Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Title: Freeze Frames
Author: Patrick Blindauer
Theme: ICE rebus
  • 17a: Booking agents? (POLice OFFiceRS). Book 'em, Dano! nICE one!

  • 29a: Van de Graaff generator generation (STATic eLECTRICITY). Another nICE entry. I've seen the huge Van de Graaff generators at the Boston Museum of Science. Quite the impressive display. Here's an example of a much smaller version.

  • 45a: It might have integral roots (ALGEBRAic eQUATION). I very confidently filled in QUADRATic eQUATION here, and stubbornly held on until too many of the crossings just wouldn't work. I still think it's a better answer.

  • 60a: Uses a knife, maybe (SLiceS AND DiceS). Very nICE. My favorite fill of the puzzle.

  • 4d: Carroll character (ALice). My first thought was ALICE, but I saw it wouldn't fit, so I went on without a second thought -- plenty of other Carroll characters to choose from.

  • 7d: Agcy. that won the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize (UNiceF).

  • 26d: Nasty habits (ViceS). Here's where I should have immediately thought rebus. A 3-letter plural that's not immediately obvious? That would be a rarity. But I had already completed so much of the puzzle without using a rebus that I was lulled into acceptance.

  • 31d: Goblet (CHALice). This was another one where I figured the answer was CHALICE, but it wouldn't fit. And still, I didn't cotton on to the rebus.

  • 55d: Fine point (NiceTY).

  • 57d: Potato tools (RiceRS).

This rebus took me by surprise. Usually, it's not far into the puzzle that I realize there's something funky going on and my "rebus alert" goes into full sensitivity. But here, I got a foothold in the NE and worked down. I had virtually the entire right side of the puzzle complete - everything east of MER/STEM/QTYS - except for the crossing of ...SANDD_S and R_RS, before I realized it was a rebus puzzle. Then the left side fell apart without much of a fight.

Sunny Spots:

  • 14a: Rice dish (PAELLA). Mmmm... food.

  • 16a: TV series about sisters Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell (SOAP). It's the clue that brings this fill to life.

  • 9d: Wayne's world (WESTERNS). Of all the ones not to use a question mark on... I was way on the wrong track here, trying to fit GOTHAM or BAT CAVE where it didn't belong. The reference is to John Wayne, though referring to westerns as a "world" is a bit of a stretch (and hence, ?-worthy, imo). Still, I love the clue. And, "True Grit" is one of my all-time favorite films. ("I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!")

  • 11d: Miniature tree (BONSAI). I love bonsai trees. I'd try one myself, but I'd probably kill it through neglect.

  • 39d: "The Phantom Menace" title part (EPISODE I).

  • 62d: Put the kibosh on (NIX). Nix is a cool word. So is kibosh.


  • 1a: Brightest star in Aquila (ALTAIR). I always liked astronomy growing up, and I remember enough to get by. I also did some celestial navigation (global positioning using a sextant) years ago, before I had kids. I couldn't have told you the constellation, but I do remember the names of many of the brighter stars, like Altair, Rigel, Sirius, Betelgeuse, Arcturus, Deneb...

  • 7a: Coal industry org. (UMW). United Mine Workers.

  • 19a: Chinese prefix (INDO). My first thought was SINO (prefix meaning Chinese), but it's a prefix for Chinese -- Indochinese. Cryptic clue.

  • 20a: Chwang-___ (Chinese mystic) (TSE). Educated guess that fit the crossings.

  • 21a: "___ Wiedersehen!" (AUF). I don't know much German, but you don't have to to know this one.

  • 24a: Troglodytes' hangouts (CAVES). Trodlodytes are a great way to spICE up this fill.

  • 28a: General Mandible, for one (ANT). The Gene-Hackman-voICEd character in "Antz".

  • 34a: Hair reddener (HENNA).

  • 42a: "___ B. Demented" (2000 John Waters film) (CECIL). Melanie Griffith was nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie for her role in this film, but she "lost" to Madonna in "The Next Best Thing".

  • 44a: Home of the brave? (TEPEE). Cute.

  • 50a: Sound from a cote (COO). Where doves cry.

  • 52a: Letter-shaped fasteners (T-NUTS).

  • 53a: They're blocked by the ozone layer (UV RAYS). nICE letter combination here.

  • 56a: Piece of mine? (ORE). Yeah, not bad.

  • 59a: Best Picture nominee of 1981 (REDS).

  • 64a: "Cornflake Girl" singer Tori (AMOS). Name a "Tori".

  • 65a: Throw back a fish? (EAT). Good one.

