Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Title: Coming of Age
Author: Patrick Blindauer
Theme: Wordplay theme in which AGE gets inserted to various phrases

  • 17a: Beauty contests on the equator? (HOT PAGEANTS).

  • 28a: Pelt with rocks in a wise manner? (SAGELY STONE). you probably know who sly stone is, but i didn't. some kind of '60s-'70s funk musician.

  • 44a: Saws about infield flies? (POP-UP ADAGES). "an out in the hand is worth two in the bush."

  • 60a: Psychologist Jean calls it quits? (PIAGET STOPS). swiss developmental psychologist jean piaget, you've officially made it. congratulations!

i have high expectations for a patrick blindauer theme, and this one fell somewhat short. there's nothing wrong with this theme, exactly, but other that POP-UP ADAGES, i wasn't wild about any of the four theme answers or their base phrases.

Sunny Spots:

  • 51d: Chiba ___ Marines (Japanese team managed by Bobby Valentine) (LOTTE). any reference to nippon professional baseball gets an automatic sunny spot.

  • 52a: 1 followed by 100 zeros (GOOGOL). this is just a cool word for a cool idea. certainly google thought so. it also reminds me of the brilliant russian author nikolai gogol.

  • 18d: The earth, when viewed as a self-regulating organism (GAIA). fun factoid: the GAIA hypothesis was proposed by james lovelock, but named by his next-door neighboor, novelist william golding (of lord of the flies fame).


  • 1a: Something to play for (KEEPS). nice clue at 1a.

  • 6a: Green shoe (CLEAT). the shoe you wear on the golf green. the CLEAT itself is usually white.

  • 19a: Pitch (TAR).

  • 20a: Night crawlers, maybe (LIVE BAIT). eww. i'll spare you the picture.

  • 33a: Lock (TRESS). it's always TRESS. but for once, this word isn't on the bottom row or rightmost column.

  • 35a: Maxwell rival (REO). i'm not familiar with maxwell automobiles, which were manufactured from 1904-25. should i be?

  • 40a: "Diary of a Genius" author (DALI). this is my favorite DALI: the sacrament of the last supper, from the national gallery of art in washington.

  • 42a: Letter abbr. that tells the reader there's something else in the envelope (ENC). what's the record for highest clue length/answer length ratio?

  • 43a: Turning points? (AXLES). this clue maybe doesn't even merit a ?.

  • 59a: Up chuck? (LOB). this one does, but i wasn't wild about the clue.

  • 64a: Shout when a show starts ("IT'S ON!"). i'd like to see this clued as ["You're going down!"]

  • 2d: "My God," to Jesus (ELOI). now here's a clue i can get behind. seems a bit tough for a tuesday, though.

  • 4d: Peck of pickled peppers picker Peter (PIPER). cute.

  • 5d: Popular food fish (SEA BASS). yeah, lots of fishing words meet up here.

  • 6d: Feeding a line to (CUEING). but not this one.

  • 9d: Door holder's phrase ("AFTER YOU"). "i insist, my dear alphonse." "no, i insist, my dear gaston."

  • 10d: Tries (TASTES). with _AS___ in place, i slapped HAS A GO down here. whoops.

  • 22d: Way inappropriate for children (RATED X). like, waaaaay.

  • 25d: "Sweeney Todd" prop (STROP). well, he is the demon barber of fleet street.

  • 26d: Home to many works by El Greco (PRADO). spanish art having its say in this puzzle. but the DALI museum is in ... st petersburg, florida. why? i have no idea.

  • 32d: Bagatelle dedicatee of the early 19th century (ELISE).

  • 34d: Released (SPRUNG). i like this answer.

  • 39d: Common bonds? (ANDS). nice clue for a slightly awkward answer.

  • 43d: Germfree state (ASEPSIS). whoo, the vocab is getting kinda technical.

  • 47d: Part of QED (ERAT). once, i saw this clue used for QUOD. someday i'd like to see it used for QUANTUM. or on a really good day, ELECTRODYNAMICS.

  • 54d: Dead beat writer's piece? (OBIT). is there really a "beat" for OBIT writers?

  • 55d: "Permit Me Voyage" poet (james AGEE). i didn't know he wrote poetry.

Suns of Bitches:

  • 55a: City near Bras├îlia (ANAPOLIS). whoa. i'm way out of my depth here. rio, sao paolo, brasilia, recife... that's all the brazilian cities i know. the maryland home of the naval academy has two Ns.

  • 8d: Progeny of Eternity and Infinity, in Marvel Comics (EON). obscure, but guessable.

  • 24d: "Truth or Dare" director Keshishian (ALEK). no clue.

see you next time.


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