Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Title: There Goes the Picnic
Author: Lee Glickstein
Theme: Inserting ANT and RAIN into phrases
    Cow pies => COW PANTIES (
  • 17a: Underwear for Elsie?).

  • Ted Knight => TRAINED KNIGHT (23a: Well-schooled jouster?).

  • Bah Humbug => BAHRAIN HUMBUG (53a: Nonsense from Manama?).

  • Con game => CANTON GAME (63a: Mah-jongg, e.g.?). Canton, China. Not a subdivision of Switzerland.

Sorry I'm late on this one, but was just exhausted last night and didn't even have the energy to look at the puzzle, never mind blog it. But I'm here now, so here we go.

The theme is strange in that ANT and RAIN are each used twice. I would have expected either the same insert four times or else four different reasons for spoiling a picnic. But let's face it -- cow pies to cow panties makes up for it in one gorgeous entry.

Sunny Spots:

  • 3d: Erma Bombeck column (AT WIT'S END).

  • 7d: Affirmative response (QUITE SO). Jolly good.

  • 34d: Unwanted lawn growth (CRAB GRASS).


  • 16a: Paul in the Songwriters Hall of Fame (ANKA). I'm guessing there are others: McCartney and Simon both come to mind. If I remember my trivia, Paul Anka wrote the "Tonight Show" theme song.

  • 19a: Slangy snag (PROB). No prob here.

  • 22a: Present announcement? (IT IS I). Cute clue for a common entry.

  • 29a: Space explorers' wear (G-SUITS).

  • 33a: 564% of CCL (MCDX). Complain if you want, but I much prefer Roman numeral math to obscure year-of-the-pope clues. And this is another that's not hard to do in your head. 564% of 250 = 250% of 564 = 25% of 5640 = 1410.

  • 37a: Dog star's first name? (RIN). Rin Tin Tin. Easy.

  • 47a: Where the Rapidz play baseball (OTTAWA).

  • 49a: Sacred beetle (SCARAB).

  • 52a: Roy Rogers rival (ARBY'S).

  • 58a: First woman to land a triple axel in competition (Midori ITO).

  • 67a: "Milo's Hat Trick" author Jon (AGEE).

  • 68a: Frankincense, e.g. (RESIN).

  • 2d: Space ape of 1961 (ENOS).

  • 5d: No. for Maine (ERA). I'm guessing Maine is a baseball pitcher.

  • 12d: Teensy bit (SKOSH).

  • 18d: Abbr. for someone with only two names (NMI). No middle initial.

  • 28d: It has a five-sided flag (OHIO).

  • 46d: Lei women (WAHINES).

  • 54d: Blessing precursor (ACHOO).

  • 55d: Fence (HEM IN).

  • 56d: Lea low (MOO). Very good.

  • 65d: Piece-keeping gp. (NRA). Excellent clue.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 69a: Singer Childs (TONI). I've probably seen this name before in puzzles, but it never rings a bell. here's a sample.

All in all, this felt a touch easier than yesterday. As for enjoyment, you had me at cow panties.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

yes, john maine, of the mets. currently injured.

Alex said...

MCDX seems to be a tricky one to clue. It doesn't look like it's possible to do it without repeating one of its letters; hence "C" appears in the clue. I guess you could do [28,200% of V] if you were desperate.