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Jun 1, 2008

Sunday June 1, 2008 Ed Voile

Theme: END IT

23A: End it: THROW IN THE TOWEL

30A: End it: PULL THE PLUG

56A: End it: KISS GOODBYE

83A: End it: ADMIT DEFEAT

104A: End it: CALL IT QUITS

118A: End it: WASH ONE'S HANDS OF

17D: End it: GRIND TO A HALT

28D: End it: SAY UNCLE

64D: End it: HAVE DONE WITH

71D: End it: PACK IT IN

Hmm, 118A is weak, isn't it? Overall, I like these theme entries. This constructor Ed Voile does have some great theme ideas. Here are some more: bring it to a standstill, stem the tide, cut short, put a period to, pull the check-string, chuck up the sponge, fall/drop by the wayside, what else can you think of?

However, this whole puzzle proved itself to be a huge PROBLEM (1A: Challenging situation) for me earlier. I really have a LOT's wife's fear of looking back at this puzzle now. Way too many names (total 18, excluding some other TV/Movie character names). And some of the cluing are very yawn-provoking and lacking in creativity. Let's see:

15A: Third-baseman Wade: BOGGS. Another baseball HOFer. The price of his baseball cards somehow does not reflect his HOF status. I don't understand why.

78A: Dressler or Osmond: MARIE. Why not clue Tennis star MARIA Sharapova during the French Open week? (Updater later: Sorry for the MARIA mistake)

79A: Lauder of cosmetics: ESTEE

99A: Johnson of "Laugh-in": ARTE. It's also ART in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

100A: Leibman and Howard: RONS. Know Howard, not Leibman.

111A: Neal's "Hud" co-star: NEWMAN (Paul)

125A: Old-time singer Lenya: LOTTE

130A: "Gone with the Wind" composer: STEINER (Max). Vaguely heard of him. He was also the composer for "Casablanca".

2D: Defensive hockey great Bobby: ORR

6D: Nobel Prize winner Wiesel: ELIE. Is Wiesel the only ELIE in this world? Who designed Halle Berry's 2002 Oscar dress?

12D: Mandel and Long: HOWIES

13D: Eugene and Ed: O'NEILLS. If I were the Editor, I would clue O'NEILLS as Tip and Ed. See the clue for 38A: Man of the house (DAD)? Tip O'NEILL's memoir is "Man of the House", which has been sitting on my bookshelf for over 3 years.

32D: Arthur C. __: CLARKE. Author for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

40D: "Airplane" star: HAYS (Robert)

50D: Baird and Keane: BILS. Know Keane (The Family Circus), not Baird.

96D: Old time journalist Nellie: BLY. I simply forgot her name. Saw this clue before.

97D: Guinness and Waugh: ALEC. This is another unbearably boring clue.

103D: Elliott of "The Spitfire Grill": ALISON. Not a familiar name to me. Only know ALISON Krauss. Love this Stick with me Baby...yes, we will find a way.

Once again, three annoyingly tedious Roman numerals in one puzzle:

27A: Roman 103: CIII

115A: 4th century date: CCCI

121D: MCII halved: DLI

And 3 difficult affixes:

77A: Both: pref.: AMBI. Ambilateral & Ambidextrous for example.

110A: Full of: suff. ULENT. Opulent & Corpulent & Fraudulent.

16D: Serpentine: pref: OPHI. Toughie. Ophidia & Ophiology.

Also new to me: CARIOLE, SHERDS (only knew SHARDS), GARDA (Irish police), SPICA, OPA, GAMBA, TIMBALS, SAHEL, ATONS, AREOLAR and FAGEN.

ACROSS:

8A: Auditory range: EARSHOT

20A: One-horse carriage: CARIOLE. No idea. Here is a picture.

21A: Car color combo: TWO TONE

25A: Chess side: WHITE

28A: Net fisherman: SEINER

29A: Brightest star in Virgo: SPICA. Stranger to me.

33A: Math fig. COEF (Coefficient)

42A: Bowl over: SLAY. I was only familiar with the "kill by violence" side of SLAY.

45A: Of iris rings: AREOLAR. Hard one. Completely unknown to me.

51A: Newspaper nickname: TRIB. Which one?