  • 66a: Dr. J's team (SIXERS). Celtics vs. Sixers used to be a phenomenal rivalry. At least the Celtics are finally back on track.

  • 67a: On cloud nine (SENT). Scraping the bottom of the barrel for unusual definitions of the word. I'm vaguely familiar with sent being used in this fashion, but it feels like a bit of a stretch.

  • 68a: Austin Powers, e.g. (SPY).

  • 69a: Cut out (EXCISE).

  • 2d: ASEAN member (LAOS). Association of Southeast Asian Nations

  • 3d: Put on the air (TELECAST).

  • 5d: Agcy. that won the 1969 Nobel Peace Prize (ILO). Okay, this is worth remembering: ILO (The International Labour Organization) is a U.N. agency. ILA (International Longshoreman's Association) is a North American dockworkers' union. Both show up fairly regularly. I think A for America, O for Overseas. It's a mnemonic that works for me.

  • 6d: Tennis player Nadal (RAFAEL). I've had enough of tennis players' names for this week, thanks.

  • 12d: Rhythmic (CADENT). A marching band's percussion section plays CADENCES when the rest of the band is not playing a song. I'm not as familiar with the adjective form, but it makes sense.

  • 13d: Athletic (SPORTY). I guess. To me, cars are sporty; people are athletic. Unless they're SpICE Girls.

  • 23d: March slogan word (ERIN). Erin Go Bragh, on St. Patrick's Day.

  • 25d: Straightaway (AT ONCE).

  • 29d: Mani-pedi place (SPA). I assume that's short for manicure/pedicure? A new one on me, but it fit.

  • 30d: Holiday in HuĂ© (TET).

  • 32d: King contemporary (CAVETT). I'm assuming we're talking Dick Cavett and Larry King, right?

  • 36d: Downs follow them (ACROSSES). Cute.

  • 43d: Where to do one's bidding, maybe (EBAY).

  • 44d: Letter after sigma (TAU).

  • 46d: 1956 Elvis Presley hit (LOVE ME). Forget the tender part, just love me.

  • 47d: Name that's Old English for "round hill" (GORDON). It's like an Alfred Hitchcock cameo when the editor's name shows up in a puzzle, don't you think?

  • 48d: Tbsp. and tsp., e.g. (QTYS). It's pretty much got to be either that or AMTS.

  • 49d: Take out of a box (UNCASE). We've talked about this one before. It's not my favorite, but it's okay.

  • 58d: In ___ (actually) (ESSE). Esse is usually clued as "Latin infinitive" or "To be, in Rome", or some such. This certainly makes sense.

  • 61d: Drink (up) (LAP). I can think of more interesting clues for LAP, but okay.

  • 63d: 59% of M (DXC). 590. Almost too easy.

Suns of Bitches:

Really none.

I certainly enjoyed this puzzle more than the first two this week. In a way, I'm glad it took me awhile to unearth the rebus, as I got a totally unexpected "aha" moment. Overall, I found it to be a smooth and pleasant experience.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Anonymous said...

Yep, Nice puzzle. Who is the "King" of whom CAVETT's a contemporary? (32D)

Pete M said...

@jim in nyc: My assumption, as I said in the post, is Larry King. I could be wrong.

janie said...

well, until the "duh-it's-a-rebus" moment occurred (and it was a long time comin', i confess), the whole thing seemed to be comprised of "suns of bitches." but there's nothin' like seein' the light to speed up the solving! ;-)

impressive use of "ice" -- especially in the "sliceanddice" / "policeofficers" double-headers.

"cool" puzzle altogether -- perfectly timed for the cooler weather that greeted the northeast this morning!



Anonymous said...

Whoops, missed Cavett & King in the review.

Rhetorical question, I wonder why the constructor chose Larry King to associate with Dick Cavett in this clue. Although they're about the same age, and both are interviewers, I don't think they worked together, and I don't think they were prominent at the same time.

The Smothers Brothers would be more apt contemporaries of Cavett, both in time and in attitude.

Torbach said...

I wound up solving this from the bottom up - as opposed to my usual method of plowing on from 1 Across. This gave me the first theme answer of ALGEBRAEQUATION - no rebus yet, and a seemingly plausible answer. Then came STATELECTRICITY - which made me think: he's getting the IC(K) out! But what the heck does that have to do with "Freeze Frames"?...A-H-A! As ever, a nice puzzle from Patrick (sorry, Mr. Berry, but my buddy remains PB1 to me!) - with some fun clues.

Joon said...

so does "march" refer to the month, or the st patrick's day march, in that clue?

Pete M said...

@joon: I took it to mean the month, but I suppose it could be either.