Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Title: Sayings of the Times
Author: Alex Boisvert
Theme: Famous catch phrases from five decades of television.
  • 17a: Catchphrase of '60s TV (SOCK IT TO ME). From "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"

  • 25a: Catchphrase of '70s TV (BOOK 'EM DANNO). From "Hawaii Five-O"

  • 37a: Catchphrase of '80s TV (ISN'T THAT SPECIAL). From "Saturday Night Live"

  • 47a: Catchphrase of '90s TV (HELLO NEWMAN). From "Seinfeld"

  • 57a: Catchphrase of '00s TV (YOU'RE FIRED). From "The Apprentice"

Ok, this is going to be short post as I had a high-school graduation and party this weekend, plus a baseball game, Father's Day, watching the U.S. Open (Go Tiger!) and watching the NBA Finals (Go Celtics!). I'll let you guys pick up the slack in the comments.

I like the theme. Nice, easy concept, but with colorful, evocative phrases that bring you back to times in your life that you watched the shows in question.

Sunny Spots:

Not too much really jumped out at me in this one. The most interesting fill is probably:
  • 53a: Its ingredients may include cocoa, confectioners' sugar, and vanillin (EXLAX). It may not pass the "breakfast test", but it's a cool word and has two Xs.

  • 6a: Exam with maximum score of 45T (MCAT). I was not familiar with the scoring system of the MCAT, but there aren't that many exams that show up in puzzles: SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT. That's about it.

  • 10a: "Up and ___!" (Radioactive Man's battle cry) (ATOM).

  • 14a: Hot house of sorts (SAUNA). Not too deceptive.

  • 15a: Lake that contains Canada's southernmost point (ERIE). Easy.

  • 16a: Man-to-man alternative (ZONE). Topical with the NBA finals going on.

  • 31a: Hit song's place (SIDE A). For whatever reason, SIDE B seems to show up more in puzzles.

  • 43a: Sporty auto, for short ('VETTE).

  • 45a: Is steamed (SEES RED). Does this phrase originate from bull fighting (like the bull getting angry from seeing the red cape)? Or something else?

  • 65a: Airline that doesn't schedule flights on Shabbat (EL AL).

  • 66a: Bollix (up) (MESS). I like the clue for this one.

  • 67a: Allowed, for short (LEGIT).

  • 3d: Jean-___ Picard ("Star Trek" captain) (LUC).

  • 4d: "Puppy Love" singer Paul (ANKA). I don't know why I know this.

  • 5d: Vessel moved by the wind (SAILBOAT). Dull, as sailing clues go, but still a sailing clue.

  • 7d: Kick the bucket (CROAK). "Kick the bucket" is one of the all-time great euphemisms. Croak? Well, not so much.

  • 11d: Venom, e.g. (TOXIN).

  • 12d: ___ rings (fried side) (ONION). Mmm. Food.

  • 21d: ___ Bach ("Fanfare for the Common Cold" composer) (PDQ). Funny stuff.

  • 34d: Explosive liquid, briefly (NITRO).

  • 35d: Dinger (TATER). Slang for home run, in baseball.

  • 38d: Word with French or English (HORN).

  • 40d: Not at all dull (EVENTFUL).

  • 44d: Hottie (FOX).

  • 47d: Pronoun with a slash (HE/SHE).

  • 48d: Sing the praises of (EXTOL).

  • 49d: Cousin of an alpaca (LLAMA).

  • 51d: Defeats handily (WHUPS). Something seems wrong with this spelling, but I'm not sure what.

  • 59d: Scott Joplin creation (RAG). Love Scott Joplin. Good stuff.

Suns of Bitches:
  • 28a: Jeremy Piven's role on "Entourage" (ARI GOLD). Huh?

  • 10d: Hyundai sedan (AZERA). Never heard of this one, either.

Luckily, both were easily determined from the crossings.

Lots of Xs for a Monday puzzle. Nice theme. Average fill. Overall, a decent Monday.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

i liked the theme a lot, even though i couldn't really have told you where the earliest three "catch phrases" came from. i know i've heard them, though.

the fill in this puzzle was unusual in that the short fill was quite good (EXLAX, SMARTS, LEGIT, TOXIN, CROAK, VETTE, AZERA, PDQ... i liked all of these), but the long fill was a little dull (SAILBOAT, EVENTFUL, ARIGOLD, SEESRED).

HORN was a fun clue. if memory serves, the french horn is actually german, and the english horn is neither english (it's really french!) nor a horn (it's a double-reed woodwind).

embien said...

Last fill was the 'W' in WHUPS/NEWMAN since I have never seen Seinfeld (perhaps I'm the only person in the US that can say that).

Totally missed AZERA--didn't know my Hyundai models and didn't see the basketball implication of 16a: Man-to-man alternative and thus made that crossing ALERA/LONE. (I know it's not ALERO, but ALERA seemed reasonable). Car models can sometimes be "fill in a random sequence of letters or wait for the crosses" for me.

Loved the theme answers (except for NEWMAN) as they brought back memories. HERE COME DA JUDGE! (also from Laugh-In).