Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thursday, October 9th 2008

Hello everybody, it's Robert Loy AKA Norrin2 AKA Green Genius, adding another alias; from now on I'm also the Man Who is Thursday. That is to say, I'll be blogging the Thursday Sun puzzles here until Pete M. comes to his senses and fires me.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Title: Themeless Thursday
Author: Mark Feldman
Theme: None -- well, like most themeless puzzles, there is at least one mini-theme. Here I guess it's rough weather:

20A: 1973 Burt Reynolds movie (WHITE LIGHTNING)

55A: 1977 Tommy Lee Jones movie (ROLLING THUNDER)

Or maybe the theme is "1970's movies named after rough weather." I never saw "Rolling Thunder" (and when I hear the words "Rolling Thunder" I think of Bob Dylan not Tommy Lee Jones) but "White Lightning" was awful. (I confess it's possible that I'm confusing it with some of the other movies Reynolds made around the same time -- "Gator" "Hooper" "W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings" but it doesn't matter; they were all awful. Comedian Robert Wuhl said that "Burt Reynolds made so many bad movies, when someone else makes a bad movie Burt gets a royalty. My favorite "At Long Last Love" was so horrendous that writer/director Peter Bogdanivich took out a letter of apology in newspapers across the country.

In just a couple of days one of the biggest days at the Green Genius household will be upon us -- the great annual Public Library Book Sale. I still need to get in there and update my have it-want it list, but I'm going to try to give this puzzle the attention it deserves. Which, I gotta tell you, is not a lot. I was underwhelmed by this too-easy-for-a-Thursday-Sun puzzle. I only messed up two words. For 54D: Wharves I had PIERS (and then DOCKS) instead of QUAYS, which messed me up on 61A: Glimpse where I had PEEK (when I thought it crossed with DOCKS) instead of ESPY.

Sunny Spots: Honestly, not a lot, as I said. When I look over a puzzle and see, like this one, not one single clue with a question mark (which, of course, indicates wordplay of one kind or another) I know it's not going to be my cup of oolong. That said, there were some mildly clever clues.

1A: Pool need (CUE)

1D: Moves slowly (CRAWLS) not a great clue or answer, but part of another mini-theme as this same clue could refer to CREEPS at 63A (Feeling of disgust, with "the")
58D: Parenthesis, e.g. (ARC) at least an attempt to clue the ubiquitout ARC differently.


Not sharp, briefly (LORES). Yeah, I guess LO-RES is not that sharp, and I must confess I've become something of an HD snob since we got our new TV, but it bugs me now when I download a TV show on I-Tunes I'm forced to download both the HD and the Lo-res versions even though the HD version won't play on my Ipod.

27A: Chopsticks, e.g. (WALTZ) Technically it does have the three beats to the measure, accent on the first beat that makes a waltz, but most people think of a waltz as more elegant than "Chopsticks". Burt Reynolds and Cybil Shepard waltzed in "At Long Last Love" but you'll have to take my word for it since it's never been released on home video in any format. (Bad movie, yall, really.)

57D:Give a shot to (HYPO) Here's another example of why I didn't care much for this puzzle. If they had just left it at "Give a shot" it might be momentarily misleading, sugestive of a stab or an attempt. But "Give a shot to" (4 letters) what else could it be?

38D: Copacati Worshipper (INCAN) Copacati was the goddess of Lake Titicaca and, perhaps because she was sick and tired of people making fun of her lake's name, she was foul-tempered and violent and liked nothing more than razing other gods' temples to the ground.

Speaking of mini-themes, how about this boxing one: 28D: "Rumble in the Jungle" setting (ZAIRE) and 31D: One-two's one (JAB)

7D: Very large numbers (GOOGOLS) That's how you spell the number that is represented by a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Yes, the web search people spelled it wrong.

Suns of Bitches:
39A: Digestive enzymes (LIPASES) Somehow I've managed to live a half century without ever coming across this ugly word that looks like two body parts that should never meet.

That's really alll I see noteworthy. Wish me luck at the book sale.

Thanks for listening.


1 comment:

Pete M said...

I tend to agree. Besides the mini-theme fill, which was okay, I judge a themeless mostly by the pizzazz of the other long fill. RAYGUNS and AIRTAXI are decent. KNEEBEND and SEACREST are okay. The others, ASPIRE TO, LAY ASIDE, ITERATE, AGONIZES, DIAGNOSE, INFORMER, RESPONSE, LIPASES... these are definitely on the dull side of average. It's only a 'V' short of being a pangram, which serves as a great example of why that's an overrated feature -- letters in and of themselves do not make a great puzzle. You have to use them to make great words and phrases.