Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Title: Which Way Am I Going?
Author: Matt Ginsberg and Pete Muller
Theme: Dual rebus, where the rebus square reads ACROSS in the across direction and DOWN in the down direction.
  • 1a: Like the U.N. headquarters, from Times Square ([ACROSS]TOWN).

  • 6a: How bangs are cut in a Dutch bob (STRAIGHT [ACROSS]).

  • 40a: Game with attackmen (L[ACROSS]E).

  • 67a: General ([ACROSS] THE BOARD).

  • 68a: Conveys (GETS [ACROSS]).

  • 1d: Depressed ([DOWN]CAST).

  • 14d: Ludes, e.g. ([DOWN]ERS). Yet more drug references.

  • 24d: They have titles (LAN[DOWN]ERS).

  • 55d: Places (SETS [DOWN]).

  • 56d: Fell (CUT [DOWN]).

I keyed in on the rebus aspect of this puzzle fairly early on, and it wasn't hard to figure that all four corners would contain the rebus square. Rebuses (rebi?) do not always fall symmetrically in a puzzle, perhaps for the very reason that it makes them too easy if you already know where they're going to be. And yet, for all of that, it took me forever to realize that the damned center square was one too. I could blame it on the fact that in all of the corner cases, the rebus is used as a whole word in its defined meaning, whereas in the center it is diguised inside fill words. But that's a pretty lame excuse; I should have seen it when I couldn't come up with a game that fit L_E. Doh!

Sunny Spots:

  • 18a: Where to order bluepoints (OYSTER BAR). Bluepoints are a Long Island variety of oyster that was not immediately familiar, but it had to be in there somewhere because I knew instantly that it was correct once I figure out the answer.

  • 4d: Podunk (WHISTLE STOP). Wonderful.

  • 10d: Unemotional woman, in slang (ICE QUEEN). I'm not sure unemotional quite captures it, but a great entry nonetheless. Here's Portia De Rossi, who played Nelle - nicknamed the Ice Queen - on "Ally McBeal".

  • 49d: Metrosexual accessory (MAN BAG). Love it.


  • 16a: Origin (ROOT CAUSE). I work in an environment where "root cause analysis" is a common occurrence when something goes wrong, so this was easy for me.

  • 17a: Con men? (ANTIS). Cute clue.

  • 19a: Mediodía naps (SIESTAS). I could use one right about now.

  • 24a: Rerun's big brother in the comics (LINUS). Rerun was the little brother to Lucy and Linus Van Pelt, in "Peanuts". Wikipedia documents Rerun's entry thusly: "Rerun was 'born' into the strip in 1972, during a storyline in which Lucy threw Linus out of the house only to learn that yet another little brother had just been born (causing her to exclaim in exasperation 'A new baby brother? But I just got rid of the old one!')." Priceless.

  • 26a: Sputnik 2's passenger (LAIKA). Much is made of this dog's being the first one into space, but not so much about the fact that it died shortly into the trip. I find the story to be rather sad.

  • 28a: Too much (DE TROP). As Stephen Colbert says, "It's French, bitch!"

  • 35a: Cubby holes? (DENS). Eh.

  • 41a: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" villains (NAZIS).

  • 42a: Expedition (HASTE). As in the act of expediting. Very nice.

  • 43a: I'm using my editorial prerogative to remove mention of this clue, as I find the referred-to person to be an embarrassment to a great institution. (PETE).

  • 46a: Panegyrizes (EXTOLS).

  • 48a: Pure, for sure (RHYME). These kinds of clues always trip me up the first time through.

  • 50a: Desirable positions (PLUMS).

  • 56a: Radar, e.g.: Abbr. (CPL). From "M*A*S*H".

  • 59a: Doña ___ (New Mexico county that borders Texas and Chihuahua) (ANA). I'll chalk this up to a good guess, though I've probably seen it before.

  • 60a: Flipped (WENT APE).

  • 61a: Sends in troops, say (USES FORCE).

  • 64a: French psychologist Alfred (BINET). Of the Binet IQ test.

  • 65a: "The Tall ___" (nickname of Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack) (TACTICIAN). Didn't know it, but it was easy to figure.

  • 2d: Patty Hearst's alias (TANIA). Wow, that was a long time ago. How do I still remember this?

  • 6d: Low-budget hotels, for short (SROS). This is a new one on me. I know SRO means "standing room only", usually referring to a sold out event. Is this just a goof on that, implying that the room isn't even big enough to lie down in, or is there something else going on here?

  • 7d: Flirt (TOY).

