Oct 2, 2013

Wednesday, October 2nd 2013 Gareth Bain

Theme: A Plus. Adding "A" to the second word in each of the theme answers reveals, in order, a star ranking, a house design, a dress design and a baseball player.

17A. *Shopper's aid : GROCERY LIST. I confidently put CART in first. Less confidently replaced it with LINE shortly after. I got there in the end. A- list.

64A. *Stop-action film technique : FREEZE FRAME.  This famous example at the end of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". A-frame.

11D. *Phone that can't be tapped : SECURE LINE. Is there such a thing? I think the only secure line nowadays would be a string between two tin cans. A-line.

29D. *Angler's equipment : FISHING ROD. You'll hope you have a secure line when you have a fish on. A-Rod.

The hint came in the middle:

39A. In the future, or, when spoken with a long starting vowel, what the last word of the answers to starred clues can have : AHEAD

Top 'o the morning to you all. Steve here with a really nice puzzle from Gareth. A fun theme and a lot of sparkly fill. The final theme entry literally made me laugh out loud with "A-Rod". (C.C. - is Alex Rodriguez technically still with the Yankees?) (From C.C.: Indeed. Guess who has the most career grand slams in MLB history?)

1. Cried one's eyes out : WEPT

5. Facial expression : VISAGE. Here are a few:

11. Hang down : SAG

14. Pre-migraine phenomenon, for some : AURA

15. Hot wings did him in : ICARUS. Loved this clue. One peculiar fact is that the Greek Air Force Academy is named after Icarus. I'd have thought future pilots might like to distance themselves from that kind of hubris.

16. It may need a boost : EGO

19. Barracks bed : COT

20. Scattering seed : SOWING

21. Raid the fridge : EAT

22. Songwriter Bacharach : BURT. One of the most well-known Bacharat-David compositions featured in the movie at the top of the blog.

23. Small combo : TRIO

25. Katana-wielding warrior : SAMURAI

27. Barking sound : ARF. One of the neighborhood dogs was doing a lot of this last night. I gave up trying to sleep through it and made an early start to my day.

30. Responsibility : ONUS

32. Choice in a booth : VOTE

33. Evening for trivia buffs : QUIZ NIGHT. I misread this as "movie buffs" somehow, and so FILM NIGHT took a little bit of the wind out of my sails until I checked back.

36. Disney lioness : NALA

38. "That __ last year!" : IS SO. A funny exchange I heard between two friends was "Where can I get a fanny pack?" "1985".

41. 1492 vessel : NINA. Along with the Pinto and the Santa Maria these comprised Christopher Columbus's exploration fleet.

43. Hoodlum : THUG

45. Run-down urban buildings : TENEMENTS

47. HST part, say: Abbr. : INIT.

49. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO. There are a quite a few ex-Yankees coming down the pike - Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite; Derek Jeter to follow shortly as well as the aforementioned A-Rod. C.C. must be glum.

50. "A mouse!" : EEK

51. Takes care of : HANDLES

54. Islands in the stream : AITS. There are a couple in the Thames in London, but they are spelt EYOTS.

56. Meringue needs : EGGS

57. Alts. : HTS. I'd say an airplane has an altitude, and a mountain has a height. Hopefully the former is more than the latter.

59. Homemade pistol : ZIP GUN

63. Bygone space station : MIR

66. Rock gp. known for its symphonic sound : ELO, or the Electric Light Orchestra if you're being properly formal when you introduce them to your grandmother. Here's a bouncy sample of their oeuvre.

67. Maker of Light & Fit yogurt : DANNON

68. Jungfrau's range : ALPS. Not Drei Oktaven?

69. Homer's nice neighbor : NED. Okely-Dokely!

70. Battery parts : ANODES

71. Push to the limit : TEST


1. Clowns : WAGS

2. Mark replacement : EURO. Both Finland and Germany replaced their Marks with the Euro.

3. Figurehead spot : PROW

4. Silently understood : TACIT

5. Birth state of four of the first five American presidents : VIRGINIA. Odd man out was John Adams, born in Quincy, MA

6. More than unfriendly : ICY

7. Word after fire or bake : SALE

8. Met program details : ARIAS. A reference to the New York Metropolitan Opera. Let's have a little "Women are Fickle" for this Wednesday morning.

9. Austrian painter Klimt : GUSTAV. Crosses - I need to "brush" up on my Austrian artists.

10. Superlative suffix : -EST

12. Ancient Greek market : AGORA

13. Mob boss John : GOTTI

18. Subject of the 2003 TV film "The Crooked E" : ENRON

22. Zippo filler : BUTANE. Minor nit - the classic Zippo uses lighter fluid which is distilled cosmetic-grade petroleum, not butane which is used in gas lighters.

24. Should, with "to" : OUGHT

26. Work-wk. start : MON

27. Pollution meas. : A.Q.I. We pay attention to the Air Quality Index here in Southern Cal.

28. Tin Woodman's trouble : RUST

31. Fitted bedding item : SHEET

34. "Gadzooks!" : ZOUNDS. Great Clue/Answer combo

35. Patty Hearst, in the SLA : TANIA

37. Kitty builder : ANTE. Throw a couple of chips into the kitty to get the action going in a poker game.

40. Inhabitants : DENIZENS

42. Pose : ASK

44. Miracle Mets manager Hodges : GIL. The New York Mets won the World Series in 1969 - it was their first ever winning season, and they beat one of the best Baltimore Orioles squads of all time to take home the trophy and earn the nickname.

46. Recurring theme : MOTIF

48. Mideast capital : TEHRAN

51. Hunks : HE-MEN. No performance-enhancing supplements here, of course:

52. Like gymnasts : AGILE. I tried LITHE first. That didn't last too long either. Quite a few missteps for me today.

53. Shorthand expert : STENO

55. Fat-shunning fellow : SPRAT. His wife must have been quite a sight considering fat was all she ate.

58. Email button : SEND. Sometimes shortly followed by "Noooooo ....". Egret - when you regret sending an email?

60. Storm wind : GALE

61. Calls the game : UMPS. Umpires in the verb, not the noun, sense here.

62. Brooding place : NEST

64. Govt. Rx watchdog : F.D.A. Our Federal Drug Administration.

65. Actress Caldwell : ZOE. Not familiar with this thespian.

That's all from me today. Have a great Wednesday!