Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Title: Sleeping In
Author: Tony Orbach
Theme: Adding ZZ to phrases.

  • Blame it on Rio => BLAME IT ON RIZZO (19a: What you might do if you get a dent from someone who slaps your car's hood while crossing the street?). I didn't get this "Midnight Cowboy" reference right away. I need to watch it again.

  • Jaywalking => JAZZY WALKING (24a: Cat's means of getting around?). Not your pet cat, but a hep cat. Hey, I DIG! (13a: "Yeah, man!").

  • DIY Network => DIZZY NETWORK (47a: Vertiginous association?).

  • Freedom fries => FREEDOM FRIZZES (55a: Curly hairstyles that aren't oppressed?). Are "freedom fries" going to stand the test of time? Man, I hope not. It's such a blot on our nation's sensibilities.

This is a very cool theme, with the added benefit of getting lots of Zs into the puzzle.

Sunny Spots:
  • 1a: Going places? (LAVS). Nothing like a little potty humor in the 1A position. My first thought was LOOS -- right mindset, wrong execution.

  • 9d: George Herriman comic strip (KRAZY KAT). Didn't know this based on the author, but it was easy enough to fill in.

  • 5a: "Stiff Upper Lip" band (AC/DC).

  • 9a: Entrepreneur who wrote the autobiography "Grinding It Out" (Ray KROC).

  • 14a: Zinger (QUIP).

  • 17a: Caterer's dispensers (URNS). TINS, PANS, CANS, URNS, VANS, ... lots of choices here.

  • 22a: Grayish yellow (FLAX).

  • 31a: West ___ (Williams-Sonoma subsidiary) (ELM). My first instinct here was END, but that wasn't working out.

  • 34a: Challenge in Games (MAZE).

  • 35a: Where lavalavas are worn (SAMOA).

  • 38a: Winter Palace residents (CZARS). Early-week, it's probably TSARS.

  • 51a: Fen-___ (PHEN). The daily drug reference, this one a weight-loss pharmaceutical whose maker has been sued for causing heart problems.

  • 52a: Red River's county (TAOS).

  • 61a: Second baseman Bobby whose #1 was retired by the Red Sox (DOERR). Before my time, but as a Red Sox fan, I certainly know the name.

  • 64a: Constellation next to Cepheus (DRACO).

  • 68a: Like a hunk (SEXY).

  • 2d: Architect Loos (ADOLF). I've probably seen this in puzzles before, as it seemed vaguely familiar.

  • 5d: "___ se habla espaƱol" (AQUI).

  • 10d: Hi Ho lookalike (RITZ).

  • 12d: '70s All-Star Ron (CEY).

  • 15d: Investment options, for short (T-BILLS).

  • 20d: Class struggle? (EXAM).

  • 26d: Alphabetically last entry in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (ZZZ).

  • 29d: Game in which a pitcher doesn't allow any knocks (NO-NO). A no-hitter, in baseball.

  • 37d: Sahaptin speakers (NEZ PERCE). This one I had a hard time filling in, as I was trying to parse it as one word.

  • 43d: Cry from a damsel out of distress? (MY HERO).

  • 48d: "Groundhog Day" nudnik Ryerson (NED). Pretty obscure if you've never seen the film, or only saw it a long time ago. I, however, got it instantly. What does that say about me?

  • 49d: Mushrooms also known as velvet stems (ENOKIS).

  • 50d: Mirlitons (KAZOOS). Really rough clue, but nice fill.

  • 53d: Former Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor (Seiji OZAWA). This was a gimme for me, but I can imagine it might have been a tough fill for some.

  • 57d: Cinderella's horses, after midnight (MICE). Great clue.

  • 58d: Shampoo brand (FLEX).

Suns of Bitches:
  • 16a: ___ Haven (neighborhood in the Bronx) (MOTT). Here's hoping that the transition from New York-centric publication to on-line subscription will reduce the blatant New York bias of clues like this one.

  • 44a: "A Little Princess" title character Crewe (SARA).

  • 8d: "Strangers and Brothers" author (C.P. SNOW).

  • 11d: Lyricist Harbach (OTTO). Again, names kill me.

  • 25d: Efron of "High School Musical" (ZAC).

  • 33d: Capital of France's Moselle department (METZ).

This was a tough puzzle for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Lots of names I didn't know, but nothing I couldn't figure out. Slow, but never stalled. Plenty of scrabbly fill. Some standout clues. Just what I want in a later-week puzzle.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


ArtLvr said...

I got this puzzle, not sure how. I understand the JAYWALKING but not the other theme answers!

Pete, if you'll let me know your address, I'll send a check for $12. I can't use paypal -- my account there has been messed up for ages... Thanks.

ArtLvr911 at the aol location

Joon said...

i also had LOOS for 1A and i stuck with it long past the point where i noticed that 2D was [Architect Loos]. whoops. the whole N/NW region was very tough for me, and i went a long way before i put a single answer into the grid (URNS, as it turns out). that's very rare for me. after that rough start, though, it actually shook out relatively quickly. that kind of surprised me because i've never heard of BLAMEITONRIO or DIYNETWORK. i did know the RIZZO reference, though, which i guess is more important... and once all those Zs started showing up, it wasn't hard to guess from the title what the theme was.

ZZZ is in the OSPD, yes, but you'd never actually play it. it would be a terrible, terrible waste of a Z and both blanks. on the other hand, there is one word in the OSPD which you actually could never play at all: PIZZAZZ. i think the least likely to occur (but still possible) word in the OSPD is ZYZZYVA.

Austin said...

Only theme I could not parse was DIZZYNETWORK. Couldn't think of a 3-letter word ending in -IY, plus I had ONOKIS instead of ENOKIS.

Had no idea what or who NEZPERCE is or was.

Other than those, I was somehow able to stumble my way through the rest of the puzzle. Definitely a good mind-warper for a Thursday.

Austin said...

Also I'm very angry my work blocks cruciverb, so I'm going to have to remember to print (and waste my ink) at home before work.

Unless anyone knows of a website that will be hosting the puzzles?

ruy said...

Yeah, this was an interesting puzzle, even apart from being a pangram. Most of the time I'm able to start in one area and just fill in from there, but this one required me to seed many different sections and let them grow together.

Fortunately, the easy clues were well-scattered. AQUI/URNS, KRAZY KAT, ESTD, IMAC, KILO/MICE, DOERR, and OZAWA all fell quickly for me and gave me enough to build on, and FREEDOM FRIZZES pointed me to the theme pretty quickly. Still, this was far from a fast solve.