  • 25d: Winter honoree (ST VALENTINE). Long, but easy.

  • 27d: Source of iodine (KELP).

  • 30d: He gave up an eye in exchange for wisdom (ODIN). I didn't know this right off. I should study my Norse mythology a bit. Am I the only one that never noticed Odin wore an eye patch?

  • 32d: "Seven Year ___" (1981 Rosanne Cash hit) (ACHE). Raise your hand if you tried ITCH first. I did.

  • 33d: TV cable, briefly (COAX).

  • 34d: It passes through a lubber's hole (MAST). This strikes me as a Peter Gordon clue. I'm just saying.

  • 36d: Rogen of "Knocked Up" (SETH). I recognize the face, but didn't know the name right off.

  • 44d: Title surname in a novel originally published under the name Currer Bell (EYRE). Charlotte Bronte.

  • 47d: Its logo has an arrow pointing down and to the right (SUNOCO).

  • 51d: "All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word," according to song (MARIA). From "West Side Story".

  • 53d: Cosmo alternative (G AND T). Gin and Tonic. My first thought was MAXIM.

  • 58d: First name of Time's 1981 Man of the Year (LECH).

  • 60d: Direct (WEND).

  • 62d: Abbr. on a letter to an office building (STE). Suite.

Suns of Bitches:

For a Friday, there really weren't any ultra-tough clues. Surprising. Still, it was a decent puzzle and challenging enough overall to keep me occupied. Works for me. Good one.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Anonymous said...

I just saw a couple worms crawl out from that can you just opened, Pete. You're certainly entitled to omit Charlie Hustle, but now you've lost the excuse of "I just blog what's in the puzzle" that has popped up from time to time.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and speaking of Portia DeRossi, imdb says there's an Arrested Development movie coming out in 2009! Woo hoo!

Pete M said...

I don't see that I've lost anything, not that I need excuses to begin with. It's my decision what to comment on and in what manner. I could have just ignored it completely, as not all clues get ink, but I chose to make a statement because I personally feel the guy's a dick. Feel free to disagree, but I've witnessed it firsthand.

ArtLvr said...

SRO -- Single Room Only, maybe... (invent your own!)

Joon said...

single-room occupancy. it means you're sharing a bathroom with other guests, basically. i didn't know this until SROS showed up in a KMT nyt puzzle a few weeks ago.

i agree that PETE rose is a dick. you should have just pretended it said ["Sunblocks" blogger Mitchell].

i'm struggling a little bit with [Direct] = WEND. the only thing i know of that WENDs is a river, and that doesn't really direct anything. anyone care to help? this is almost as puzzling as yesterday's [Overdress] = DROWN, although i eventually decided that i buy the salad explanation.

i assume 58d is LECH walesa?

definitely do study your norse mythology. i'm not sure it will help in crossword puzzles, really, but there are some incredibly cool stories and highly pleasing names. did i ever tell you the about the time loki and thor had a drinking contest? man, those were the days.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Pete Rose, here's a six degrees moment for me. One of the guys involved with the betting scandal, Tommy Gioiosa (who also once lived with Rose), overlapped with me in high school. I didn't know him directly, but I certainly knew people who did. (They weren't too fond of him, either.) So that puts me three degrees away from Pete Rose. Blech.

Norrin2 said...

Pete Rose is an embarrassment to baseball and as such was way ahead of his time. Embarrassments to the National Pastime are a dime a dozen these days but back then it was just Pete and Shoeless Joe.

ArtLvr said...

joon, thanks for the SRO ...

WEND -- I wend my way westward = I direct my steps etc. (not a perfect match, but ?)


Anonymous said...

norrin2: Outstanding comment!

pete m: Certainly you don't need excuses, I didn't mean to come across as disrespecting your authority (it's your blog and obviously you can write whatever you want and add whatever pictures you want of whatever gender you want with whatever amount of clothes you want). I was referring to the claim you've made in the past when including pictures of beautiful gals - I meant it to be a joke, so please don't think I'm trying to tell you what you're allowed to include on your own site. That was not my goal at all, and I apologize for letting my fingers get ahead of me and clicking "Publish" before reading my own words.

embien said...

So DE TROP is common French usage? I took 4 years of college French (long ago, admittedly) and don't recall ever encountering that phrase.

I missed a ton of fill in this one (Friday, after all), but loved the cross of LAN(DOWN)ERS and L(ACROSS)E

Still don't know how to do a rebus in my AcrosLite. It doesn't work on my version.

Pete M said...

@embien: The default for a rebus in AcrossLite is just the first letter, so in this case 'A' should work fine for you.