Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Title: Words on Play
Author: Justin Smith
Theme: Phrases with items found on a playground.

  • 17a: Ignore a problem (LET IT SLIDE).

  • 35a: Airport conveyor (LUGGAGE CAROUSEL). I started with BAGGAGE CAROUSEL, which slowed me down slightly in the SW corner.

  • 56a: Symptom of bipolar disorder (MOOD SWINGS).

Simple Monday theme. Unusual for the Sun of late to only have three theme entries, but that didn't affect the enjoyment of the puzzle any.

Sunny Spots:

  • 30d: Hitchhike (THUMB A RIDE). Easy, but good phrase.

  • 35d: Like some bad situations (LOSE LOSE). Another nice one.


  • 10a: Big containers of beer (KEGS). Beer clues are always welcome here.

  • 15a: Scale whose third note is C (A-FLAT). I have to quibble a little about this one. A-flat is a note, not a scale. There are many A-flat scales: A-flat major, A-flat minor, A-flat diminished, etc. I suppose you can argue that in the absence of a specified scale one assumes the major, but I'm still not crazy about it.

  • 16a: Model Macpherson (ELLE). I didn't write the puzzle; I just blog what's there.

  • 26a: Letters on tires (PSI). Pounds per square inch, the standard measure of tire pressure.

  • 27a: FiancĂ©e's first word (YES). Cute, if easy.

  • 31a: Some document transmissions (EFAXES).

  • 44a: Yankee Stadium public address announcer Sheppard (BOB). We have to keep reminding ourselves that this puzzle is targeted for a New York City audience. There are a lot more famous Bobs out there that I would have preferred to see in a Monday puzzle: Hope, Crane, Denver, Newhart, ...

  • 52a: Airplane restraint (LAP BELT).

  • 55a: Orchestra tuner (OBOE). Everyone tunes to the lead oboe. We're not sure why, though I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that the oboe is harder to tune. I could be wrong.

  • 4d: "Love Story" author (ERICH SEGAL). I don't know why I know this. I never read the book and I never saw the movie, and yet this name is taking up space in my brain that could be used for much more important things.

  • 7d: BBC's Sports Personality of the Century (ALI).

  • 8d: Military chaplain (PADRE).

  • 10d: Nautical spine (KEEL).

  • 11d: It indicates an omission from a quote (ELLIPSIS).

  • 12d: Water-resistant paper (GLASSINE). My only problem here was I wasn't sure of the spelling. Specifically, whether it was SS or SC, and whether it ended INE or ENE.

  • 22d: Last Oldsmobiles ever made (ALEROS). I wonder if someone at Oldsmobile was a crossword nut and named this model knowing that it would then live on forever in puzzles. That would be a cool story.

  • 25d: Like a concrete slab that's made off-site (PRECAST).

  • 32d: Feast alternative (FAMINE). Not much of an alterative. I'll opt for feast.

  • 37d: Natural selection affects it (GENE POOL). I thought at first this might be another theme entry, but there doesn't seem to be a matching entry, and it's not one of the two longest down fills. Besides, most playgrounds don't have a pool.

  • 38d: Los del ___ ("Macarena" duo) (RIO). I didn't even read the whole clue. The del was enough to guess.

  • 42d: Collection of Jewish laws (TALMUD).

  • 45d: Subtitle to the 1978 film "Damien" (OMEN II).

  • 46d: Frank alternative (BURGER). A lesbian says to her partner, "Can I be frank with you?", to which the other replies, "No, I wanna be Frank this time!"

  • 51d: Rapper's entourage (POSSE). Is this never clued to reference old westerns anymore?

  • 53d: Puts one's two cents in? (BETS). Low stakes game, I'd say.

Suns of Bitches:


Pretty straightforward Monday. Nothing much else to add.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

i've seen love story. you're practically forced to if you go to harvard for undergrad. i haven't read the book, though (and have no intention of so doing), so the only reason i knew ERICHSEGAL is because i've seen him used as a clue for both ERICH and SEGAL.

this puzzle had some nice triply-stacked 8s in the NE and SW, something you don't usually get on a monday. in fact, unless i'm miscounting, this is a 72-worder, which is low enough to be a themeless. i'd rather have a nice grid with really smooth fill (like this one) than a whole bunch of theme answers.

Anonymous said...

Hey watch it Pete - my fiancee is cute, but don't you dare call her easy!

Speaking of fiancees, mine tells me the best part about Love Story is that Cornell hockey beats Harvard every time it's shown. Apparently the CU band often plays the theme from the stands at the Harvard game.

I was also thrown by the A-FLAT issue. I kept trying to cram A MINOR into five squares before getting a crossing and realizing the answer.

Oh, and I think orchestras tune to the oboe because its sound is quite penetrating; you can still hear it when everyone's playing. Maybe also because it's easier to blow a constant pitch, but I'm a brass player so what do I know?

Orange said...

Dude. You couldn't find a picture of Elle Macpherson that didn't show her wet and underpantsless? Come on now. Don't make me cancel my subscription to your RSS feed!

Pete M said...

I went out of my way to find a tasteful picture of Elle. Most are quite a bit more explicit than this one. She was a swimsuit supermodel, after all -- you want I find a picture of her in an evening gown perhaps? If that picture offends you, then I'm sorry to have lost your readership.

embien said...

ELLE is just a manifestation of the development of the GENEPOOL, isn't she?

I guess I'm a guy, after all, because I don't see anything wrong with more ELLE in a puzzle that clues 19a: Impetuous ardor for ELAN.

Orange said...

Well, sometimes Elle does wear clothes. Even when there's a camera aimed at her.