11.19.08 -- Mix-Up

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Puzzle by Peter A. Collins, edited by Will Shortz
Anagrams of the entries LEATHER (23A. Jacket material for a mixed-up North Carolina athlete?); WINELOVER (37A. Oenophile, as a mixed-up Michigan athlete?); RANPAST (56A. Flew by, as a mixed-up Michigan State athlete?); ARGOT (10D. Jargon from a mixed-up Florida athlete?); and RUBIN (55D. Apply to the skin, as on a mixed-up U.C.L.A. athlete?) will produce
TARHEEL, WOLVERINE, SPARTAN, GATOR and BRUIN, basketball, football, basketball, football, basketball.
I suppose the recurring clue “mixed-up … athlete” should make it obvious as to the interrelationship of the five entries; however, to be quite frank, I didn’t give a tinker’s damn about this puzzle’s anagrams nor the resulting sports -- I watch baseball. Never heard of the Tarheels, vaguely the Wolverines and the Spartans, have heard of the Gators and Bruins, but come on!, couldn’t they all be from one sport? There’s really no pay-off here, no tip to the solver during the solve, only a gnarly angst at the end in attempting to decipher “what in tarnation was that mix-up all about?”
The other long entries in the crossword have a bit more PIZZAZZ (3D. Flash): ELATION (25A. Joy); HEDONICS (21D. Study of pleasure); LASVEGAS (26D. Strip site); LOONIES (11D. Nuts); NAZARENE (6D. Jesus, notably);
ZACHARY (20A. Presidential first name) -- and/or ONTASK (52D. Focused at work): SENSES (35A. Detects) and its’ pluralized anagram ESSENES (13D. Ancient Dead Sea sect); 40D. Veal MARSALA; the can’t-be-"nowhere" NOPLACE (42D. Not anywhere); ONEACAT (41D. Classic batting game); OUTSTEP (59A. Move beyond) and its’ partner, OVERTAKE (39D. Pass); the could-be-"depress" REPRESS (54A. Sit on), the cleverly-clued TRAPPER (45D. Hide seeker) and the stand-alone TWOTONE (12D Colored like some cars).
Mid-size entries: ASPER (63A. According to);
ATEAT (4D. Really bugged); NOPAR (1A. Stock classification); DOZEN (17A. Bakery order); EVITA (14A. Lloyd Webber/Rice musical); IMSET (38D. “No more for me, thanks”); ISOLDE (50D. Wagner heroine); KORAN (71A. Holy text); MONTE (22A. Game with sleight of hand); MAGEE (22D. Tony winner Patrick); MONAMI (40A. Term of friendship in France); PESTO (57D. Rotini topper); PRAYER (8D. Grace, for one); RANCHO (5D. Where to find a vaquero); SALUT (58A. “Cheers!” abroad); STERE (68A. Cubic meter).
Short stuff: NIPS (6A. Shots for sots), ADZ, AGRO, ALI, ALTE, ATEN, ATME, DOZE, EDO and EGO,
Speaking of anagrams -- 33A. ONA high and 48A. ANO (48A. What makes God good?) -- now that's a mix-up!
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Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how or what distinction you're making between football and basketball teams here.

I don't know of any college or university that has a different mascot/team name for different sports.

Aren't, say, UNC's basketball football AND baseball teams both called the Tarheels?

Anonymous said...

Yucky puzzle!


DONALD said...

anonymous one,

I suppose I've added to the mix-up even though trying to sort it out -- however, it further emphasizes the total obscurity of these college team names for an individual who follows no sports at all -- which is the point no matter the accuracy -- looking further, I find that I can thank you for the illumination, but each college specializes in a particular sport, e.g., at our New York college of St. John's, Red Storm "sports" appears to encompass only basketball, volleyball and soccer.

Never having heard of Tar Heel, I found this to be quite interesting -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_Heel

anonymous two


Anonymous said...

I LOVED this puzzle. I am a college sports fan and once I caught on to the theme, starting with the UCLA clue, I figured out all the anagrams. the Florida clue was a bit of a stretch, but I thought the puzzle was brilliant, especially considering the timing of the puzzle...college basketball started this week, and all of the colleges are prolific at basketball, Florida won two of the last three national titles in hoops...not just a football school. And by the way Florida and UNC are perennial powerhouses in the college world series. This puzzle was a nice break from stupid clues that have to do with opera and musicals.