a clue that passes the "breakfast test".

  • 32a: British logician famous for his diagrams (VENN). Gimme for a former math major. Venn diagrams are those overlapping circles that describe the unions and intersections of sets.

  • 35a: Swain (LOVER). Classic old-style fill.

  • 38a: Taiwan's setting (CHINA SEA). Gimme.

  • 45a: Farceur (WAG).

  • 46a: Runner-up to Sorenstam at the 2005 LPGA Championship (Michelle WIE). I didn't even see this clue, but it's a name you should know. At 18 years of age, she's already been a pro for three years and is absolutely phenomenal. Her attempts to compete with the men have not been particularly successful to date, but I wouldn't bet against her in the long run. She's a superstar.

  • 47a: Mnemonic of film (JOHNNY). Keanu Reeves film, a few years before the much more successful "Matrix" series.

  • 48a: Green Al (GORE). Bet you don't often think of Al Gore and Al Green at the same time, do you? I know I don't.

  • 49a: Precisely (ON THE DOT).

  • 52a: Painter of "The Absinthe Drinker" (MANET). I put in M_NET and waited for the crossing. Never can keep those two straight.

  • 53a: Neighbor of Greece (MACEDONIA).

  • 58a: 2007 film with the tagline "You can only imagine the truth" (ATONEMENT). I still haven't seen this. Need to.

  • 59a: New pet owner, perhaps (NAMER). This is such a horrendous fill, and yet I knew immediately - with no crossings - what the answer was going to be. I'm not proud.

  • 60a: Woods's chipper (SAND WEDGE). I've bitched about the difference between chipping and pitching before. I reiterate my stand.

  • 1d: Attachment on a spinning wheel (DISTAFF).

  • 2d: Like current heads of state (IN POWER).

  • 3d: He was credited as Man Dodging Debris in "Spider-Man 2" (STAN LEE). The original creator of Spiderman. Cool trivia.

  • 4d: The asteroid belt's largest body (CERES). I must have heard this recently, because I knew it right away.

  • 6d: Word after "Don't pass" and "Don't come" on a craps table (BAR).

  • 7d: Slugger from Louisville (ALI). Cute, but easy.

  • 21d: C-4 alternative (TNT).

  • 27d: "Convoy" narrator, e.g. (CBER). You wanted to forget this C.W. McCall song forever, didn't you? Well then, don't click on this link then.

  • 28d: Dancer Koklova who was Pablo Picasso's first wife (OLGA). I had the OL__ before I even saw this clue, so it was pretty obvious.

  • 30d: Like all known perfect numbers (EVEN). If you don't know what these are, you probably don't care. But here's a link just in case. Warning: It's mathy. But you knew that.

  • 31d: Asia, e.g. (BAND). Speaking of songs you'd just as soon forget, how about "Heat of the Moment"?

  • 33d: Body part protected by a greave (SHIN).

  • 36d: The largest of the Ryukyu Islands (OKINAWA).

  • 37d: Setting for part of "Forrest Gump" (VIETNAM).

  • 38d: Bach specialty (CANTATA).

  • 40d: "Girl With a Pearl ___" (Vermeer painting) (EARRING).

  • 41d: Contemporary (AGEMATE). I've never heard of this word, but it made complete sense once I filled in the missing G.

  • 48d: Pink flamingo alternative (GNOME). If you like tacky garden accessories, why settle for alternatives? Go for both, and add a color ball as well.

  • 50d: First word of the theme song to "The Monkees" (HERE). "Here we come!"

Suns of Bitches:

  • 9d: "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" star (LASSER). Not a name I recognize.

I thought this puzzle had pretty nice fill, but I must admit I found it a bit easier than expected for a Themeless Thursday. Still, it evoked many pictures and links, which is a plus for blogging. So, we'll give it a general thumbs up.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Jim in NYC said...

great clips, specially The Monkees. Oh yeah, "we're the new generation and we've got somethin' to say." And still we're dealing with people like Mc**** wanting the Presidency. Problem is, people who want real freedom aren't much into gaining real power.

embien said...

Michelle Wie may be a superstar, but she's had her problems of late. In fact, she has fallen so far that she recently had to go through LPGA Q-school in an attempt to rejoin the tour (she qualified for the Q-school finals which I think is in December, though she didn't win the preliminary round).