Friday, June 29, 2007

Saturday, June 30 - Byron Walden

It's always nice to finish a puzzle the day after I was totally crushed by one. I went into panic mode when I saw Byron Walden's name, but I just took a deep breath and jumped in.

The man is a genius. He always manages to stack long answers that aren't just long...they're @&$*#%' incredible fill.

Three stacks of 10-letter horizontal entries in the northeast:

5A: Small wonders (gifted kids)

16A: Dirt (inside info)

18A: Alley oops (gutter ball).

Three more in the southwest:

52A: It can keep ballfields dry (alcohol ban)

55A: Lots to offer (real estate)

57A: Bank holdings? (telephones)

We also get three vertical stacks of 8-letter answers, in the northwest and southeast. My favorite in each corner:

2D: Title city in a 1983 George Strait hit (Amarillo). I was never a huge country music fan, but I always liked George Strait. You Look So Good in Love was my favorite of his songs.

36D: Starchy bite (Tater Tot). I was baffled until I got a few of the crosses, then it became obvious.

I had never heard of 5D: Check for credibility, in modern lingo (giggle test). For the most part, I don't use modern lingo.

32A: Be profligate, in a way (sow one's wild oats). That's better than good.

There is a plethora of words ending in O. In addition to inside info, we have 15A: Novel that ends "By noon, the island had gone down in the horizon; and all before us was the wide Pacific (Omoo), 31A: Writer who was a source for Verdi's "Rigoletto" (Hugo), 40A: 1961 film also known as "The Job" (Il Posto), and 48A: Predecessor of the boliviano (peso). Also bro (26D: Good bud), Sho (33D: "Weeds" channel, briefly) and OOO (34D: Line struck through by a winner) -- tied for the most clever clue, IMOO.

The co-winner was 27D: Result of too many rusty nails on the road? (DUI).

The connected clues took me some time to decipher...44A and 31D (U.S. route and hwy, respectively).

Well, I don't want to be up late (44D: Burning the midnight oil), so I'll call it a night. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Thank you! Very helpful.

cornbread hell said...

just now getting around to weekend puzzles.

i really liked this one, but was sorely disappointed that "check for credibility, in modern lingo" was not JIGGLE TEST.