Advertisements

May 23, 2019

Thursday May 23rd 2019 Joe Schewe

Theme: Scramble  - as the nicely-placed reveal tells us:

60A. Simple salad ... and what the starts of the five other longest answers are?: MIXED GREENS. I like it when the reveal is placed towards the bottom of the puzzle, it gives you a chance to figure out the theme before you get to it. This time, it was key to me going back and unlocking some of the theme entries, SEGA and VOILE in this case.

17A. U.S. gaming release of 1989: SEGA GENESIS. Sage green. I'd never heard of the console, mainly because it was marketed as the Mega Drive in Europe.

24A. Chiffon-like materials: VOILE FABRICS. Olive green. Often used for sheer window drapes.

33A. Future first lady wed in 1842: MARY TODD Army green. Crosses all the way here. Mary Todd before she married Abraham Lincoln. She had a tough life, not only did she witness her husband being assassinated, but out of four children only one outlived her.

41A. Foam toy: NERF BALL Fern green. The brand is now owned by Hasbro, and annual Nerf sales are estimated at more than $400 million. Enthusiasts claim that the name is an acronym for "non-expanding recreational foam".

49A Rocky Mountains nickname: MILE HIGH CITY Lime green. Denver, home to Denver International Airport terminal which is more than half a mile long, and I always seem to arrive at Gate 95 and have to walk the 0.66 miles to Gate 17 for my LAX connection. (Gate 17 is the first gate in Terminal B, for reasons unknown to me).

Joe returns for what I think is his fourth LAT appearance. Straightforward theme once you tumble to the gimmick, some of the theme entries were obtuse enough that I needed the reveal, as I mentioned above. Let's see what else catches the eye:

Across:

1. Analyze critically: PARSE

6. Counting gadgets: ABACI. "Counting" seems a little simplistic for what you can do with an abacus.

11. Business address abbr.: STE. Suite.

14. Michener novel with astronauts: SPACE. Never heard of the book, crosses all the way.

15. Answer an insult with an insult, say: REACT

16. Short flight: HOP. The shortest commercial flights I have taken were between LAX and Carlsbad, about 80 miles as the crow flies. You'd think it would be better to drive, but the traffic between LA and San Diego is so unpredictable I'd have kept missing meetings. The airport is so tiny that almost everybody waits in a bar called "The Landings" about 20 feet from the terminal until they open security, usually about ten minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart. The planes that land there aren't exactly big:


19. It often follows you: ARE. I am, you are, he/she/it is.

20. Ivan or Nicholas: TSAR

21. Actor Chaney: LON

22. Windy home, probably: AERIE. Nice cluing.

28. Left the country?: SECEDED. Another nice clue. Some inventive stuff today.

31. Piccadilly Circus statue: EROS. Except it's not. The statue is commonly referred to as Eros, but actually it depicts his brother, Anteros. The statue is a memorial to the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, and Anteros, "the God of selfless love" symbolizes the Earl's philanthropy and his efforts to replace child labor with school education. It's a total waste of time trying to tell people this, however, but I still like to try.

32. Plain text: PROSE

37. It's all around us: AIR. Depends on whether you happen to be on dry land or not.

38. Hangs on a line?: WAITS. Seems a good excuse to revisit this Blondie hit from 1978.

40. Word from a bull: BUY

44. Line to the audience: ASIDE

46. Took the bus: RODE

47. Becomes a burden: IMPOSES

53. Give a speech: ORATE

54. Longing: YEN

55. Cheese with an edible rind: BRIE. Pretty much all cheese rinds are edible, except those made from wax or other such stuff. I always eat the rind.

59. Beans or baloney: ROT. Beans? I didn't see this until now, the crosses filled it in for me. I'd not heard of the synonym "beans" before. Webster's list about 60 synonyms for "baloney".

64. Aardvark snack: ANT

65. European woman's name meaning "peace": IRENA. Common in Russia and Poland, hence the "European" part of the clue.

66. Safe places?: BANKS

67. Caustic chemical: LYE

68. State of northeast India: ASSAM. Famous for its tea - strong and favorful. I usually blend it in with some Earl Grey for the bergamot flavor.

69. Temporarily unavailable: IN USE

Down:

1. "Hey!": PSST!

2. Gibbons, e.g.: APES

3. Music featuring sitars: RAGA

4. Often colorful accessories: SCARVES

5. Neurologist's printout, briefly: EEG. I always get mixed up with EKG. This instance was no exception - SPACE fixed my error, SPACK didn't look quite right.

6. "Dover Beach" poet: ARNOLD.
The sea is calm tonight. 
The tide is full, the moon lies fair 
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light 
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

That's a cross-channel ferry in the background of this picture. The Dover-Calais crossing is the shortest of the routes across the English Channel.



7. __ Bag: eponymous '70s designer label: BEENE. Geoffrey Beene created the brand in 1974 as a low-cost alternative to his haute couture offerings.

8. Remote batteries: AAS. Not always, one of my TV remotes uses AAA batteries.

9. Third-century date: CCI. 201 A.D.

10. Delivery announcement: IT'S A BOY!

11. Puppeteer Lewis: SHARI

12. Tire-shaped: TORIC. I tried OVOID at first, which didn't really make a ton of sense.

13. They're heavier than foils: EPÉES. In Olympic fencing, the foil's target is limited to the torso. In the epée competition, you can hit your opponent anywhere, including the head and feet, recreating the fighting capabilities of the weapons in actual combat.

18. Nobelist Wiesel: ELIE. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

23. Once, old-style: ERST

25. Poem of homage: ODE

26. Skillful deed: FEAT

27. SFO postings: ARRS. Arrivals at San Francisco International airport.

28. Time period: SPAN

29. Buffalo's county: ERIE

30. Irish pop group family name: CORR. I haven't heard much from this musical family recently. Four siblings, here's one of their singles from 2009.

33. End of a corporal's URL: MIL. Reserved for the U.S. Department of Defense.

34. Sapporo sashes: OBIS. The city, not the beer.

35. "Seriously, man!": DUDE!

36. Adds highlights to, perhaps: DYES

38. Arabian arroyo: WADI. I learned this from my Dad, who was posted to North Africa during WWII. He was a gunner in the Royal Artillery, but transferred to the Medical Corps when he discovered he would earn an extra sixpence a week.

39. Words after shake or break: A LEG

42. Worry: FRET

43. Czech Republic region: BOHEMIA. Leading moment for me. I always assumed, for no good reason, that it was somewhere in Germany.

44. Likely: APT

45. Nutrient-rich legume: SOYBEAN

47. Winter eave buildup: ICE DAM. I'd never heard of this before. Here's an example:


48. "Merciless" Flash Gordon foe: MING. Thank you, crosses. No clue.

49. Story lesson: MORAL

50. Device common on "Seinfeld": IRONY. Don't talk to Alanis Morissette about this. She was teased mercilessly that all the situations she described in her song "Ironic" were not, actually, ironic.

51. Starbucks order: LATTE

52. Spotted African predator: HYENA

56. OPTI-FREE rival: RENU. Contact lens cleaners. I don't have contacts, so I'd not heard of either of them.

57. Contents of many cartridges: INKS

58. To be, to Brutus: ESSE

61. Apr. addressee: I.R.S. Nice clue, I enjoyed this one. See how you can get cunning with what seems to be simple fill?

62. Crosses (out): X'ES

63. Slugger's stat: RBI. No explanation needed? Runs Batted In in baseball.

And with that, I think I'm done, save for posting the grid.

Steve