May 20, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: "Celestial" Cinema (All Science Fiction Films)

17A: Celestial simians?: PLANET OF THE APES

29A: Celestial zanies?: SPACEBALLS

37A: Celestial warfare?: MARS ATTACKS

45A: Celestial E. T.?: ALIEN THREE (ALIEN 3)

57A: Celestial visitor?: NIGHT OF THE COMET

If you have not, please read this What Constitutes a Good Crossword Puzzle post first and let me know your definition of a good crossword puzzle.

Lots of boring 3 letter fills today, very lazy cluing:

28A: Mideast nat. UAE

61A: Halfway, briefly: MID

16D: Ump's relative: REF

20D: Letters on many cars: AAA. Could've been clue as "Battery size" if not for 24D: Assault and ___ (BATTERY) I suppose.

26D: Most remote: ULT

27D: R. E. Lee's nat.: CSA

30D: School grp.: PTA

38D: Half a fly? TSE. What's the obsession with this fly? What's wrong with China's Mao TSE-Tung, or T. S. Eliot's initials?

41D: Yale booster: ELI

43D: High dudgeon: IRE

55D: DDE's command: ETO

57D: Final degree: NTH

58D: Sundial server: III

62D: U-turn from WSW: ENE

63D: Black goo: TAR

Good to see WIE, LCS, CEY, NOL in the grid though. EDP (1D) did give me plenty of trouble as I had no idea what is the prefix for twelve (14A: DODEC)

Also, lots of H, TH in today's puzzles: ETHENE, GOTHIC, NTH, ESTHETIC, THREE, THRONE, HEFT, HUM, HAMMER, BACH, THDS, HITS, , OH NO, and several THE. Is there a sub-theme here?


6A: Racing sled: LUGE

10A: Soup serving: BOWL. And 10D: Gravy server: BOAT. Hmm, obviously some thoughts were given to clues. Thanks.

14A: Twelve: pref: DODEC. Unknown to me, it comes from ancient Greek word dōdekás (dō is two, adn dekás is ten)

15A: Uniform in all directions: ISOTROPIC. Another unfamiliar word to me. I know "iso" is "equal", had no idea that "-tropic" means turning toward or upward. It's another Greek originated word. Antonym: ANISOTROPIC (an is an prefix for not).

20A: Bulk: HEFT

21A: Nail hitter: HAMMER. "If I had a HAMMER"

24A: Open container: BIN. This bin is a very interesting word. In Arab, it means "son of", as in that Son of B BIN Laden. And I suppose the "BIN" in "Ich BIN ein Berliner" means "am"? I am not so sure. I only know "Ich liebe dich".

25A: Tempa Bay pro: BUC (Buccaneer)

33A: Lodging chain: MARRIOTT

40A: Peachy keen! NEATO. RAD!

42A: Having a love of beauty: ESTHETIC. Looks like our editor has been in an arty frame of mind lately.

49A: One heart, e. g.: BID

51A: Hepburn of Hollywood: AUDREY. I've never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's. Love Roman Holiday though. (Update: Today is "Eliza Doolittle Day". AUDREY Hepburn was cast as Doolittle in the movie My Fair Lady, thanks Drdad.). And 68A: Actress Winona: RYDER. She is so pretty. My favorite Winona movie is Autumn in New York.

54A: Actress Gilpin: PERI. I've never watched FRASIER.

56A: City on the Aker River: OSLO. Hmm, looks like nobody really cares much about OSLO Accords.

64A: Got drunk: TIED ONE ON. Is it another slang? I've never heard of it.

65A: Minneapolis suburb: EDINA. US Women's Open Golf Tournament will be held in EDINA in June.


1D: Key-punch bus.: EDP (Electronic Data Processing). Unknown to me.

7D: Tampa sch.: USF (University of South Florida)

8D: Grotesque genre of fiction: GOTHIC

9D: Sweet smelling gas: ETHENE

11D: Antithesis: abbr. OPP (Opposite)

12D: Michelle of golf: WIE. This girl can sure hit a mile, a bit erratic in her putting though. Hope she qualifies the US Open sectional in early June.

13D: Pre-World Series abbr.: LCS (League Championship Series).

18D: Bulks of bodies: TORSOS

23D: Imaginary sea creature: MERMAID

25D: Raised bubble: BLISTER. I like this clue.

31D: One of the Three B's: BACH. Beethoven and Brahms.

32D: Huber of tennis: ANKE. Unknown to me. But this word ANKE looks very familiar, is it an Egyptian God or something?

39D: Military command: AT EASE

44D: Ron of hot corner: CEY. Not a familiar name to me. I got it from across clues. I like "hot corner".

46D: Seat of power: THRONE. Look at this Peacock THRONE. According to one of our fellow solvers, it's entirely encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other gems and he saw it in person.

47D: Young cow: HEIFER

52D: Open sore: ULCER. This puzzle gives me an ULCER this morning, too many 3-letter eyesore fills.