Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Title: Weekend Warrior
Author: Byron Walden
Theme: None

I broke this puzzle open in the southwest, worked my way east, and then stared at a half-completed puzzle for what seemed like ages. I just couldn't break into the top half at all, even after getting DUCAT and CECI. Finally, CHAKRA popped into my head, but it was like pulling teeth to finally nail it all down. No need to break these out into categories... it was all tough and all pretty cool.

  • 1a: Trapper Keeper maker (MEAD). This was not helpful at all, as I had no idea what a Trapper Keeper was. Funny thing, last night watching TV I saw an ad for Trapper Keepers. Weird.

  • 5a: Adventuresome preteen originally voiced by Tim Matheson (JONNY QUEST). Took too long to figure this one out. And I didn't realize, or remember, that there was no H in JONNY.

  • 15a: "Quantum of Solace" Bond girl actress Kurylenko (OLGA). Haven't seen it yet. It's on my list. But I'll tell you what I have seen lately that's worth going to. "Slumdog Millionaire". Check it out if you get the chance.

  • 16a: Crank call? (ARE YOU NUTS).

  • 17a: His ravens represent thought and memory (ODIN). I never realized Odin had ravens. Apparently, they're named Hugin and Munin. I should read more about Norse mythology.

  • 18a: Sam Rayburn sobriquet (MR DEMOCRAT). I suppose I'm supposed to know this, but I didn't.

  • 19a: Word often said with grace and love (NOTE). Grace notes are musical embellishments. You know what love notes are.

  • 20a: Respond to soft soap, maybe (MELT). Soft soap is flattery intended to gain favor.

  • 22a: Model T time (BRASS ERA). The age of early automobiles.

  • 24a: Yogi's energy center (CHAKRA).

  • 25a: Get some duck down? (EAT). This one's pushing it a bit.

  • 26a: Chillingworth's wife (PRYNNE). From "The Scarlet Letter".

  • 29a: Dig a lot (ADORE).

  • 31a: Coin for Shylock (DUCAT).

  • 33a: President of Bolivia since 2006 (MORALES). How cool would an Esai clue have been? I readily admit I don't keep up on my foreign dignitaries.

  • 36a: Risk territory (SIBERIA). My first instinct was YAKUTSK or IRKUTSK, both of which fit and, coincidentally, both of which border SIBERIA in the game. My next thought was SILESIA, but that was Diplomacy, not Risk.

  • 40a: Neige color (BLANC). Neige is snow, in French.

  • 42a: Difficult burden (CROSS). One's cross to bear.

  • 43a: Run through (STAB). I got this right away, but it doesn't feel exact to me. Stabbing doesn't imply (to me) that the weapon comes through the other side. One stabs with a knife, but runs through with a sword or spear. It all reminds me of Aragorn fighting orcs in "The Lord of the Rings".

  • 52a: It often makes a big splash (LOG FLUME). Nice one.

  • 54a: Former princesa, maybe (REINA). Spanish for queen.

  • 56a: Advance man? (SEER). Groan.

  • 57a: Prego ad slogan (IT'S IN THERE). I remember these ads, but I couldn't have told you they were for Prego.

  • 60a: Pop band? (THE STOOGES). Iggy Pop, that is. This one I knew.

  • 62a: Roshis (ZEN MASTERS).

  • 63a: "The ___ Wife" (1980 Reginald Hill mystery) (SPY'S).

  • 1d: Romantic reflection (MOONBEAM).

  • 2d: 1967 John Wayne film (EL DORADO). I went with "True Grit" at first, which didn't help me any in this section. "True Grit" was 1969.

  • 3d: Incendiary (AGITATOR).

  • 4d: Many residents of the Faeroe Islands (DANES).

  • 5d: Transmission blocker (JAMMER).

  • 6d: Rotating model (ORRERY). This is a model of the sun and planets.

  • 7d: Harpooner on the Nautilus (NEDLAND). No clue.

  • 8d: Duma nix (NYET). My lone start in the northeast section.

  • 9d: Shul day (YOM).

  • 10d: "___ the Maven" (William Safire anthology) (QUOTH).

  • 11d: It begins "We the peoples" (U.N. CHARTER).

  • 12d: With 41-Down, Illinois setting of the Ronald Reagan Museum (EUREKA / COLLEGE). This didn't even sound familiar to me.

  • 13d: Some people find them hard to take (STAIRS). Tough clue.

  • 14d: Sandal style (T-STRAP).

  • 23d: Period (SPELL). Another really tough clue. Took me quite a spell to figure it out.

  • 24d: This, in Magritte's "The Treachery of Images" (CECI).

  • 30d: Yeshiva study (RABBINISM).

  • 35d: Show with an inaccurate title for Western U.S. viewers (SNL). I'm assuming this is because it runs on tape delay in the west, rather than running live at 8:30pm.

  • 37d: 1954 Robert Taylor thriller (ROGUE COP). If you say so.

  • 38d: Distance-preserving transformation, as the rotation of a plane (ISOMETRY).

  • 43d: Binaca blast (SPRITZ). Did you know Binaca was flammable? Spritz some through a lighter sometime; it's pretty impressive!

  • 44d: Become incisive? (TEETHE). Ouch.

  • 51d: Pole star? (SANTA). STRIPPER didn't fit.

  • 53d: Initial hurdles for those who want to join the Supremes? (LSATS). Groan.

  • 55d: Boilermaker part (SHOT). Booze tag!

This was one of the tougher WWs in a while, which is to be expected when you see Byron Walden's name at the top. Usually, I'm more on his wavelength. There were several clues in this puzzle where that was the case, but overall it was a struggle to finish. And yet, there's nowhere in the puzzle that I can point to that I would consider unfair. That's what makes this a great Weekend Warrior.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

super-tough but very cool puzzle. i could wax rhapsodic about hugin and munin, but instead i'll just mention that ODIN also has two wolves named geri and freki. he gives them all his food, for he himself consumes nothing but wine. (booze tag!)

i figured out SNL, but for some reason i thought it was inaccurate because it was sunday morning by the time it ran on the west coast. but i got my time zones backwards. anyway, i'm sure you're right--they show it saturday night, but not live.

NED LAND is a character from 20,000 leagues under the sea.

Anonymous said...

For "Some people find them hard to take" I had THE IRS for awhile!