Truthfully, I'm relieved that the World Series is over...on several counts. In no particular order:
- The knots in my stomach will go away.
- I'll be able to solve and blog at my regular time, instead of waiting until the game is over.
- We can eat dinner at the table again, instead of in front of the TV (which most of you know we never watch).
- We don't have to watch those asinine commercials even one more time (some were pretty good, but the lame ones were so very lame).
- I won't have to watch baseball players spit...sometimes it just turned my stomach. Don says it's a baseball thing, but I don't get it and I find it disgusting.
Okay...the puzzle. I may have said this before, but a Fred Piscop puzzle was the first published by Will Shortz when he took over as the NYT puzzle editor. Today we get a very doable (even while watching the game) but not incredibly easy puzzle. I had trouble understanding a couple of the theme entries, but they became clearer once I started writing.
Puns are featured (again) in the four theme answers...in-the-language tion words that are clued in clever new ways. [Monday morning update: That's not explained well, but I still can't come up with anything better.]
17A: Allotment of heredity units? (generation). That took me forever to understand...gene + ration.
56A: Preacher's sky-high feeling? (revelation). Just now got this one...rev (as in reverend) + elation.
10D: TV channel for golfers? (forestation)...by now I'm sure you're following.
25D: Pasta-and-potato-loving country? (carbonation). My favorite.
We also get a decent helping of multiword answers:
1A: Started a cigarette (lit up).
36A: Is false to the world (lives a lie).
37A: Get from __ (progress slightly) (A to B).
40A: Studied primarily, at college (majored in).
43A: Caveman's era (Stone Age).
9D: Bikini wearers' markings (tan lines). I remember that from a puzzle long, long ago.
And a few words that I don't think have appeared in a grid...at least not in the past several months.
24A: Nuclear power apparatus (reactor).
29A: Slender cigar (Panatela).
50A: Stewed to the gills (blotto). Love the word but not the feeling.
2D: Jim Carrey comedy "Me, Myself & __" (Irene). Never saw it. I can only take him in small doses.
3D: Kingdom east of Fiji (Tonga).
38D: Equine-looking fish (seahorse).
49D: Sunken ship finder (sonar).
Some standard crosswordese, some of which sported fresh new clues.
10A: Rooters (fans).
15A: Gumbo vegetable (okra). Batter-dipped and fried...the only way to eat it.
38A: Battle of the __ (men vs. women) (sexes). I don't think the parenthetical clue was necessary, even for a Monday. Sure, bands would have fit, but not for long.
42A: Holder of 88 keys (piano).
46A: Mediums' meetings (seances).
60A: Twistable cookie (Oreo).
62A: Decaf brand (Sanka).
11D: State frankly (avow). It never fails that I will enter aver when they want avow...and vice versa.
Some of my favorite answers, not already mentioned, include: 22A: Room to maneuver (leeway); 1D: Hearty brew (lager); 27D: Safe place (haven); 29D: Mischievous sprite (pixie); 30D: Director Kazan (Elia); 33D: Scots' caps (tams); and 47D: Nickels and dimes (coins)...thought they might have been looking for a verb there.
I have to mention 51D: Dr. Zhivago's love (Lara). Before Dooley and Barnabas came along, we had two female dogs...Tasha and Lara. Lara lived to be 18...the vet said that no one had ever told her she shouldn't live that long. They were the sweetest little girls, and I never thought I could love another dog (or dogs) that much...but I do.
It's time to wrap this up. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.