Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Title: To the Nth Degree
Author: Kevin George and Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: Add the letter 'N' to the ends of common phrases.

  • WONDER BRAN (17a: Awe-inspiring source of dietary fiber?)

  • CRIMINAL LAWN (27a: Part of a prison yard?)

  • KLONDIKE BARN (49a: Item raised on a Yukon farm?)

  • FIT TO A TEEN (64a: Tailored for prom night wear?)

It took a while for me to glom onto the theme here, because my brain was trying to do a twist on WONDER BREAD, not WONDER BRA (because I'm such a wholesome, salt-of-the-earth, Norman Rockwell kind of guy).

Ok, maybe not, but that's what I was thinking all the same.

Anyway, it's a nice enough theme. None of the answers are particularly amusing, but they're okay. And they give me an excuse to post pictures like the one above.

Sunny Spots:

Piper at the Gates of Dawn

  • 4d: Pink Floyd member Barrett (SYD). This should actually be ex-Pink Floyd member Barrett, as Syd dropped out of the band to wrestle with his own sanity back in the 60's. If you've ever listened to way-before-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd (we're talking Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets here), then you've heard Syd Barrett. He also put out a couple of solo albums that are downright freaky.

  • 44a: Cobalt or Neon. I was thinking GAS at first, forgetting that cobalt is a solid in its natural form. Either way, I was on the wrong track. The clue refers the Chevy Cobalt and Dodge Neon, and the answer is, of course, CAR.

  • 70a: Pea jackets. I used to wear a Navy pea coat during the cold months at college in Montreal. I did not wear the more literal answer: PODS.

  • 30d: Muck-a-muck (NABOB). This is a great clue! It also reminds me of the Tenacious D song Wonderboy, though they use the variation "mucky-muck".

  • 33d: Nutcracker suite? (NEST). Nice clue.

  • 10d: Rather formally? (DANIEL). Love this clue! Just beautiful.


  • 50d: MLB team with a bridge in its logo. (NY METS). No, I'm not a Mets fan. Still, this is a cool clue. I also love how NYMETS looks almost like NYMPHETS in the puzzle. Hmm.... dibs on that theme!!

28d: Pharmaceutical giant that once sold Vioxx (MERCK). Nice looking fill word. Not many words that end in RCK.

58d: Overhead lighting? (HALO). Would have preferred a reference to the multi-million-selling video game, but that's okay.

53a: Drove around (TOOLED). Anyone know the origin of "tooling" to mean driving? Is it because cars used to be so unreliable that you needed to carry tools? Inquiring minds want to know.

38a: Future fish (ROE). I guess this is technically correct. It's just that all the roe I've seen has been in food form, and I hope to God it doesn't become fish after I've eaten it. Perhaps a "perhaps" is in order here.

Suns of Bitches:

Nothing particularly hard about this puzzle. A good, solid Tuesday.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

this is two days in a row with a pink floyd clue. sounds good to me. what will it be tomorrow?

very smooth puzzle today. FOLEY artist, ADDUP, rick MORANIS, NABOB, BOZO, XFILES... all very good. [Rather formally?] was outstanding. [They're pressed for cash] was a fun clue as well.

i'm less certain about MANXCAT, though it has a terrific NXC consonant cluster. isn't that kind of redundant? i thought a manx was a kind of cat. that seems to be the equivalent of "beagle dog," which is not a phrase you typically hear.

Pete M said...

Manx refers to the Isle of Man. People say "Manx" for "Manx cat" the same way they say "Persian" or "Siamese". Dictionaries list "Manx cat" as one of the possible definitions of "Manx". I agree it feels a touch awkward, but I believe it is correct.

Anonymous said...

Pete, very good blog. Thanks you for creating it. I would love to see it at 11:00 PM, Pacific Time, the night before. (I don't know how to vote in your poll as Zones aren't indicated).

Re. your point about Syd being an ex-member of PFloyd: I don't know how to distinguish "ex" status. Clinton is referred to as President Clinton, not ex-President. Babe Ruth an ex-Yankee? Tommy LaSorda an ex-Dodger-for-Life? Paul McCartney an ex-Beatle? Ex-comedian Bob Hope? Ex-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld? Ex-Cult Leader Warren Jeffs? Ex-NBA-Star Michael Jordan? Ex-UnaBomber Ted Kaczynski? Help!

Doug P said...

Hiya, Pete. It's great to see that someone's doing a NY Sun blog again. It'll be a lot of work, but at least you get the weekends off!

I was also looking for the WONDER BREAD/BRAN connection when I got the first theme entry. I'm glad it didn't work out that way, or I'd be looking at a picture of a loaf of bread right now.

-Doug P.

Anonymous said...

Then of course there's ex-Cat Stevens Cat Stevens.

Pete M said...

Re: Exes. My feeling is that some jobs are rolling by default. Presidents and other political positions, etc., and Paul McCartney will always be a Beatle because he was always part of the Beatles when they existed. Pink Floyd, on the other hand, went through their entire famous period (post-DSOTM) without Syd. The band exists, but Syd's not in it. That, to me, makes him an ex. Just my point of view.

With respect to the poll, there's never going to be an "at", as my life is not that predictable. There's only going to be a "not before". I am in Eastern time, so if you don't want a post to arrive before 11pm PDT, that's 2am EDT, so vote for 12:01am, since I don't stay up that late anyway (usually), which means posts would typically occur sometime in the morning.