Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Title: Stuffing the Bird
Author: Peter A. Collins
Theme: The letters in THANKSGIVING TURKEY are stuffed two letters per square symmetrically throughout the puzzle.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. The Green Genius here, and if there's anything good about the New York Sun newspaper folding, it's that we don't have to miss our favorite crossword on a holiday anymore --- especially a family get-together type holiday when we might well need our diversions.

I had a feeling where Peter Collins was going with this one from the title and I was sure after . I knew that was Frank Thomas and Frank wouldn't work with the down entries I knew -- specifically
1d: Insurance category (THEFT) which convinced me that there was a TH in that first square. After that it was smooth sailing. The other squares with extra letters were

  • 6a: Puts down (LANDS) and 7d: Ottawa Senators defenseman Volchenkov (ANTON)

  • 10a: Pitches while facing a base runner, e.g. (BALKS) There are so many ways for a pitcher to balk (Including "Not coming to a complete stop while standing on the pitching rubber"; "During a pitch, ball slips out of a pitcher's hand crosses the foul line;" "Pitcher begins to make the motions typically associated with his pitching stroke but ceases during its delivery" and my favorite "While on the pitching rubber, pitcher throws to a base before or without stepping toward that base" and on and on for several paragraphs) it's a wonder they ever figure out how to throw a legal pitch and 13d: Sneaker brand (KSWISS).

  • 35a: Tap-in, e.g. (GIMME) and24d: Give up, slangily (BAGIT).

  • 36a: Hole that's often filled (CAVITY) and 28d: Herds of birds (BEVIES).

  • 37a: In the company of (AMONG) and 34d: 2007 Norman Mailer book subtitled "An Uncommon Conversation" (ONGOD). If there is a more overrated American writer than Norman Mailer I hope I never have to read him.

    59a: Prepares to play (TUNES) and 43d: 1974 hit song that starts "Como una promesa" (ERESTU).

    60a: Fat (PORKY) and 49d: Jet fighter (SHARK) The Sharks and the Jets were the rival gangs in "West Side Story." Of course that was back in the days when rhythm and grace were what you needed to be a gang member.

    61a: Varied (MOTLEY) and 53d: White house occupant? (DOPEY). You can, like me, choose to look at that last one as as political statement -- or, if you prefer, you can see it as a reference to one of the seven dwarves who lived in the Snow White house.

    A sub-theme to this puzzle seems to be "Guys whose names end in a vowel". We have 17a: His honorary Oscar aptly weighed 8 1/2 pounds (like all Oscars) (FEDERICOFELLINI). A reference to one of his most respected films "8 1/2" and 30a: "The man who invented casual," according to Bing Crosby (PERRYCOMO) as well as 54a: Potsdam Declaration recipient (EMPERORHIROHITO) and 40a: "Confessions of Zeno" novelist Svevo (ITALO) and 19d: Harvard proponent of higher education? (LEARY).

    Not to mention 50d: Speedskater who won the fourth season of "Dancing With the Stars" (OHNO) and 31d: Cicero contemporary (CATO) and the aforementioned DOPEY and (for the Looney Tunes fanatics) PORKY.

    I've got a lot of turkey-related responsibilities, so the commentary will be kept to a minimum.

  • 14a: Construct (ERECT).

  • 15a: Agenda unit (ITEM).

  • 16a: "Hustle & ___" (2005 film) (FLOW).

  • 20a: Added at no extra charge (TOSSEDIN). Lagniappe (which means something tossed in for free) is one of my favorite words.

  • 21a: Fall collection? (LEAVES).

  • 22a: With 41-Across, wipes brand (WET).

  • 23a: Out-of-___ (some tourists) (STATERS).

  • 24a: Burned brightly (BLAZED).

  • 28a: Farmer, in Dutch (BOER). Didn't they have a war once? What was the problem? fertilizer shortage or something?

  • 29a: Put on (AIRED).

  • 38a: Top sellers (TOYSTORES). Do toy stores even sell tops any more? I never see kids playing with them.

  • 41a: See 22-Across (ONES).

  • 42a: Slept unlike a baby? (SNORED).

  • 43a: Los Angeles suburb that borders Temple City and Baldwin Park (ELMONTE).

  • 47a: 1981 Julie Andrews film (SOB).

  • 48a: Farm machine (REAPER).

  • 49a: Went downhill fast, in a way (SLALOMED).

  • 56a: Moved (SOLD).

  • 57a: Irish novelist O'Flaherty (LIAM).

  • 58a: Coming up (ONTAP)..

  • 2d: The Nabisco logo is imprinted on it (OREO).

  • 3d: Some are OTC (MEDS).

  • 4d: Klondike foundation starters (ACES).

  • 5d: Spread (about) (STREWED).

  • 6d: Lawful (LICIT)..

  • 8d: Modern-day ducky? (DEF).

  • 9d: Place of refinement (SMELTERY).

  • 10d: Lowest black key on a piano (BFLAT).

  • 11d: Still in it (ALIVE).

  • 12d: Person who's likely to go solo (LONER).

  • 18d: Fingered, for short (IDED).

  • 23d: Does a washday job (SORTS).

  • 25d: It can be a stretch (LIMO).

  • 26d: Slew (ARMY).

  • 27d: Zsa Zsa's big pair? (ZEES). If you say so.

  • 30d: French city, in song (PAREE).

  • 32d: Karl's role in "Patton" (OMAR).

  • 33d: Beauty spot (MOLE).

  • 36d: PC user's shortcut for printing (CONTROLP).

  • 39d: Printer insert (TONER).

  • 40d: Flowering (INBLOOM).

  • 42d: Take off (SOAR).

  • 44d: Globetrotter of note (LEMON). That would be Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters

  • 45d: Bowling lane wood (MAPLE).

  • 46d: Newspaper opinion pieces (OPEDS). Now I could be wrong, but this one seems to violate the rule against any part of the answer being in the clue. Doesn't Op-ed stand for "opinion - editorial"?

  • 47d: Disgustingly dishonest (SLIMY)

  • 51d: It can catch heat (MITT). A catcher's mitt catching a fastball AKA heat.

  • 52d: List-ending abbr. (ETAL).

  • 55d: Orinoco, por ejemplo (RIO).

  • Have a great holiday,


    Jim Finder said...

    Happy Holiday, everybody.

    The op-ed page is traditionally located opposite the editorial page.

    Jim Finder

    Norrin2 said...

    I stand corrected -- Again!