Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Title: Those Were the Days
Author: Alex Boisvert
Theme: Quip by comedian Demetri Martin



I know a lot of people aren't fans of quip and quote puzzles, since you only get one "Aha" moment instead of perhaps several. But I like Demetri Martin's brand of humor, so this one was fine by me.

Sunny Spots:

  • 8d: Rehearsal (DRY RUN). I'm not sure what the origin of this phrase is, but it might be military (i.e., without live ammo).

  • 11d: Pickle (QUANDARY). Good word, with a Q to boot.

  • 44d: Palace guard, perhaps (EUNUCH). This amuses me because it reminds me of my all-time favorite "Dilbert" cartoon.

  • 5a: Sale spot (YARD). Yard, barn, tent, ... pick one.

  • 9a: Excite (PIQUE).

  • 14a: "Piece of My Heart" singer Franklin (ERMA). Aretha's older sister. Janis Joplin's version is a cover of this original. Hear it here.

  • 15a: Prefix with mensch (UBER). I do like the prefix UBER-.

  • 17a: Da ___ (from the top, in music) (CAPO).

  • 19a: Barbecue sides (SLAWS). It's a rare barbecue that has multiple slaws, but okay.

  • 23a: Italian sandwiches (PANINI).

  • 24a: 180, familiarly (UEY). Guessed the correct spelling the first time.

  • 25a: POTUS #34 (DDE). Eisehower, the 34th President of the United States.

  • 32a: Fidel's brother (RAUL).

  • 40a: Like the accent in "crème" (GRAVE). High school French to the rescue again.

  • 41a: Verklempt person's cry (OY VEY).

  • 45a: Beast in Numbers (ASS). We're talking Bible here.

  • 50a: Longtime Kentucky basketball coach Rupp (ADOLPH). I didn't know this, but it's a common enough name that it fell pretty easily.

  • 56a: Rapids transit? (CANOE). I'm not sure why the '?' is necessary here. My first instinct was KAYAK, as it has nicer letters. Here's a nice Winslow Homer painting on the subject.

  • 58a: Jamaican tangelo (UGLI).

  • 59a: Quarters where quarters might be played (DORM). Quarters is the bugle call indicating it's time to return to quarters for the evening. Hear it here.

  • 61a: Popular cat name (CLEO). Really? People name their cats Cleo? I've never met a cat named Cleo. Or is there something about this clue that I'm missing?

  • 62a: Railroad company known as "The scarlet woman of Wall Street" (ERIE). I'm sure there's a story here, but I'm too lazy to digging for what it might be.

  • 64a: Felled (HEWN). This was in the destruction zone of the puzzle, along with 55d: Struck down (SLEW), 57d: Hack (AXE), and the red herring, 56d: Hack (CAB).

  • 1d: Offering at (RECIPE).

  • 2d: It's called Masis in Armenian (ARARAT). This clue has Peter Gordon written all over it.

  • 5d: Superlatively scrumptious (YUMMIEST).

  • 12d: Motor City org. (UAW).

  • 13d: Overhead rumblers (ELS).

  • 30d: "Cantar de ___ Cid" (Spanish epic poem) (MIO).

  • 31d: Result of dropping a can of corn (ERROR).

  • 32d: "You may ___ on it" (Magic 8 Ball pronouncement) (RELY). For those of you who never broke one of these open, here is what the inside die looks like.

  • 33d: Winter precipitazione (NEVE). A little stretchy, but I know it's "neige" in French, so it's not totally out there.

  • 34d: Walter's "Hopscotch" costar (GLENDA). Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson.

  • 35d: "What hump?" speaker (IGOR). From "Young Frankenstein".

  • 37d: Second-largest Mediterranean island (SARDINIA).

  • 38d: Illuminati symbol (EYE).

  • 39d: "Birthplace of ___ Pioneers" (phrase on an Ohio quarter) (AVIATION).

  • 43d: Sobbing syllable (HOO). Half of Boo-hoo. Kind of weak.

  • 45d: Current TV cofounder (AL GORE).

Suns of Bitches:

  • 60a: Spaceship in "Wall-E" (AXIOM). I never saw the movie, so this was crossings only.

  • 4d: "The Shock Doctrine" author Klein (NAOMI). Hitting my first-name weakness again here.

  • 7d: "And Then There Were None" director Clair (RENE). Ditto.

Overall, this puzzle was just okay for me. The theme was fine, for a quote, but I wasn't crazy about the non-theme long fill. QUANDARY was good, if not exciting. YUMMIEST... well, jury's still out on YUMMIEST. SARDINIA and AVIATION are both a little dry.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Dan said...

The "quarters" clue probably refers to the drinking game...

Demetri Martin rules.

Pete M said...

Good catch, Dan. 25 bonus points.

Joon said...

this seemed easy for a thursday sun, even with the unhelpful quip theme (although i did sort of piece together the end of it).

what's "current TV"?

Pete M said...

@joon: Current TV.

ArtLvr said...

Cleo was my mother's favorite cat, and I had one too some years later! It took me a while to write it in though, as I never met another. Talk of nostalgia...