Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Title: Weekend Warrior
Author: Barry C. Silk
Theme: None

Sunny Spots:

  • 17a: Familiar name of a Virginia sculpture based on a Pulitzer-winning picture taken by Joe Rosenthal (IWO JIMA MEMORIAL).

  • 23a: Repeated action in a mathematician's random walk (COIN TOSS).

  • 33a: Aloof person (COLD FISH). Great phrase.

  • 56a: Batter-fried snack (MOZZARELLA STICK). Mmmmmm.


  • 8a: Chihuahua timeouts (SIESTAS). See, we need siestas in the United States. A nice nap in the afternoon would make the workday so much more pleasant.

  • 15a: Developer noted for its drive-through kiosks (FOTOMAT). Nowadays, every corner pharmacy does 1-hour photos, but I remember when this was a pretty novel concept.

  • 19a: Car that is often black and rarely green (LIMO).

  • 20a: Bolshoi bends (PLIÉS).

  • 21a: She's buried in Kenya's Meru National Park (ELSA). The lion from "Born Free".

  • 22a: Inning threesome (ENS). Cryptic letter clue. But since OUTS didn't fit, what else could it be?

  • 26a: "Hamlet" courtier (OSRIC).

  • 30a: ___ game (first matchup of March Madness) (PLAY IN). The final two teams selected play each other for the 64th spot in the tourney.

  • 36a: Emulate running mates? (ELOPE). It has long been my belief that ELOPE is the word with the most really clever clues. This is certainly one of them.

  • 38a: Cruise part? (ROLE). Tom Cruise, that is. Who, by the way, played Lt. Pete Mitchell in "Top Gun".

  • 39a: Gave up the ghost (CASHED IN).

  • 41a: One holding up a sign at the airport, e.g. (MEETER). This is one of those -ER words that just feels forced to me.

  • 43a: They're cobbled together (SHOES). Nice clue.

  • 44a: Sternmost member of a crew team (STROKE). I'd seen this before, fairly recently, and I still couldn't remember it without a couple of crossings.

  • 55a: The Jalón flows into it (EBRO). You gotta know your four-letter rivers. As soon as I got the B, I knew which one it was.

  • 62a: March honoree, informally (ST PADDY).

  • 4d: Austin Powers's power (MOJO).

  • 6d: Sent up (LAMPOONED). I started with LAMBASTED.

  • 7d: Political leader from Georgia (STALIN). Anytime you see Georgia in a clue, you should be on alert. It's a common ruse.

  • 8d: Another name for the sugar apple (SWEETSOP). I've never tasted this, but I've heard of it before. Not sure where.

  • 11d: Laid-back (STRESS FREE).

  • 14d: "Sisters" costar of Swoosie (SELA). That's Swoosie Kurtz and SELA Ward. And no, I didn't know it from the clue.

  • 18d: Social psychology topic (MIND CONTROL).

  • 24d: Roll-your-own grass? (SOD). The daily drug inference.

  • 25d: In large quantities (BY THE DOZEN). Is a dozen a large quantity? I guess it depends on what you're measuring. My first thought was BY THE TRUCKLOAD, which of course didn't fit.

  • 29d: Her first solo recording ("Ringo, I Love You") was released under the pseudonym Bonnie Jo Mason (CHER). The list of one-named singers was pretty easily narrowed to an era down by the Ringo reference.

  • 34d: Tangy treat (LEMON TART). Mmmmm.

  • 37d: Dragging (LISTLESS). This is a great word, and now I'm curious about its derivation. Can you be listful? It's definitely hard to grocery shop when you're listless, that's for sure.

  • 47d: Secretary of the Pointy-Haired Boss, in "Dilbert" (CAROL). Love the Dilbert clues. Wally, Alice, Asok, Carol,... bring 'em on!

  • 49d: Flew like a fly (ARCED). Like a fly ball in baseball, not like a housefly.

  • 51d: Siberian city (OMSK). I love the name OMSK. It just sounds good.

  • 55d: Place in a Robert Redford movie (ETTA). Etta Place was in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". Nice misdirection on the clue.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 48a: Drawn back thing, for short (TAT). I don't get it. I had TA_, crossing the first letter of 50d: Hungarian wine (TOKAY), which I've never heard of. I just started guessing letters until I hit T. Someone out there will have to explain this one.

  • 28d: "The Door to ___ Gorée" (second number in "Bring In 'da Noise, Bring In 'da Funk") (ISLE). Never heard of it. Got it from crossings.

  • 53d: '90s Israeli president Weizman (EZER).

Except for the guess-the-letter crossing, this puzzle wasn't too hard for a WW. I came in under 15 minutes, which is a good time for me for a late-week puzzle. Some snazzy fill, too. Nice job.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Anonymous said...

Agree on TAT/TOKAY as a brutal crossing. I guess some people might know tokay (I didn't), but what is tat short for? Anyone?

Also agree on this being a great clue for ELOPE.

Now SIESTAS could have been clued with many a location. Mr. Gordon wouldn't be in cahoots with Disney and subtly promoting the new Chihuahua movie, would he?

Anonymous said...

Aha! It's not a thing that is drawn back. It's a back thing that is drawn - specifically a tattoo. Well clued!

Joon said...

ELOPE, sure, but it's got nothing on ATM.

agreed about this puzzle--really, really nice. IWO, MOZZARELLASTICK, STRESSFREE, CASHEDIN, OSRIC... this was just excellent. and a smooth solve for me, even though i balked on COINTOSS (and i teach random walks every year!).

i didn't need the B of EBRO--i guessed it based on jalón looking like it was probably spanish. TBIRD confirmed it, though.

i didn't remember that pete mitchell was a [Cruise part]. you made it into the puzzle!

i once almost had MEETER in a grid, then took it out. (it's a very good word for a floor or right wall.) of course, i only wanted it to mean "more meet" (appropriate), but apparently it doesn't mean that.

Pete M said...

@stevo: Doh! I should have figured that out, I guess. I wasn't thinking tattoo at all. 25 bonus points!

janie said...

my time for this was nothin' to brag about, but this was one of the smoothest solvin' weekend warriors i've ever encountered. nice way to end the week!

fave visual/clue-fill combo: repeated action in a mathematician's random walk/cointoss.



Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! Thanks for the bonus pts.

Norrin2 said...

Once again my ilgeographacy (or whatever you call an appalling ignorance of geography) messes me up. I don't know my four-letter rivers or my Siberian cities. I had ORSK instead of OMSK which kept me from getting MOZZARELLASTICKS for some time. I thought it was ROZ - something.

Joon said...

norrin, i think ORSK actually is a siberian city. just not today's siberian city. OMSK is still my go-to siberian city in four letters, though.

ArtLvr said...

Just wish the TAT clue had added "slang" or some indication of abbreviation for tattoo.... but at least I'm not left wondering. Thanks, Stevo!

embien said...

I wanted TOKAJI (Aszu) for 50d: Hungarian wine, but it didn't fit. This is the sweet Hungarian wine (similar to a Sauternes). The "Americanization" of this name is TOKAY. At one time Tokay was the favored of the wino crowd because the Californian version was cheap and potent (higher alcohol content).

The California Tokay has little to do with the classy (and expensive) Hungarian product.