Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Title: Weekend Warrior
Author: Frank Longo
Theme: None

Sunny Spots:

  • 28a: Deliver unexpected terrible news to (DROP A BOMB ON). Great phrase, though clued in a super-straightforward manner.

  • 37a: Feel like doing some complaining (HAVE A BONE TO PICK). Another excellent phrase.

  • 42a: Comment betraying doubt (I'M NOT SO SURE). Notice how clean and unforced these long entries feel.

  • 35d: House party (DEMOCRATS). Nice clue.

  • 1a: Very bad (AWFUL). 6a: Very sad (DEPRESSED). 15a: Very mad (IRATE). Okay, this trio is kind of cute, but it masks the fact that you're starting a Weekend Warrior with three pretty mundane fills. I'd much prefer to forego the cutesy cluing and kick it off with some meat.

  • 16a: They have no intermissions (ONE-ACTERS).

  • 17a: County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (DELTA). Seems like there would be a lot of more interesting possibilities for cluing this word than a Michigan county.

  • 18a: It was closed during the Six-Day War (SUEZ CANAL).

  • 19a: Can opener's goal? (ESCAPE). They're not necessarily trying to open the prison; just get out. Still, I knew immediately where this clue was going.

  • 32a: Middy's sch., e.g. (ACAD). Midshipmen, I assume.

  • 41a: Liqueur-flavoring fruit (SLOE). Booze tag. We'll also toss in 61a: Yard alternative (PINT GLASS).

  • 45a: "Without a doubt" (NATCH). Eh. Not an expression heard much around where I live.

  • 46a: Waiter at a hotel (TAXICAB). This clue fooled me for a while the first time I saw it. This time, not so much.

  • 55a: Trivia, to the Greeks (HECATE). Equivalent goddesses of witchcraft, though Hecate is also associated with the underworld and fertility. Busy woman.

  • 56a: Way too much (AD NAUSEAM).

  • 64a: Platform component (TENET). As in a platform of beliefs.

  • 3d: Soprano player (FALCO). Of "The Sopranos".

  • 6d: Stylists' suggestions (DOS). I prefer Unix. :)

  • 7d: "Had ___?" (1991 Al B. Sure! single) (ENUF). I don't know this song, and it was still the first entry in the grid. It's that obvious.

  • 8d: Yellow slipper? (PEEL). Banana peel.

  • 9d: Deconstruct? (RAZE).

  • 10d: Depiction of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns (ECCE HOMO).

  • 11d: Road atlas array (STATE MAPS).

  • 13d: Word after many presidents' names (ERA). As in "the Lincoln Era".

  • 23d: ___ 500 (annual Pennsylvania stock car race) (POCONO). I didn't know it, but I know of the Poconos, so it's not a big stretch.

  • 25d: Mayo preceder (ABRIL). April, in Spanish. The French is AVRIL, so keep them straight.

  • 26d: Jailer in Beethoven's "Fidelio" (ROCCO).

  • 31d: Minor-leaguer from Louisville (BAT).

  • 34d: Culturally ahead of the times (AVANT).

  • 44d: Taking advantage of a conscience clause, e.g. (EXEMPT). I believe this is in reference to conscientious objectors to the draft. I'll assume that's right and let someone correct me if it isn't.

  • 48d: Like some wings (CAJUN). Mmmmm.

  • 49d: Make things square (ATONE). Went with ALIGN first, which slowed this corner down.

  • 52d: Hawai, e.g. (ISLA). My first instinct was TYPO.

  • 53d: Quarterback (LEAD). Nice verb usage.

  • 56d: Wild (APE). As in "go ape".

  • 57d: "Sweat Equity" network (DIY). "Do It Yourself".

  • 59d: They're sent to eds. (MSS). Manuscripts.

Suns of Bitches:
  • 36a: Argentine province or its capital (CATAMARCA). My first instinct (okay, my only instinct) was PATAGONIA. This was all crossings.

  • 4d: Hindi for "north" (UTTAR). Sorry, I'm not up on my Hindi.

  • 32d: Cheating euchre player in Bret Harte's "Plain Language From Truthful James" (AH SIN). If you say so.

  • 33d: "Ridente la ___" (Mozart song) (CALMA). Sometimes you're stuck for a fill. This is one of those times.

  • 39d: Cry after a recital (BIS). I don't understand this. People cry "BIS"? According to my dictionary, bis is Latin used in music for "again" or "twice". I've been to my share of concerts and recitals, and I've never heard this cried. I guess New Yorkers are way more sophisticated. Or pretentious.

All in all, this didn't seem as hard as some recent Weekend Warriors. A few really nice fills spiced up what would otherwise have been a pretty workmanlike puzzle. A few entries felt a little obscure, but the crossings were all fair, which is all I ask for. I think I would have preferred that some of the effort in finding clues that were similar to others in the puzzle were directed more to the individual clues themselves, but overall I thought it was a decent puzzle.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.

1 comment:

Jim Finder said... explains "conscience clauses."

TRIVIA and CATAMARCA caused problems. However, UTTAR Pradesh is a state of India so that one came easily. I know "BIS" but I've never heard it cried anywhere. What ever happened to "encore"?