Monday, February 4, 2008

Tuesday, February 5 - Peter A. Collins

Peter Collins takes us to Scarborough Fair...well, sort of.

The theme of his Tuesday puzzle is revealed at 39A: Things hidden in 17-, 23-, 49- and 57-Across (herbs). No parsley or rosemary, but there are four others:

17A: In front of a hydrant, say (PARKED ILLEGALLY). A great clue and a great answer.

23A: "Uh-oh" (I'M IN TROUBLE).

49A: Publicists (PRESS AGENTS).

57A: Business sessions that drag (LENGTHY MEETINGS). Another superb answer.

In addition to herbs, there's a mini-theme of sorts involving junk food. 1D: "Taste that beats the others cold" sloganeer, once (Pepsi), 27D: Ding Dongs competitor (Ho Hos) and 35D: Snacks dipped in milk (Oreos).

In the entertainment area...21A: "Waking __ Devine" (1998 film) (Ned), 36A: Fran of "The Nanny" (Drescher), 6D: Father __ Sarducci, longtime "S.N.L." character (Guido), 24D: __ Jean (Marilyn Monroe, affectionately) (Norma), 29D: Looney Tunes pig (Porky) and 58D: TV's Longoria (Eva).

46A: 1998 song by the Goo Goo Dolls that was #1 for 18 weeks (Iris). I didn't know the song by name, but I found it here...and I definitely know the song. The video shows Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan in "City of Angels"...all I remember of that movie is the ending. Have I mentioned more than a dozen times that I love Nicolas Cage?

I like how ell and eel look side by side in the 7D: Pipe joint and 8D: Epitome of slipperiness, respectively, as well as the cluing of 44D: Father (beget) and 47D: Father, e.g. (parent).

Some of my favorite fill:

38A: School lady (marm). Schoolmarm is the name of a beginner-to-low intermediate run at Keystone...almost 3 1/2 miles long. It was the last run that I did...about fifteen years ago. I was never crazy about downhill skiing. I'll take cross-country any day.

42A: Loch Ness monster, e.g. (creature).

63A: Seed-to-be (ovule).

65A: French seas (mers).

3D: "Vive __!" (Le Roi)...Long live the King! A similarly regal answer at 13D: King in un palacio (rey)...which then ties in to another Spanish answer at 52D: Un gato grande (tigre).

9D: Home of the Casbah (Algiers).

There's some standard fill to round things out...5A: Decorative molding (ogee), 14A: Gen. Robt. __ (E. Lee), 20A: Notice for late ticket-buyers, maybe (SRO)...standing room only, 31A: Hair removal product (Nair), 32A: Tic-tac-toe loser (OXO), 45A: Umberto who wrote "The Name of the Rose" (Eco), 64A: Israel's Abba (Eban) and 66A: Mythological reveler (satyr).

I've never heard of 11D: Ex-hoopster Manute __ (Bol) problem, though, because of easy crosses.

That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


wendy said...

Cute herb bundle :)

I got weird pleasure out of seeing Fran DRESCHER in the grid. One of the independent broadcast stations here airs The Nanny every night at 9 p.m. and I often find myself watching it and laughing out loud. I loved the show when it was first on, and despite its datedness, still get such a kick out of the humor and especially her. She is/was such a consummate screwball comedienne. And a bit ahead of her time in being a producer of the show, with her-then husband.

I had the same thought about Scarborough Fair initially when I finally realized what the theme was. And what's up with all the junk food? It's hard to believe that there was a time when I actually consumed every one of those items - if I were to try that now I'd probably need to be transported for medical attention.

What's the site where you can check how often a word has appeared in the puzzles? When confronted with the NAIR/Neet option, I never know which one the odds favor, do you? I'm always annoyed when I see it, for some reason. Come to think of it, I don't much like other toiletry clues, esp. Atra. Let's keep these necessities in the bathroom, where they belong. ;)

Anonymous said...

Easy puzzle for a Tuesday.

I especially liked the Jet's reference - I saw it when I printed out the puzzle and smiled all the way to the printer. How can any Jet's fan forget SuperBowl III with Broadway Joe and beating the Baltimore Colts.

The theme answers were ridiculously easy - but the theme itself took me a minute to figure out.


Anonymous said...

A very easy puzzle...the hardest thing for me was figuring out where the HERBS were hidden!!!