Friday, October 7, 2011

10.07 Fri

October 7, 2011
Pete Muller

Theme: G FORCE — The letters CE are replaced by the letter G in familiar phrases (i.e., you need to substitute "G" FOR "CE")

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT).
  • 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT).
  • 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG).
  • 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG).
  • 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G FORCE).
[Quick Jeopardy note: Joon won again last night (yee-haw!), so he'll be on again tonight. Jeopardy doesn't air on the west coast until 10:00pm Eastern. Please don't post any spoilers in the comments before that time. Thanks!]

I had a hard time figuring out this theme from the first two theme answers. I had the end of each phrase, but didn't know what the beginning could possibly be. It finally clicked at NUCLEAR ARMS RAG, awesomely clued as [43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry?] and then I could go back and piece together the others. Well, that's not entirely true. I couldn't come up with the original phrase "brace for impact," so I still had trouble with that one.

Lots of missteps today:
  • 7A: Does away with (OFFS). I tried ENDS first.
  • 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE). Wanted -ESE here.
  • 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN). Stupidly entered OATMEAL.
  • 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA). Tried ETNA. At least I was in the right country.
  • 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG). Wasn't sure if this would be SOLO or SOLE. Could have saved myself some time on that argument.
  • 10D: Dam up (STEM). Tried STOP.
  • 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES). Anyone else here ever singe their eyelashes. Yeah, that's embarrassing.
  • 18A: August (MAJESTIC). Both clue and answer are great words.
  • 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"). This clue could work both with and without the quotation marks, I think. The quotation marks indicate that this something a person would say (duh), so the answer needs to be something else a person would say that means the same thing. But even without the saying part, have some = eat.
  • 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP). I went looking for an Eminem clip to include and came across this ad, which actually gives me goose-bumps at the end.

  • 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the successor to the Atomec Energy Commission, which, in 1975, changed its name to the Energy Research and Development Administration and, basically, broke apart into several separate agencies including the NRC, the National Nuclear Security Adminsitration, and the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology. At least that's what Wikipedia says happened.
  • 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"). I really don't want to get into a whole thing about this, but I just want to mention that I cringed a little when I read this clue.
  • 19D: Water source (SPIGOT). I wanted this to be SPRING, but I already had the I in the "wrong" place. Then I couldn't shift my thinking away from a natural source for water. I needed all the crosses for this one is what I'm saying.
  • 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN). With an E where the O was supposed to go, this took a while to fall into place. I thought it might be something like BEFOG, only not BEFOG because I already had the IN.
  • 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA). This doesn't work for me. A CHIA pet isn't really "hirsute," right?
  • 28D: Sizzling (IRATE). Lots of "hot" words that work as synonymns for IRATE: hot, steamed, boiling, etc. But "sizzling" to me means sexy, not angry.
  • 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM). Brilliant. I get tricked by this type of clue pretty much every time. In this case, we're not looking for an example of someone being "under the weather" or "ill" but, instead, need to think about the fact that the phrase "under the weather" is an example of an IDIOM.
  • 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE). I guess that depends on what shape you're going for.
  • 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR). For some reason, I thought it was Jessica Lange who got the nomination for this movie. Oh wait. Both Lange and GARR were nominated, but Lange won. I feel better about myself now. I'm going to include a picture of TERI GARR here, just incase Rex stops by. He has a little thing for her.
  • 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA). This is the first I've heard of it. A novel called NAUSEA? Wow. Can't wait to read it.

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Everything 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES); 7A: Does away with (OFFS); 11A: Spirit (PEP); 14A: Set straight (ORIENT); 15A: Narrow space (SLIT); 16A: Pay add-on (-OLA); 17A: Where many changes occur (CABANA); 18A: August (MAJESTIC); 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT); 22A: Patriot Act protesters: Abbr. (ACLU); 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE); 25A: Goddess of motherhood (ISIS); 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT); 31A: Wasikowska of "The Kids Are All Right" (MIA); 32A: "Trinity" novelist (URIS); 33A: Union agreement (I DO); 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN); 36A: Illegal pitch (SPITTER); 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"); 41A: Kid on "The Cosby Show" (THEO); 42A: Big name in '40s-'50s Argentina (EVA); 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG); 47A: Went under (SANK); 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP); 49A: Irascibility (BILE); 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG); 55A: LA and MI, but not DO or RE (U.S. STATES); 56A: Gas up? (AERATE); 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC); 60A: It can get you credit in a store (VISA); 61A: Shrink, in a way (NARROW); 62A: "The __ of Pooh": '80s best-seller (TAO); 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"); 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G-FORCE); 1D: Religious org., perhaps (SOC.); 2D: George's lyricist (IRA); 3D: Show little interest in, as food (NIBBLE AT); 4D: Get ready for action (GEAR UP); 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA); 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG); 7D: Biology text topic (OSMOSIS); 8D: Roadside attention getters (FLARES); 9D: Water brand named for its source (FIJI); 10D: Dam up (STEM); 11D: Fertilizer substance (POTASH); 12D: Draw forth (ELICIT); 13D: Treaties (PACTS); 19D: Water source (SPIGOT); 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN); 22D: Spherical opening? (ATMO-); 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA); 27D: Like the sticks (RURAL); 28D: Sizzling (IRATE); 29D: More fleshy, perhaps (RIPER); 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM); 35D: Anouilh play made into a Burton/O'Toole film (BECKET); 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE); 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR); 38D: Assessment, for short (EVAL); 39D: Popular trend (RAGE); 41D: Pontiac muscle car (TRANS AM); 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA); 44D: Paris-based cultural org. (UNESCO); 45D: "Gunsmoke" star (ARNESS); 46D: Popular purveyor of stromboli (SBARRO); 47D: Zippo (SQUAT); 51D: Deep blue (NAVY); 52D: Play to __ (A TIE); 53D: Named names (SANG); 54D: Two pages (LEAF); 57D: Front-of-bk. list (TOC); 58D: Cote girl (EWE).