53A: Groups of nine: ENNEADS

61A: Drive-in worker: CARHOP

62A: Sub-saharan region: SAHEL. Here is the area: "On the S flank of the Sahara desert that stretches across six countries from Senegal to Chad." See this map.

65A: Tropical plant with brilliant flowers: CANNA. Here is a picture.

68A: Kind of palm: SAGO. Hmm, the SAGO Pudding.

69A: Ration group of WWII: OPA (Office of Price Administration)

70A: Froths: SPUMES. I like how it intersects with 57D: Smeltery refuse: SCUM.

75A: Vesuvian discharge: LAVA. I did not know the meaning of Vesuvian. Just an educated guess.

81A: Vinegary: ACETIC

86A: Certain nut tree: RED OAK (NJ state tree)

88A: French weapon: ARME. "A Farewell to Arms" is "L'Adieu aux ARMES" in French.

93A: Surfing the internet: ONLINE

95A: Kettledrums: TIMBALS. I googled TIMBALS, but TIMBALES came up, are they the same? Another unknown musical instrument for me in this grid is 58D: Vila da __(bass viol): GAMBA.

102A: Tony Musante's TV series: TOMA. Here is more information.

107A: Leg bone: FIBULA. And 46D: Chest bone: RIB

109A: Russian veto: NYET. Just learned that "Da" is Russian for Yes (formally). The informal way is "aga", and the slangy way is "nu". Very interesting.

113A: Kissers: LIPS

117A: Carbon-arc lamp: KLIEG

126A: Stars in the French sky: ÉTOILES. And another French word GATEAU (18D: French cake).

127A: Slope: INCLINE. And 116D: Inclination: CANT. I was not aware of the slanting side of CANT until this morning. Great intersection.

128A: Edith Wharton classic, "___ Frome": ETHAN

129A: Binges: BENDERS

DOWN:

7D: Stalker: MENACER. I only knew MENACE.

11D: Marcus Aurelius, e.g.: STOIC. Had no idea who Marcus Aurelius was. STOIC was very inferable though.

15D: Arbor: BOWER

19D: Pottery fragments: SHERDS. Variant of SHARDS.

24D: Figure of speech: TROPE

29D: Moved like a pro: SPUN. And 118D: Network: WEB

35D: ___ folly: FULTON'S. Big stumper here as I could not get the crossing 33A.

41D: Irish police: GARDA. Another unknown. GARDA is the largest lake in Italy.

43D: Coffin stands: BIERS. BIER is also German for Beer.

52D: Proverb: BYWORD. Did not know this before.

54D: Stray calf: DOGIE

56D: Fine porcelain: SPODE. Bone china. Named after the British potter Josiah SPODE. Unknown to me.

59D: New York lake: ONEIDA

63D: In haste: APACE. Lickety-split!

67D: Willingly, old style: LIEF. FAIN is another word.

72D: Entrance guard: GATEMAN

76D: Egyptian symbol: ATONS. Also spelled as ATENS. Egyptian SOLAR (62D: Battery type) god, represented as a solar disk with rays ending in human hands. Now I think I saw this picture before.

80D: Twin city: ST. PAUL. Thank you very much!

82D: Adjective-forming suffix: IAL. Proverbial for example.

84D: A-Team member: MR. T. The clue should have a quotation mark, don't you think so?

85D: Point to the right?: EAST

87D: Elitist: SNOB. Th hoity-toity folks.

94D: Rival with some success: EMULATE

98D: Chinese treats: LITCHIS. Hmm, I love LITCHIS. Ate a ton of them when I lived in Guangzhou (Canton). There are several different spellings of this fruit, lychee, leechee, lichee, etc. But it's just Lizhi (荔枝) to me.

100D: Cause bitter resentment: RANKLE

101D: Spotted wildcat: OCELOT. He seems to be very alert.

105D: Pear-shaped fruit: QUINCE. Nailed it this time, have to thank QUITS from across though.

107D: Dickens character: FAGEN. In which novel? I've never read any Dickens work.

108D: Plant pest: APHID

119D: Saul's uncle: NER. Father of Abner as well.

120D: First of several?: ESS. The first letter of Several is S.

124D: __-de-lance: FER. The large pit viper. Here is a picture.

C.C.