Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Title: Adverbially Yours
Author: Jim Leeds
Theme: Phrases which get -LY added to the first word to make silly adverbial phrases

  • 17a: Avoid getting beaned in an inept manner? (LAMELY DUCK).

  • 26a: Hike with great care? (GINGERLY SNAP). this was the last part of the puzzle i filled in, as i was thinking of the "walk outdoors" definition of hike.

  • 45a: Gave very little support to? (BARELY BACKED). hmm. hmmmmm. it's a good thing i decided not to create that "sexual innuendo" tag i was considering last week.

  • 58a: Use a bulletin board only once in a great while? (HARDLY TACK).

i didn't figure out the theme while i was solving this puzzle, and to be honest, it didn't do much for me when i did figure it out, since none of the theme answers really sparkled. LAMELY DUCK probably should have tipped me off, but i didn't really stop to think about it. probably would have helped me figure out GINGERLY SNAP.

Sunny Spots:

  • 3d: Depriving of virility (UNMANNING). who's the NFL's un-manning? i say brett favre.

  • 32d: It's next to Luxury Tax on a Monopoly board (PARK PLACE). both the NW and SE corners had parallel 9s, and i liked these two the best. sure, it's nice to see full names in the grid, but i'm not a big fan of 33d: "Wag the Dog" costar (ANNE HECHE).

  • 43d: One who plays hoops (B-BALLER). even BALLER would have been a good answer, but i like B-BALLER even better. hoop it up!

  • 47d: Combo utensil (SPORK). love this word. SPORK SPORK SPORK SPORK SPORK.


  • 5a: Hebrew for "my master" (RABBI). i thought it meant "teacher." i guess they could be the same thing.

  • 19a: "Purple ___" (Jimi Hendrix song) (HAZE). this song contains one of the most famous mondegreens ever: "excuse me while i kiss this guy." good song, though.

  • 31a: Former lefty, perhaps (NEOCON). i've never seen "lefty" used in a political context, but most lefty baseball players stay lefty (unlike, say, billy wagner, who was right-handed until he broke his arm in 9th grade and learned to throw with his left).

  • 35a: Get Mad again, say (RENEW). it's not tricky if you don't hide the capital M of Mad.

  • 38a: Liquid-Plumr alternative (DRANO). it'd be cool to see drano in the clue and LIQUID-PLUMR in the grid some time, wouldn't it?

  • 51a: Ends of the earth? (POLES). i like this clue with a ?. i didn't like it without a ? (as in the NYT puzzle four weeks ago today), because ... well, the earth is round. it doesn't have actual ends.

  • 34d: Excellent driver (WOOD). hmm. a driver is a WOOD—a 1-WOOD, to be specific. i'm not sure why a WOOD is an "excellent driver." still, the clue was tricky enough to be pretty fun.

  • 39d: Marathon, e.g. (RACE). PERSIAN WAR BATTLE wouldn't fit.

  • 48d: Pickup line? ("HOP IN"). loved this clue.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 5d: "Match Game" host Gene (RAYBURN). old game shows are definitely beyond my ken.

well, i didn't love the theme, but the puzzle overall had enough sparkle to make it an enjoyable solve. happy new year everybody!



Pete M said...

I'm certain "Excellent driver" was a shout out to "Rain Man", though I had the same question about its appropriateness. I was looking for a good RM clip and came upon this spoof which I've decided is funnier.

Pete M said...

Also, any reference to "Match Game" deserves a sexual innuendo tag all by itself. :)