Author: Patrick Berry
I tried to do this puzzle quickly the other night before bed, which probably accounts for some of my frustration. I'm not a good enough solver that I should expect to be able to polish off a Weekend Warrior in one quick sitting, and sure enough, I wasn't. When I finished, I must admit I was not enamored of the puzzle, but again, perhaps circumstances played a part. Now that I'm more awake and less judgemental, let's take a gander and see what we've got.
- 29a: Dawdles (MOSEYS ALONG). Wonderful phrase.
- 33a: Cash in one's chips (BITE THE DUST). I had poker on the brain for a little too long on this one, but I love the answer.
- 51a: Last line of "Star Trek: First Contact" (MAKE IT SO). Catch phrase of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
- 7d: Part that matters (BUSINESS END). Wonderful!
- 23d: Request for permission (BY YOUR LEAVE).
- 36d: Perennial cellar dweller (DOORMAT). [insert team name here].
- 38d: Sports for the fit? (TRIES ON). This clue is just fiendishly clever. Sporting an outfit to determine if it fits. Awesome.
- 1a: Who's-eating-what chains (FOOD WEBS). I had no idea what this meant when I was solving, and I ended up convinced it was a chain of food stores or restaurants that I'd never heard of. Upon further research, I find that a food web is a more complicated version of a food chain. I'm not crazy about the who's-eating-what -- it seems to me it should be who's-eating-who or what's-eating-what -- but that's a minor complaint considering I'd never heard of the answer.
- 15a: Joined (IN LEAGUE). Not a past tense verb at all. Very tricky.
- 16a: Impeach (ACCUSE).
- 18a: "Cat's in the Cradle" singer (CHAPIN). One of the few fills I knew off the top. Great song.
- 19a: Literary periods? (ELLIPSIS). Clever.
- 20a: West German chancellor Adenauer (KONRAD). This one I should have gotten more quickly.
- 22a: His ___ (mock-formal title) (NIBS). I don't know where I've heard this, but I have. Perhaps in puzzles.
- 24a: First name in '50s TV (DESI). LUCY would be too easy for a Weekend Warrior.
- 25a: Wife of Richard III (ANNE). My history is weak, but there certainly are a lot of ANNES out there.
- 27a: Orioles catcher Hernández (RAMON).
- 32a: It might come from the lips of someone who's all thumbs (OOPS). Fun clue for an easy fill.
- 40a: "___ After the Show" (former Oxygen program) (OPRAH).
- 50a: Duffel with a drawstring (SEABAG).
- 52a: Tennis player Sanchez who was the #1 doubles player in 1989 (EMILIO).
- 55a: Fairly long odds (TEN-TO-ONE).
- 1d: Person who puts out? (FIREMAN). A real stretch for some sexual innuendo. There's a difference between putting out and putting (something) out.
- 3d: Conservative (OLDLINE).
- 5d: Takes a bow? (WARPS). When something warps, it often ends up bow-shaped instead of straight.
- 9d: Ball game (JACKS).
- 11d: Many politicians weather them (SCANDALS).
- 12d: Person in charge, in British slang (SUPREMO). Hadn't heard the term, but it's logical.
- 13d: Quarterback who wrote the novel "Toss" (ESIASON). ERIE rule. If it says quarterback, try ESIASON first.
- 14d: Activity that's not without interest (LENDING). Good clue.
- 26d: "Indignation" author (Philip ROTH). I haven't read Philip Roth, and I'm not sure why. Just haven't gotten there yet.
- 29d: Field for Fields (MATH). The Fields Medal is a mathematics award mentioned several times in "Good Will Hunting".
- 31d: Like things that might fly (FEASIBLE).
- 34d: Affluent Rio neighborhood (IPANEMA). This was my foothold into the SW corner.
- 39d: "___ Fisher" (Denzel Washington's directorial debut) (ANTWONE). I thought I knew this right away, but I misspelled it ANTOINE.
- 42d: Schwarzenegger's "Twins" costar (DEVITO). One of the silliest, but funny, premises in modern film.
- 45d: Crack (GREAT). As in a crack shot.
- 47d: All alternative (GAIN). Laundry detergents.
- 49d: Like sissies? (AKIN). Sissies = sisters. Gack.
Suns of Bitches:
- 9a: Comic actor George who was nicknamed "Toastmaster General of the United States" (JESSEL). Who? Let's see... oh, he's an actor who was born in 1898. Not my wheelhouse.
- 41a: Brenda Maddox book about James Joyce's wife (NORA).
- 42a: Actress who played Katherine Harris in "Recount" (DERN). I'm assuming this is Laura Dern, who I at least know, if not from this clue.
- 8d: Attached by its base, as a plant (SESSILE). You know how sometimes you need a crappy word because it's got a lot of esses and vowels? This is one of those.
- 30d: Ivette of Eden's Crush (SOSA). OMG! A SOSA clue that doesn't involve baseball! Unfortunately, to do so requires reference to one of the members of a flash-in-the-pan girl band from the TV show "Popstars".
- 33d: White-flowered plant named for its supposed healing properties (BONESET). News to me.
- 35d: It keeps a vessel windward in a storm (TRYSAIL). I got the SAIL part pretty easily, but didn't know the rest. And I like sailing.
- 37d: ___ principii (begging the question) (PETITIO). Whatever.
So, upon further review, I must say that this puzzle would have been a bitch to solve, even if I hadn't been tired and grouchy. But there's also a ton of really great fill and phenomenal clues. Since Weekend Warriors are supposed to be hard, that means the good wins out -- nice puzzle.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.