Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Title: Themeless Thursday
Author: Patrick Berry
Theme: N/A

Another themeless Thursday, that makes two in a row. This one was a little tougher than last week's. At least it was for me. I do my puzzles the old-fashioned way -- in ink, and there are quite a few scratch-outs and carets in my grid today.

Let's start of by looking at what I missed and why.

52a: Reconsidered (TOOKASECONDLOOK). I was on the right track, but I had TOOK ANOTHER LOOK, so that messed me up at -- among others -- 53d: Bill's partner (COO). I thought this three letter word started with a T, so I put in TED as the answer here, as in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," probably my favorite dumb movie of all time.

I immediately knew that was wasn't right because I was sure that Jeremy IRONS was the answer to 55a: Scar voicer in "The Lion King" (You'd be sure too if your kids made you watch "The Lion King" as many times as mine did.) and I was equally sure Jeremy didn't spell his last name IRENS.

What else did I miss?
18d: Girlfriend whose name Jerry thinks is Mulva, in a "Seinfeld" episode (DOLORES). I knew the answer -- this is the one where Jerry can't remember the girl's name, only that it rhymes with a part of the female anatomy, but I misspelled it DELORES.

And I missed 28a: Weapon in the game Clue (BAT) It's been a long time since I played Clue. I had GUN. (Which brings me to something that's always bothered me about this game. How hard is it to figure out the murder weapon. Can't you tell whether a guy's been hung with a rope or bludgeoned with a candlestick?) And no wonder I didn't get this one -- they didn't have a bat when I played they had a lead pipe. According to NPR the game's been updated. And I was misremembering Classic Clue anyway -- there was no GUN per se, there was a REVOLVER.

The only other thing I missed was 24d: They're full of hot air (STEAMROOMS). I had STEAM IRONS (probably still thinking about Scar and Jeremy.)

The rest of the puzzle:

1a: TV show with the character Zelmo Zale (MASH). He was the 4077th's supply sergeant. I couldn't find any video of him. Youtube keeps wanting to show me Zale's Jewelers commercials.

"M*A*S*H: For Want of a Boot (#2.17)" (1974)

Zale: Look, we made a deal. He didn't come through.
Hawkeye: Do you know what I did? How I degraded myself? How I groveled, how I humbled, how I cheapened myself? All for a pair of miserable, lousy, army boots? I swear to you, as dedicated as I am to the sanctity and preservation of human life, if I had a gun at this moment, I would send my head across the tent!
Zale: A gun takes six weeks. There's a terrific waiting list.

5a: He has a small staff (SANTA). Sounds like the requisite sexual reference, but it's actually a bit of seasonal humor.
10a: Hogshead (CASK).
14a: Member of the dynasty founded by Manco Cápac (INCA).

15a: "The roof of the World" (TIBET).
16a: Tony's counterpart (OBIE).

  • 17a: Observe all the formalities (STANDONCEREMONY).

  • 20a: Say for all to hear (SINGOUT).

  • 21a: Reasons (MOTIVES).

  • 22a: High, on a score (ALT).

  • 23a: Work off restless energy, in a way (PACE).

  • 24a: ___-Blo (brand of fuse) (SLO).

  • 25a: Cut glass (ETCH).

  • 31a: Book learning? (LITERARYHISTORY).

  • 36a: Albert Alligator's home (OKEFENOKEESWAMP). This might be why I had such a relatively easy time with this puzzle. This 15-letter center entry I knew right away. Albert Alligator lived in the swamp with Pogo Possum and Howland Owl and Porky Pine and many others in Waly Kelly's masterpiece of a comic strip. My three favorite comic strips are "Krazy Kat" "Pogo" and "Calvin and Hobbes" although the exact order varies day-to-day. Today my favorite is definitely Pogo.

  • 37a: Argues an issue that's already settled (BEATSADEADHORSE).
  • 38a: Scott's "Quantum Leap" role (SAM). Man, I miss that show. If you're wondering what to get your favorite part-time crossword blogger for Christmas, season one of "Quantum Leap" on DVD would be an excellent choice.
  • 39a: "___ I should be old-fashioned, I'll put a trinket on": Emily Dickinson (LEST).
  • 40a: Attach (ADD).
  • 41a: Last word of the first verse of "America" (RING). Oh, I forgot -- I messed this one up initially too. (Maybe I didn't have that easy a time with this puzzle.) I had the right song, wrong verse. I had SING as in "Of thee, I. . . " which is the last word of the second verse.
  • 44a: SFC's USN counterpart (CPO).
  • 45a: Trees whose wood doesn't float (EBONIES).
  • 48a: Winding path's opposite (BEELINE).
  • 54a: Volume (TOME)
  • 56a: Portrayer of Jane in "Becoming Jane" (ANNE).
  • 57a: Boycotter of the L.A. Games (USSR).
  • 58a: Place to hang one's hat (ABODE).
  • 59a: Bagpipes, e.g. (REED).
  • 1d: Air ball, e.g. (MISS).
  • 2d: Prefix with body (ANTI).
  • 3d: Work as a checkout clerk (SCAN).
  • 4d: Direction to change from north to west? (HANGALEFT).
  • 5d: Malty drink (STOUT). What I miss most about my fitness regimen? Guinness.

  • By the way, when I was searching for that picture I found this -- the cake for my next birthday.
  • 6d: ___ It Cool News (film website) (AINT).
  • 7d: "Must See TV" network (NBC).
  • 8d: Overbrim (TEEM).

  • 9d: Affected by underuse (ATROPHIED).
  • 10d: Funny (COMIC).
  • 11d: In open sight (ABOVEBOARD).
  • 12d: Opposite over hypotenuse, for a right triangle (SINE).
  • 13d: Drop-box inserts, often (KEYS).
  • 19d: Flight deck guess (ETA)
  • 25d: Become more rounded, maybe (ERODE).
  • 26d: Playground players (TYKES).
  • 27d: Look around for some answers? (CHEAT).Made me laugh. Thanks, Patrick.

  • 29d: "___ and the Man" (Shaw play) (ARMS).

  • 30d: Variety (TYPE).

  • 31d: High returns (LOBS).
  • 32d: It acquired Stør in 1992 (IKEA).

  • 33d: Inability to feel pain (ANALGESIA).

  • 34d: Curvy, in a way (SSHAPED).

  • 35d: Like many racetrack bets (TWODOLLAR). I have never been to the racetrack. Do they still let you make two dollar bets? Seems like a throwback to the 30's.

  • 42d: Graphic novelist, at times (INKER).

  • 43d: Fifth principle of Kwanzaa (NIA).

  • 44d: Perfume, in a way (CENSE).

  • 45d: Senate censure (ETTU). A very specific censure. Julius Caesar to Brutus after he was stabbed by his BFF.

  • 46d: Raspberry relatives (BOOS).

  • 47d: Vojvodina native (SERB).

  • 48d: Become good friends, say (BOND).

  • 49d: Donovan's daughter (IONE). Ione Skye, who played Diane Court in the classic John Cusack movie "Say Anything."

  • 50d: "___ but the Brave" (1965 Frank Sinatra film) (NONE).

  • 51d: Barely made, with "out" (EKED).

  • See you next Thursday.


    Anonymous said...

    Now I'm going to be singing "Deck the Halls with Boston Charlie" for the rest of the day!


    Anonymous said...

    Oops, make that Charley!


    Norrin2 said...

    Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
    Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
    Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower

    Jim Finder said...

    Many thanks to Patrick for 18D. I only ever see random snips of Seinfeld and I never knew Dolores' real name.