Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Title: Secondary Education
Author: Patrick Blindauer
Theme: Color rebus, where each primary color is used once across and once down. The correct answer at each of the three junctions is the secondary (combination) color made up of the two crossings. Bear with me, it'll make sense.
  • 16a: Comment when recalling an embarrassing moment (WAS MY FACE RED?).

  • 18d: It might have a long run on Broadway (YELLOW CAB).

  • But you can't put both RED and YELLOW in the same square, so you enter ORANGE there. Get it?

  • 35a: 1988 Errol Morris documentary about the murder of a police officer, with "The" (THIN BLUE LINE).

  • 25d: "Fever Pitch" squad (THE RED SOX).

  • Enter PURPLE here.

  • 58a: Animated movie musical of 1968 (YELLOW SUBMARINE).

  • 47d: Air travel option starting in 2000 (JETBLUE).

  • Enter GREEN here.

This is just the kind of cool and interesting theme that I hope to get when I see Patrick Blindauer's name. Very clever and entertaining.

Sunny Spots:

  • 24a: Take the wrong way? (STEAL). Excellent clue!

  • 1d: Madison Avenue worker (AD WOMAN). Nice gender twist on the more common AD MAN fill.

  • 12d: Spot spot? (TEA ROOM). "Spot of tea, Bruce?"

  • 38d: Fruitless (STERILE). Great clue here.


  • 1a: Smart, e.g.: Abbr. (AGT). As in Maxwell Smart. I given Don Adams his due in previous posts, so we'll go modern with the picture today.

  • 4a: Dry, in a way (WRING). Nice clue.

  • 13a: Cube's "Natural Born Killaz" rap partner (DRE). Two rap clues today. This one, and 55d: Gangsta rap pioneer (ICE T). Even though they're all well-known, that's at least one rap clue too many.

  • 15a: Teen spots? (ACNE). Wasn't fooled here at all.

  • 23a: Code name (MORSE). As in Samuel Morse, who invented Morse Code. Well clued.

  • 29a: Nightclub (BISTRO).

  • 31a: "Finding Neverland" dog (NANA). This shows up periodically in puzzles, so it's good to remember.

  • 32a: Serviceable? (ONE A). Fit to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

  • 46a: Novel whose first sentence is "I am Ishmael" (THE HAJ). By Leon Uris.

  • 48a: They do amnios (OBS). Obstetricians.

  • 49a: Bantu language related to Swazi (ZULU).

  • 50a: Abbr. in the want ads (EEO). This is often EOE, which is what I entered first.

  • 51a: His papacy lasted less than four weeks in 1605 (LEO XI). Popes are a necessary evil for filling grids. Just know that it's probably LEO or PIUS and some Roman numeral.

  • 53a: Lorelei (SIREN).

  • 54a: They're not color-blind (RACISTS). I find myself cringing a bit at this one. I think it's because I prefer a clue for RACISTS to not be in any way cute.

  • 57a: High-performance Camaro (IROC).

  • 62a: Pro Bowl wide receiver ___ Bruce (ISAAC). The name rang a bell once I got it from the crossings. And at least it's a "normal" name.

  • 63a: King who went on a world tour in the 1970s (TUT). Also, a really silly Steve Martin song.

  • 66a: Covert follower? (OPS).

  • 2d: Bar food? (GRANOLA). Cute, but easy.

  • 6d: Russell Crowe's middle name (IRA). That's trivia I really didn't need to know.

  • 8d: It's easy to get down from them (GEESE). That one was telgraphed. Too easy.

  • 11d: Former car model whose name is Latin for "untouched" (INTEGRA).

  • 17d: Couple incorrectly (MISMATCH). You can get some amusing visuals if you let your mind wander on this one.

  • 22d: Get straight (ALIGN). I guessed REHAB to start.

  • 24d: Islam's largest denomination (SUNNI).

  • 30d: Less reputable (SLEAZIER).

  • 33d: Cover story? (ALIBI). I had the trailing I, so this one fell easily.

