Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Title: You've Got Male
Author: Donna S. Levin
Theme: Phrases that end in a nickname for a male animal

  • 17a: Voyeur (PEEPING TOM). A TOM is a male cat or turkey.

  • 23a: Bitten ear (CORN ON THE COB). A COB is a male swan.

  • 29a: Shift responsibility to someone else (PASS THE BUCK).

  • 44a: "Check it out" (TAKE A GANDER). Male goose.

  • 49a: Device used by police at the start of a raid (BATTERING RAM). In "The Lord of the Rings", they even name their battering rams. This one's "Grond".

  • 61a: It lost out to "Ordinary People" for Best Picture (RAGING BULL). I love De Niro and I own this film, but I've got to say it's just not one of my favorites.

The rest:
  • 6a: General Bradley (OMAR). I'm not big on first names at all, but I knew this one right off the top, so it must be pretty easy.

  • 14a: Tennis court part (ALLEY). The part that's in in doubles, but not singles.

  • 15a: Singer with the 2008 album "New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)" (Erykah BADU).

  • 20a: Word in two American League team names (SOX). Red and White. I don't want to talk about it right now, thanks.

  • 21a: ___ and terminer (high criminal court) (OYER). I had no idea what this was. It's from the French for "to hear and determine".

  • 33a: Some men's mags (GQS). Is there more than one? Is this like multiple issues, as in "I've got several GQs on the coffee table"? I suppose, but it sounds a little forced.

  • 39a: Rented property (LEASE HOLD).

  • 42a: Charles Lamb's pseudonym (ELIA). Classic crossword fare. If you didn't know it off the top, remember it. It will show up again (and again).

  • 47a: Yellowfin tuna (AHI). Common sushi ingredient.

  • 55a: Title boy in a Menotti opera (AMAHL).

  • 57a: "To Wong ___, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (FOO). A movie that features Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze crossdressing. What else is there to say?

  • 64a: "Street Signs" host Burnett (ERIN). Didn't know this one.

  • 66a: Radiated, as charm (OOZED). Great word, though usually it's more negative, as in oozing sleaziness.

  • 68a: ___ croisés (French crossword) (MOTS). Well, it's French for words, so it makes sense.

  • 69a: Chuckleheads (BOZOS). Both great words.

  • 2d: Poodle in "Clifford" books (CLEO). Cleo has shown up before, fairly recently.

  • 3d: Detective Cross in James Patterson novels (ALEX).

  • 6d: Doc specializing in womb service? (OB-GYN). Womb service is so bad it's good. How can you not laugh?

  • 9d: Cuba libre ingredient (RUM).

  • 10d: Peeved (IN A PET). Kind of a bestialic expression, but it does seem to be a favorite fill in crosswords.

  • 12d: Sister of Polyhymnia (ERATO). Both muses.

  • 13d: Relaxed and easygoing (TYPE B).

  • 27d: SAT component (ESSAY). This is fairly recent, as SATs never used to involve essays.

  • 30d: Furry creature in "Return of the Jedi" (EWOK). Gimme.

  • 40d: Aunt of John-John (ETHEL). Kennedy trivia.

  • 41d: "Frank Mills" musical (HAIR).

  • 45d: Bridge contemporary of Sheinwold (GOREN). Kudos for the bridge clue. I'm continually surprised that there isn't more crossover between crossword puzzles and bridge. I love them both.

  • 46d: Computer language named after Lord Byron's daughter (ADA). I knew this right off. After all, there aren't that many 3-letter computer languages. But I'm guessing many will be baffled by this.

  • 51d: She played Adrian in the "Rocky" films (TALIA Shire).

  • 52d: Where Sarah Palin was born (IDAHO).

  • 53d: Persistently trouble (NAG AT).

  • 54d: Southern side (GRITS). Cute clue.

  • 57d: Ziggy's dog (FUZZ). Didn't know this, but it's a reasonable answer. There seems to be a comic dog mini-theme running here.

  • 58d: ___ strut (landing gear shock absorber) (OLEO). I've never heard of an oleo strut. This strikes me as deliberately obscure.

  • 63d: Hiccup-stopping shout, maybe (BOO). Supposedly, a scare will cure hiccups. For me, it's drinking a glass of water with both ears firmly plugged, which requires either a straw or someone to help.

All in all, I thought this was very pleasant Wednesday. Not too difficult, and not many real sizzler entries, but a decent six-theme-entry puzzle and not too much chaff in a solid 15x16 puzzle.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Anonymous said...

Hey Pete,

I meant to chime in recently: nice job on the NYT puzzle!

While I'm here though, a nice Sun today. As usual, I liked the straightforward-though-potentially-nettlesome fill clues like [Southern side] for GRITS, slightly unusual fill like AHI, EWOK, FOO & BADU (all of which I prefer to the ELIs & ENOSs of the world) and the re-working of standbys like ELIA & MOTS with fairly fresh references vs. ___ Kazan & Bon ___.

Tony O.

Jim Finder said...

OLEO strut? Combine that with a character from a comic strip (FUZZ) and the SE became pretty sad today.