Feb 19, 2008

Tuesday, Feb19, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: Play on Words

20A: More than a nickel feature?: The Sixth Cents (Bruce Willis movie: The Sixth Sense)

37A: State of sugary film? California Sweet (Jane Fonda/Alan Alda movie: California Suit)

54A: Scratchy holiday picture? The Santa Claws (Tim Allan movie: The Santa Clause)

I tanked again, before I even started the puzzle. As soon as I saw the constructor's name, I sensed trouble. I still have not recovered from his Sunday Chicago Bears blow.

I could not get the ball rolling. I want something odd for 1A: Eccentric piece, I have _AM there, and I wrongly put GAD instead of CAD for 1A: Scoundrel. I could not figure out why the pinup leg GAM is eccentric.

I love Sleepless in Seattle, and read Nora Ephron's blog on Huffington's post from time to time, but when the time was up, I just could not perform. God, I Feel Bad About My Neck, and I feel bad about my memories.

The lower left corner was killing me. I was trapped by the 60-min. units. I pictured Scott Paley and Steve Kroft in my mind, and I wanted it to be SEG. Did not know the agile deer, I thought all deer were agile, No? The only ancient Egyptian City I knew is Alexandria, and I could not cram it in. I figured the puzzle author was looking for an Arabic name for Alexandria, and there was no way I knew it. So I waved the white flag.

Here are the across entry:

1A: Eccentric piece: CAM. Now I really feel stupid botching this fill.

14A: Increase, as volume: CRANK UP

17A: Quayle or Marino: DAN. Dan Quayle has been very quiet. I am so tired of Dan Marino's NutriSystem Diet plan. Eat less and exercise more, as simple as that.

18A: Travel allowance: MILEAGE

20A: More than a nickel feature: THE SIXTH CENTS. Never watched The Sixth Sense. Obviously Bruce Willis and I are not in the same boat in terms of politcal leaning.

25A: Hanoi holiday: TET

26A: Stout's wolfe: NERO

33A: Actor DiCaprio: LEONARDO. The Aviator is unbelievably good.

37A: State of sugary film?: CALIFORNIA SWEET. Has anyone watched California Suit?

42A: Floppy: DISKETTE. I suppose it's correct. But I was looking for saggy, droopy stuff.

43A: Abnormal: pref.: DYS

44A: Ancient city on the Nile: MEROE. This place was so close to Sudan. They traded with India and China before 350 AD. Impressive.

47A: "Robinson Crusoe" inspiration: SELKIRK (Alexander). I never knew this novel was based on a real life story.

49A: German automaker: OPEL

50A: Moray: EEL

54A: Scratchy holiday picture? THE SANTA CLAWS.

59A: 60-min. units: HRS. Trappy clue for me.

60A: Hit the books: STUDIED

61A: Assent, in AIX: OUI. French for yes.

64A: Agile deer: ROE. Never heard of Roe Deer.

65A: Committed burglary: HEISTED. In 2003, CNBC's David Faber did a piece on AOL-Time Warner merger: the Big Heist. I kind of feel sad for Gerald Levin. No sympathy for Dennis Kozlowski. Epitome of Heist.

66A: Trojans of sports: USC

67A: T or F, e.g.: ANS. True or False, Answer me, no flip-flop!

68A: Time meas: YRS

70A: Perth's river: TAY. Never heard of it. Always thought Perth is in Australia. Did not know Scotland had a Perth too.

Down Entry:

1D: Scoundrel: CAD. I don't know why I confuse "cad" with "gad". Cad likes gadding about.

2D: __ Khan IV.: AGA. I tend to confuse this Aga Khan with Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan during Jackie Kennedy's visit in 1960s. I suppose Khan is a popular surname in Pakistan, like our Smith? Correct me if I am wrong.

3D: City in Quebec: MONTREAL

4D: Pinnacle: ACME

5D: Garden dandy: IRIS

6D: Niger's neighbor: MALI. Love Ali Farka Toure's music, esp the theme song for The World's Geo Quiz.

7D: Flat fish: SKATE. Never heard of it. Why bother with skate when we have the best walleye here in MN?

8D: Anything whatever: AUGHT. Exactly. Anything whatever. Never heard of you.

9D: Intl. oil cartel: OPEC . Could not understand why Venezuela stretched its arm, across the ocean, just to join OPEC. Too much oil?

Did you read the news about that United Arab Emirate guy who shelled out $14 million to buy a license plate bearing single number "1". Here is what he said after he won the bid on Feb 16: ''It is not huge compared to my family's fortune. The price is fair. After all, who among us does not want to be number one."

10D: Made amends: ATONED

11D: Longfellow's forte: POETRY

12D: Bodies: TORSOS

15D: Following: NEXT

21D: Magic spell: HEX

22D: Provide with income: ENDOW

23D: Conic sect.: CIRC (Circle)

24D: Actress Paquin: ANNA

28D: Caine film: ALFIE. I've seen Jude Law's Alfie. Could not tell the spark between him and Sienna Miller.

30D: Peter of "The Monkees": TORK. He is a stranger to me.

31D: Ford Flop: EDSEL

35D: Small isles: AITS. If you say so.

36D: Charge per unit: RATE

38D: Gods' images: IDOLS.

39D: Deletes: EDITS OUT

40D: Fictional Jane: EYRE

44D: Movie monster: MOTHRA. Unknown to me. Next time I will remeber her: Moth-ra. She is a moth.

45D: Writer/director Nora: EPHRON. She loves Hardball with Chris Matthews. Me too.

46D: Pee Wee/Della: REESES

48D: London gardens: KEW. Blog this word before, then I forgot.

50D: Input, as data: ENTER

51D: Needle boxes: ETUIS. A pretty looking decorative case.

52D: Young fellas: LADS

55D: Drained of color: ASHY

56D: Refer to: CITE

57D: Sly look: LEER

63D: Frigid: ICY

Sorry about the choppy posting this morning. The mouse was on strike. The key board seems fine though.

Pls let me know if you spot any mistake.



Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

Alan here in Bangkok the Nation runs this crossword daily here and being a brit I struggle with it every day in the hope I will somehow grow from the experience well I must be I have progressed from the tabloids thanks for the imput I appreciate being put out of my misery every day


C.C. Burnikel said...


Thanks for stopping by.

My name is CC. Today I happen to blog Michael T William's puzzle.

I think our local Newspaper "Star Tribune" and your newspaper "The Nation" and many other newspapers here in the US all syndicate puzzles from the Tribune Media Service.


Crockett1947 said...

The German automaker had me for a while. Then I remembered my first car -- an Opel Rekord. What an experience that was! Mothra is/was a very bad Japanese monster a la Godzilla. Diskette is the first portable computer storage media. The originals were 5.25" square. Put that on your thumb drive, LOL!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hi Crochett1947,

I think I am brainwashed by this editor. Whenever she/he clues Autobahn auto, or German auto, 4-letter, its always AUDI or OPEL.

I don't know what's my obsession with this "floppy" lately. I always seem to complain about its clueing. My brain is so fixed on flabby & saggy.

I googled Mothra image after reading your comment. It's kind of majestic looking though.