Saturday, October 8, 2011

10.08 Sat

October 8, 2011
Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Sorry I'm late. Also sorry this will be short. I've got something weird going on with my eye and need to go to the doctor. I'm sure it's not life-threatening (otherwise I wouldn't be here), but it just looks like something I need to get checked out. And it's not really my eye so much as it's some swelling under my eye, which probably isn't related to my actual eyeball at all, so really, not a huge deal. But I'm gonna stop talking about it now so I can say a few things about this puzzle.

It's always a treat to see Brad's name in the byline and this puzzle turned out to be pretty much exactly what I expected. A tough workout with lots of sparkle. There were only a couple things I just flat-out didn't know:

  • 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN). It's possible I'm the least-well-read English major you'll ever meet.
  • 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA). Brad is a huge opera buff so in one of his late-week puzzles, you can pretty much count on a clue like this for a common crossword entry.
  • 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT). I had only the U in place for quite a while and I can't be the only one who thought the answer was going to be A GUN.
  • 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA).
Lots of sparkle in the triple stacks:
  • 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME).
  • 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE). The clue is a little cutesy for my taste, but the answer is awesome.
  • 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS). Ha!
  • 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET).
  • 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE). "Duffer" is a word used to describe someone who is not very good at golf.
  • 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES). I tried BABIES first.
  • 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER). "Improved" in this clue is an adjective, not a verb. Tricky.
  • 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT). I only know what a MOLE RAT is from the kids' show "Kim Possible." Don't judge.
  • 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER).
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Everything 1A: Esther Williams number (WATER BALLET); 12A: One who "must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES": Eliot (CAT); 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME); 16A: Opposite of hence (AGO); 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN); 18A: Grille cover (BRA); 19A: Composer of "The Lovely Bones" music (ENO); 20A: 1986-to-2001 orbiter (MIR); 21A: In sequence (ORDERED); 23A: Mason's fee (RETAINER); 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES); 27A: Storm's dir. (NNE); 28A: Ulster, for one (OVERCOAT); 30A: Indicate indifference (SHRUG); 33A: Printers' primary colors (CYANS); 34A: Debt-laden fin. deal (LBO); 35A: Derisive call (HOOT); 36A: Pep rally climax, perhaps (CHANT); 37A: Transfer consequence, familiarly (RELO); 38A: Wood used in bows (ELM); 39A: Grinds (TOILS); 40A: Auto club recommendation (MOTEL); 41A: It's for the dogs (LEASH LAW); 43A: Trig. function (COS); 44A: Like some prescription lenses (TINTED); 45A: Took after (EMULATED); 50A: Establish firmly (ENGRAFT); 52A: __ Zion Church (A.M.E.); 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA); 54A: Milne tyke (ROO); 55A: Hippie era swinger? (BEAD CURTAIN); 58A: Heel in a bakery (END); 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE); 60A: Paris's Pont __ Arts (DES); 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS); 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER); 2D: Mark Yom Kippur (ATONE); 3D: Letter-shaped workbench groove (T-SLOT); 4D: School subj. for an au pair (ESL); 5D: Seuss hallmark (RHYMING); 6D: Big ox, say (BOVINE); 7D: Au courant (AWARE); 8D: Copier tray size: Abbr. (LTR.); 9D: Adriatic vacation destination (LIDO); 10D: Coming into view (EMERGENT); 11D: Chicken option (TENDERS); 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET); 13D: Easy (AGREEABLE); 14D: Forest dweller with a cap (TOADSTOOL); 22D: Ref. work (ENC.); 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT); 25D: Sovereign euphemism (ROYAL WE); 29D: 37-Across rentals (VANS); 30D: Like a prime candidate for disillusionment (SHELTERED); 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE); 32D: Mars and Mercury (ROMAN GODS); 33D: Mint family plant (CHIA); 36D: Eleventh-hour panic (COLD FEET); 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA); 39D: String in a preschool class? (THE ABC'S); 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT); 42D: Narrow waterway: Abbr. (STR.); 43D: Fluffy clouds (CUMULI); 46D: Colorful talker (MACAW); 47D: Style, as hair into a bouffant (TEASE); 48D: Crusader's targets (EVILS); 49D: Kierkegaard et al. (DANES); 51D: Butler's estate, for a time (TARA); 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER); 57D: Pewter component (TIN).