  • 37d: The Hartford's bus. (INS). Hartford, the insurance capital of the world.

  • 39d: "Right on!" (I HEAR YA).

  • 40d: Ones who have moved to the right, for short (NEOCONS).

  • 43d: Enchilada alternative (BURRITO). That reminds me. I'm hungry.

  • 44d: Make a killing (CLEAN UP).

  • 45d: Final stages (SUNSETS).

  • 52d: Davis of "School Daze" (OSSIE). Never saw the film, but I've heard the name.

  • 60d: AB part (BAT). Baseball: At bats.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 61a: "Flashdance" director Adrian (LYNE).

  • 56d: Drummer Hakim who was a member of Weather Report (OMAR). I know Jaco Pastorius, and that's it. They're most famous, I think, for "Birdland". At least, I couldn't name another song of theirs, though there are some great solo Jaco pieces. My favorite is "The Chicken". If you like funky jazz and/or great basslines, you gotta check it out.

After yesterday, an average puzzle would have looked good. But I really think this puzzle was excellent on its own. I found the theme interesting and the fill and clues to be, on the whole, quite entertaining. Nice job.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Anonymous said...

This was a fun one! I liked the theme - which, even with pre-knowledge was satisfyingly difficult (and rumor has it that it may be well worth seeking out the hard copy of tomorrow's paper for the solution). As Pete said, some great fill clues too. I liked the inclusion of OMAR Hakim - as an on and off New York musician I've had occasion to see him play in various venues over the last 25 years: I can say that a funky drummer who can rock a bit and play jazz will work as much as he wants, as evidenced by this guy. Though he might not be as proud of it, he played with Madonna for a while too...
Tony O.

Anonymous said...

Yes, fun puzzle. But why mix the colors? If you mix blue and yellow to get green, and put green in square 58, for example, you just get two wrong answers, JET GREEN and GREEN SUBMARINE.

Joon said...

i didn't really get the mixing either. but even without that it's a great theme and a well-executed puzzle. it did take me a while to figure out how to fit BOSTONREDSOX into seven boxes, even knowing that RED was going to be in one box.

i'll disagree about GEESE and GRANOLA--those took me a while even though i had plenty of crossings. maybe my mind just isn't in the game today. both great clues, though. in fact, there were a lot of great clues. excellent thursday fare.

my big hangup was in the SW, where i tried HENCE for SINCE and could not figure out what the heck was going on. took me a while to sort that out, even though i knew THEHAJ had to be right. not knowing LYNE or IROC made it harder.

Pete M said...

25 bonus points for joon for noticing I had my color pairings screwed up (I had two downs together and two acrosses together). Thanks for your vigilance.

Joon said...

yay, back to multiples of 25. maybe i can lose another arbitrary amount for some sarcastic comment. (is that good enough?) the irony is, i wasn't even being sarcastic last time.

by the way, i forgot to comment on today's YOTP clue. this one was a gimme for me, since i had the L. LEOX is one of the famous popes--he was a medici, a great patron of raphael, and also happened to be the pope at the time of the reformation (1517 and thereafter). he excommunicated martin luther with the bull exsurge domine.

since it was a 1600s pope in the clue, it had to be XI. (there haven't been XX or even XV leos; LEOXIII was the latest, and he was pope at the turn of the 20th century.) i don't know squat about LEOXI himself, but i guess he wasn't around for long enough to do anything.

Pete M said...

Technically, I don't consider today's pope clue a YOTP. Coming up with the name of a pope is fair game, since there are a pretty finite number of reasonable answers. The ones I object to are the "Year in pope X's reign", which might as well be "Pick a roman numeral between I and MM".

Joon said...

oh, right. i guess it's more POTY than YOTP.

janie said...

enjoyed this puzzle lots!

the bosox received attention in this new yorker "talk of the town" piece by roger angell about the yankees. though i'm no fan of the latter, there's some interesting trivia/lore to be enjoyed:

shut out!