Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Title: Ancient History
Author: Daniel A. Finan
Theme: Yoo-hoo, anybody out there doing crosswords on Christmas?

So, I was right last week when I predicted that the streak of Themeless Thursday puzzles would end today. But I have to confess I was expecting a Christmas theme. Turns out I was all wet. But that's okay, so is Daniel Finan with his puzzle about bridges and rivers as spelled out at 11d: See 53-Down (THEBRIDGE) and 53d: With 11-Down, ancient history, symbolically (and a description of three columns in this puzzle) (WATER). The waters are at 34d: 1950 John Wayne film (RIOGRANDE) which is under 3d: Dwarf, with "over" (TOWER). (And I think that's part of the reason I didn't love this puzzle -- besides the fact that I had my taste buds set for a Christmas puzzle -- I mean, even with my spotty knowledge of geography I know that the Tower Bridge (named for its proximity to the Tower of London) is not over the river that serves as a natural boundary between the US and Mexico.) Then there's 5d: Theater district (RIALTO) over 40d: Boulder's place (COLORADO) and finally we have 9d: "Welcome Back, Kotter" setting (BROOKLYN) over 48d: Big book e-tailer (AMAZON).
Speaking of Brooklyn (and that bridge nowhere near the Amazon River) here's the beginning of one of my favorite movies:

I looked to see if there were any more over-under word combos that might be unintentionally amusing. The only one I found was 39d: Song on R.E.M.'s "Green" album (STAND) under 21d: Abbr. in a Pixar title (INC) which is a pretty weak pun on "inkstand" but it gave me a mini-chuckle.

This was another easy puzzle, even though much of it consists of (ostensibly) geographical answers and geography is my weak suit. The only thing I missed was 23d: Danish physicist Bohr (NIELS).and that was because I misspelled NIELS. No, wait a minute, that's not true I also missed 25d: Castor and Pollux, e.g. (STARS) because when I had the ___RS I thought mythologically and not astronomically and put PAIRS instead of STARS, whichg makes no sense, I realize, but what can I say? I had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.
Speaking of which, I really don't have much to say about this lackluster puzzle, but if you missed anything, here you go:

  • 1a: Play fivesome, often (ACTS).

  • 5a: Domino fans like it (RANDB). Rhythm and Blues. I'm assuming the Domino is Fats.

  • 10a: Chili, e.g. (STEW).
  • 14a: ___ En-lai (CHOU).

  • 15a: Place for "bombs bursting" (INAIR).

  • 16a: Facetious "Got it!" (AHSO).

  • 17a: Shortened, in a way (MOWN).

  • 18a: "Like me" (ASIDO).

  • 19a: Subscription period, often (YEAR).

  • 20a: Wolfgang contemporary (EMERIL).

  • 22a: Madhouse (LOONYBIN).

  • 24a: Dashes (SPRINTS).

  • 26a: One going downhill fast (SKIER).

  • 27a: Nae sayers (SCOTS).

  • 29a: Injury (LESION).

  • 32a: Reveal (BARE).

  • 35a: ___ halide (ALKYL).

  • 37a: Actress Joanne (DRU).

  • 38a: Non alternative (OUI).

  • 39a: Checks the caller ID before deciding whether to pick up, e.g. (SCREENS).

  • 41a: Sal of song, say (GAL).

  • 42a: Flap (ADO).

  • 43a: "The better ___ you with" (TOSEE).

  • 44a: Retail (SELL).

  • 45a: Prepare to change lanes (SIGNAL). Not in South Carolina where I live. Everybody just plows on over.

  • 47a: "Serpico" commission (KNAPP).

  • 50a: This is an example of one it certainly is (RUNON).

  • 52a: Authorize (EMPOWER).

  • 56a: Pillowcase stainer? (TEARDROP).

  • 59a: Capital of Kazakhstan (ASTANA).

  • 60a: Cremains vessels (URNS).

  • 61a: Filled with talk (ABUZZ).

  • 63a: Encompassing everything (ATOZ).

  • 64a: It might be bummed (RIDE).

  • 65a: Half of a droid name (DETOO).

  • 66a: A stet negates it (DELE).

  • 67a: Trough contents (FEED).

  • 68a: Longtime Arizona Wildcats basketball coach Lute ___ (OLSON).

  • 69a: Mérida Mmes. (SRAS).

  • 1d: Tiptops (ACMES).

  • 2d: Bite (CHOMP).

  • 4d: When the day starts (SUNRISE).

  • 6d: "Jeopardy!" clue: Abbr. (ANS).

  • 7d: Filed thing (NAIL).

  • 8d: Gewgaws (DIDOS).

  • 10d: Give one's assent (SAYYES).

  • 12d: Morales in movies (ESAI).

  • 13d: Tuckered (out) (WORN).

  • 28d: Like sports cars (SLEEK).

  • 30d: Word with surgery or history (ORAL).

  • 31d: Empty, as a set (NULL).

  • 32d: Ones in the constriction business? (BOAS).

  • 33d: Make whose logo is four rings (AUDI).

  • 36d: Nancy Drew creator Carolyn (KEENE).

  • 44d: Political campaign purchases (SPOTADS).

  • 46d: Sipped (NURSED).

  • 48d: Big book e-tailer (AMAZON).

  • 49d: Thought after an afterthought: Abbr. (PPS).

  • 51d: Element #102 is named after him (NOBEL).

  • 54d: B-29 bomber name (ENOLA).

  • 55d: Brings down (RAZES).

  • 56d: ___ toe (athlete's affliction) (TURF).

  • 57d: Canal completed in 1825 (ERIE).

  • 58d: Throws, as a shot (PUTS).

  • 62d: Herpetologist employer (ZOO).

Merry Christmas, y'all. Norrin2

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