Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Title: Ending Up in Europe
Author: Peter A. Collins
Theme: Phrases that end in European cities
  • 18a: John Gotti's nickname, with "the" [United Kingdom] (TEFLON DON).

  • 20a: Tiffani-Amber of "Beverly Hills 90210" [Germany] (THIESSEN). Do you realize how hard it is to find a picture of her that's actually appropriate to post? Nice to know people love you for your acting talent.

  • 61a: Trattoria apéritifs [France] (CAMPARIS). This seems a little stretchy for a Monday to me.

  • 63a: Minnesota city where the first Target store opened [Spain] (ROSEVILLE). Roseville. Minnesota. Really, we're supposed to know this?

  • 10d: Villain in "The Incredibles" [Italy] (SYNDROME). I've seen the film, but I couldn't remember the name off the top.

  • 40d: Irreligious individuals [Greece] (HEATHENS).

For the most part I like these theme entries, though I'm not convinced they're all Monday fare. Still, the theme was simple enough and the crossings were, for the most part, super-easy. So, no harm no foul, I guess.

I have to do a quick write-up today, as I'm exhausted and need to get to bed.

Sunny Spots:
  • 39a: Clint Eastwood TV series (RAWHIDE).

  • 41a: Caligula, for one (EMPEROR).

  • 7d: Explosive shell thrown by hand (GRENADE).

  • 45d: Places of prophecies (ORACLES).

I like the crossing 7s through the center of the puzzle. They're especially interesting if you consider them as phrases: RAWHIDE EMPEROR and GRENADE ORACLES. I don't know, I think Emily Jo Cureton might be getting to me.


  • 1a: Fitness regimen based on martial arts (TAE BO).

  • 6a: Taj Mahal's home (AGRA). Standard trivia fare.

  • 14a: Cartoon character Fudd (ELMER). Get that wascally wabbit!

  • 16a: The end of December (YULE).

  • 23a: Margarita glass liner (SALT). Personally, I prefer them without salt.

  • 44a: New York City divisions, informally (BOROS).

  • 48a: Project Patriot org. (DAR). Daughter's of the American Revolution.

  • 49a: Ball honoree, for short (DEB). Do debutantes still have balls, or is that a thing of the past. It certainly doesn't happen in my neck of the woods.

  • 51a: 1992 John Goodman film (THE BABE). Not to be confused with "Babe". I think John Goodman is a great and underrated actor.

  • 58a: Baking potatoes (IDAHOS).

  • 65a: Folklore monsters (OGRES). We've been seeing a lot of OGREs lately. How about some ORCS, ENTS, and ELVES to balance things out?

  • 2d: With 1-Down, early software trials (ALPHA/TESTS). As a software engineer, I appreciate these entries.

  • 3d: Letter that might include an emoticon (EMAIL).

  • 4d: Tête toppers (BERETS).

  • 5d: Bauxite and cinnabar, e.g. (ORES).

  • 8d: WWII fliers (RAF). Royal Air Force.

  • 9d: Tips of shoelaces (AGLETS). Another common vocabulary trivia.

  • 21d: Word with green or house (SALAD).

  • 25d: Puzzling problem (POSER). I like the word POSER, even though it kind of sounds made up.

  • 30d: "Doctor Zhivago" heroine (LARA).

  • 31d: Activewear brand (IZOD).

  • 32d: In-group outcast (NERD). Yeah, but what if nerds are the in-group? I don't actually like the word "outcast" here. Nerds are not necessarily outcasts. It depends on how shallow the "in crowd" happens to be.

  • 35d: Fly-by-nighters? (OWLS). Cute clue.

  • 37d: Skewered dish (KEBAB). One of several possible spellings for this word.

  • 50d: Snoopy's breed (BEAGLE).

  • 52d: ___ lane (where carpoolers drive) (HOV). High-occupancy vehicles.

  • 53d: Boxers Max and Buddy (BAERS).

  • 55d: Product whose business is in the pits? (ARRID). Okay, that's clever, though not particularly appealing.

  • 58d: 1963 movie role for Shirley (IRMA La Douce).

  • 59d: Make dead meat (DOOM). Couldn't get a first-person-shooter video game clue here, huh?

  • 62d: Magic show sound (POOF). You gotta love POOF. If I had a list of favorite onomatopoeic words, POOF would definitely be on it.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 26a: "Magic Tree House" book series illustrator Murdocca (SAL). Didn't know this one.

  • 29a: Six-time Pro Bowl center Kreutz (OLIN). I suppose I should know this, but somehow, I don't recall ever hearing the name.

  • 57d: Jumeirah ___ House (hotel on Central Park South) (ESSEX). Reasonable guess after a few crossings.

Overall, a decent Monday, with more-difficult-than-usual theme entries balanced by generally really easy fill.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Unknown said...

I found it tougher than a typical Monday. Yule escaped me until the bitter end as I was thinking along the lines of the Decembrists and wanted a suffix.

Does anyone know what the extra stuff that came along with the download is?


NinaK said...

I first remembered John Gotti as the Dapper Don, but I quickly realized that didn't fit.

Pete M said...

@jean: I'd ignore it. I usually grab the puzzle directly, instead of using the zip file; it looks like some residual files got zipped up inadvertently.

janie said...

had to admire the construction here, too, with the overlapped theme-fill north and south, and then the intersecting theme fill east and west. pretty impressive, imoo....

loved, too, the proximity of "oracles" and "seer" to each other -- and to "athens"; and also the pair of xmas references in "yule" and "trim."

fave of the theme fill was the cryptic-style "tef[lon don]."

smartly done puzzle!



embien said...

I'm not sure about 58a: Baking potatoes IDAHOS. Maybe that's an East Coast thing. Around here (Oregon), we call them RUSSETS, and of course "IDAHO" isn't a kind of potato at all.

End of rant. I just get tired of seeing this clue/answer in puzzles all the time.

Joon said...

i don't think you should know OLIN kreutz. offensive linemen just aren't famous. i believe i made the same comment about chris SNEE and ARTSHELL a while back.

i found this puzzle very tough for a monday. in particular, i stared at ARRID for a long time and had no idea what it was. then i googled it and it's a deodorant. then i realized i knew it was a deodorant, but i don't think i'd ever seen it spelled out before.