Author: Doug Peterson
I definitely was not as NIMBLE (9a: Quick-witted) today as I felt I should have been. There were several clues that, in retrospect, should not have perplexed me nearly to the level they did.
- 1a: Cartoon character with his own club (BAMM-BAMM). I did not realize this name had double Ms in it. But I was pretty sure of the answer, so it was the only thing that made sense.
- 15a: Colorful broadsheet (USA TODAY). For some reason, broadsheet was not registering as a word I knew. Now it seems so obvious.
- 16a: Flipped over (ADORED). Decent misdirection here.
- 17a: Side neighbor (MAIN DISH). This is one of those that I felt I should have figured out sooner, but I was hung up on anatomy (some might say that's not a surprise). A definite "Doh!"
- 18a: Checking out? (MATING). This clue threw me. If people mated with everyone they checked out, then the world population problem would be even worse than it is. I finally realized it was chess reference (checking the player in such a way that they are out of the game), but I can't say I'm crazy about it.
- 20a: Union demands (DUES). Good clue. Makes you think it's some strike-related demand for better wages or benefits.
- 22a: Angry outburst (HISSY). Love the word HISSY. Excellent!
- 23a: Raider of note (LARA CROFT). I am truly ashamed at how long I went without realizing where this one was going. I'd say I have too much football on the brain, except it took a while for 37a: Busy time for bookmakers (SUPERBOWL SUNDAY) to click in.
- 25a: Fills a chamber, in a way (ECHOES). Cute.
- 29a: Bush beast, briefly (ROO). Nothing political here.
- 33a: "Major ___" (1995 Damon Wayans film) (PAYNE). I'm pretty sure I didn't see this one. If I did, I've blocked it from my memory.
- 34a: Attendance sheet letters (MTWTF). Hmmph. Erf. Eh.
- 41a: Draped duds (SARIS). Went for TOGAS first; changed it to SARIS when it seemed clear that 23d: Untoward expressions (LEERS) ended in S. Do sororities ever have Sari Parties?
- 42a: Wig out (GO APE). Both evocative phrases, though most of the apes I've seen live have been pretty darn mellow. Not sure whence the "wig" of "wig out" comes. Did some dude lose his toupée and freak out?
- 47a: Resounding win (LANDSLIDE). Also a classic Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac song.
- 57a: Deliver, as an indictment (HAND UP).
- 59a: Griddle creations (OATCAKES). I'm sure I'm not the only one who went with PANCAKES at first.
- 61a: Gazi University city (ANKARA). Yeah, whatever. Might as well just say "City" or "Asian City" and let us guess which one via the crossings.
- 62a: Alex Trebek, by birth (ONTARIAN). I knew CANADIAN was too easy.
- 63a: ConAgra brand (WESSON). Used to be Beatrice back when I watched more TV. Apparently, it was sold to ConAgra in 1990.
- 64a: Programmer's concern (NIELSENS). As a software engineer, I took the bait here. It's television programs, not computer programs.
- 1d: Nappies cover them (BUMS). British for diaper.
- 2d: Hustler's letters (ASAP). Was this clue meant to evoke Hustler magazine? Hmmm... I wonder.
- 3d: Mother of Hermes (MAIA). I used the ERIE rule here and guessed HERA, which slowed down this section considerably.
- 5d: Bombshell's asset (BOD). My first instinct was GAM; I wasn't far off.
- 6d: Brand affiliated with Muhammad Ali (ADIDAS).
- 7d: Mehta contemporary (MASUR). Went with OZAWA first.
- 8d: #1 song of 1998 (MY HEART WILL GO ON). I don't listen to Celine Dion and I haven't seen "Titanic", so this was all crossings and inferences. I have heard an x-rated parody, though, by John "Dr. Dirty" Valby. I will not include it here, but if you're tastes run that way, Google is your friend.
- 9d: '60s theater (NAM). Theater of war.
- 10d: The Vandals' school (IDAHO). The team name of the University of Idaho. You gotta be a real college sports fanatic, or have lived in Idaho I suppose, to know this.
- 11d: Recurrent elements (MOTIFS). Good fill word.
- 12d: Took offense with (BRISTLED AT). Also very nice.
- 21d: Lowers (SCOWLS). I totally didn't understand this clue. In fact, I thought for a minute that maybe the clue was a typo and it should have been "Glowers". But no, to lower is to frown or scowl. Learn something new every day.
- 24d: Fails to keep (ROTS). Good clue, with many possible interpretations.
- 25d: Derby holder (EPSOM). I was thinking hats, not horse races. But I've seen this enough that it made sense.
- 26d: Women's hat linings (CAULS). The primary definitions of a caul are:
- the large fatty omentum covering the intestines (as of a cow, sheep, or pig); and
- the inner fetal membrane of higher vertebrates especially when covering the head at birth
But it is apparently also a type of type-fitting cap.
- 27d: They're often underlined (HYPERLINKS). Very nice.
- 28d: Square that's also a cube (ONE). Also sixty-four (8 squared or 4 cubed), but that didn't fit.
- 32d: "Algiers" star (Charles BOYER). This is a 1938 film that I've never seen. In fact, I don't think I've heard of Charles Boyer, though I am familiar with Hedy Lamarr.
- 34d: In a bigger way (MORESO).
- 35d: Baroque piece (FUGUE). It's Friday, good time to check out the very cool "Fugue for Friday", based on the "dum-da-dump-dump" theme from Dragnet. Definitly listen to this if you haven't heard it before.
- 38d: Foot specialist? (BARD). [Groan].
- 44d: Mei Xiang and Tai Shan, e.g. (PANDAS).
- 46d: "Swan Lake" princess (ODETTE). This has shown up before, and it will show up again. I should know it off the top by now, but I don't always.
- 48d: Surgical opening? (NEURO). Cryptic prefix clue.
- 49d: Yazd native (IRANI).
- 54d: Depression-era demonym (OKIE). A demonym is a name based on where someone is from.
- 58d: Knock (PAN).
- 60d: Columnist Thomas (CAL). Didn't know it. Don't listen to this type of thing.
Overall, I thought this was a very decent Weekend Warrior. Good long fill, challenging clues, and ultimately solvable -- even if it took longer than it probably should have. Nice job.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.