Saturday, February 20, 2010
Puzzle by Paula Gamache, edited by Will Shortz
“NEARER in bloody thoughts, but not in blood“: Richard III
Why is it that I know POUILLY-FUISSE is a Chardonnay from Burgundy, but not that the BIG MAC is a product with a secret sauce? Or KAZ MATSUI, the first Japanese infielder to sign with a major-league team, familiarly (to be formal, Kazui or 松井 稼頭央), and not that USAIN BOLT is/was a 2008 Olympics sensation?
Why did I write in YOUR FLY IS OPEN and then take it out -- it just didn’t seem right? I put it back in toward the end of the solve, shortly after I changed SUPERDOG to UNDERDOG (32D. Cartoon hero with a blue cape) -- I am totally unfamiliar with flying dogs! Exposure warning? I had SPAYS for GELDS (47A. Emasculates) -- ROAD TO RUIN (40A. Alcohol or drugs, it’s said), after all ADDICTION fits --I guess it’s the it’s said that’s the thing of the clue -- A MISSTEP (7A. Muff) to be sure. As for RIOT (25A. Ran-tan), not in any dictionary or reference in my world -- what?
More didn’t know -- ONE-ARMED (17A. Like the drummer for rock’s Def Leppard, amazingly); COBRA (20A. Naja naja, familiarly); 48A. STARA Zagora, Bulgaria, the city or the province?; IRINA Spalko, Indiana Jones villainess; what’s with PEI (38A. I.M. not sent through AOL?); and should I know 46A. “NEIN doch!“ (German reply) or 24A. DAIL Éireann (Irish legislative assembly)? Should I? and why?!
Other knew -- 12D. “The Essence of EMERIL” Food Network show); TIMBAL (11D. Kettledrum); MARMOT (4D. Burrower with a bushy tail); GRAZIOSO (3D. Elegantly, to Brahms); BANKER’S / LIEN (1D. With 44-Across, it may lead to a seizure); MANILA (7D. The Pearl of the Orient); ORISON (23D. Prayer); and last but not you-know-what, EPILOGUE (34D. Words after “The End”).
What’s up here!
I’ll answer my own question due to how difficult I’ve made it to post a Comment on this blog -- who the hell should know all this trivia and nonsense! Only a fanatic -- hey!, you’ll find one this weekend for sure in Brooklyn at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament -- it’s a bit like static golf or silent bingo! If your lucky you’ll meet a self-appointed blogger (nay, crossword critic!) joyously describing words with words such as juicy, scrabbley, light, breezy, smooth, and fresh, clunky, etc., rubbing elbows with constructors on a nickname basis -- Ashish Vengsarkar and Narayan Venkatasubramanyan, we'll just call you Ashy and Nary! Bingo!
Remaining across: 14. Pitcher’s charge, AD RATE; 15. Like many student jobs, PART-TIME; 21. Writer of the 1950 Tony-winning play “The Cocktail Party”, ELIOT; 22. Letter after Julie in a phonetic alphabet, KILO; 26. Energy converters of a sort, SOLAR CELLS; 28. Bourbon and others: Abbr., STS; 29. Certain suckling, GOAL; 30. Note from one who’s shy, IOU; 36. Catchy thing?, NET; 37. Some bushes, for short, FROS; 45. Be-all and end-all, ACME; 52. Heat, HAND GUNS; 54. Model for Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, BORGIA; 55. Person making a check mark?, ENDORSEE; 56. Nereus and Proteus, SEA GODS; 58. Bridge problem, RENEGE. See anything you like?!
Down: 2. Perfection, IDEALITY; 5. Bugged, ATE AT; 6. Superior court writ: Abbr., CERT; 8. Extreme soreness, IRE; 9. Disconnected, in music: Abbr., STAC; 10. Approached purposefully, STRODE UP; 13. Goes by foot, in a way, PEDALS; 19. Copenhagen alternative, SKOAL; 26. Liking romantically, SOFT ON along with 27. Talks romantically, COOS; 29. Neck piece, FRET; 35. Some provocation, NEEDLING; 39. Tuition classification, INSTATE; 40. Breakouts, RASHES; 41. OCTANE rating; 42. “Finding AMANDA,” 2008 comedy; 43. Participates in a class action, REUNES; 44. James of the court, LEBRON; 47. Diminutive chthonic figure, GNOME; 49. Prefix with biology, AGRO; 51. Building piece; I-BAR; 53. Foreign exchange abbr., USD. That's a wrap!
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