Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday, May 11 - Tony Orbach and Patrick Blindauer

The title of this puzzle...Done With Ease...was definitely not an indication of how quickly the theme would reveal itself. It took me entirely too long to get on the theme wavelength, although the theme answers flowed once I did.

The theme answers are in-the-language phrases (or, in one case, the name of someone I should have known but didn't) that contain a short I sound...for the theme answers, they convert to a long E, and are then clued appropriately.

23A: State of a bottle-fed baby? (no-wean situation).

38A: A platform in front of Elsinore, in "Hamlet"? (original scene).

51A: Massage therapist's office? (feeling station).

67A: Group of yo-yo experts? (Team Duncan). I'm not familiar with Tim Duncan. Not is not one of my strong suits.

70A: One willing to take a bullet for Martin or Charlie? (Sheen guard). This is the first answer I got...Martin Sheen is one of my favorite actors, and his son's name is well-known...easy to figure out.

91A: Little Bo-Peep's charges? (abandoned sheep). This is the second answer I got. For a time, though, I thought all of them would have EE...and I wondered if Team Duncan was wrong.

99A: Musicians at a marsh? (peat orchestra).

120A: St. Paul sixth graders? (Minnesota Tweens). This was the last to fall. In addition to problems in the southeast corner, I was thinking of St. in the saint...not the city.

The theme wraps up with a hint at 93D: Stretch...or a hint to this puzzle's theme? (elongate).

I had to call in the troops to finish the southeast corner. I left the puzzle in Don's hands and he was able to fill in some of the blanks...118A: "Same here!" (so do I), 127A: Brewing needs (tea bags) and 130A: __ Row (Embassy). From there I was able to get 104D: Slide presentation? (amoeba), then 103A: Numerical prefix (octa).

The very last square to fall was the U at the cross of 97A: Turn on an axis (slue) and 87D: Extracted chemical (educt)...both are unfamiliar words that I'm sure I won't ever remember.

Another that I always struggle to recall is 15A: Superman, to his father (Kal-El). I remember that it sounds like a dog food (Kal-Kan)...maybe seeing a picture will help cement it in my mind. Here's the happy family. What a cute baby.

A few of my favorite crosses...28A: Bleacher (peroxide) and 15D: Buzzers (kazoos), 79A: Shade on the French Riviera (azur) and 73D: Like some pyramids (Aztec), 65A: Rouge roulette number (cinq), 66D: Subdue (quash) and 55A: Like a Rolek watch (ersatz) and 43D: Automaker Ferrari (Enzo).

TV and/or film appearances include 25A: Woody Allen title role (Zelig), 87A: Urban area in a Cheech Marin film (East L.A.), 117A: "Road" picture partner for Bob (Bing), 3D: "The Love Boat" actress Lauren (Tewes), 17D: Leslie Caron title role (Lili), 92D: Addie's husband in "As I Lay Dying" (Anse) and 101D: Director Mark of "Earthquake" (Robson).

Literary and other arts are featured in 44A: Contemporary of Duchamp (Arp), 47A: "Doctor Faustus" novelist (Mann), 49A: Jazz virtuoso Garner (Erroll), 57A: Fashion designer Bartley (Luella), 62A: "Puppy Love" singer, 1960 (Anka), 83A: Actor Alain (Delon), 8D: Cuban-born jazz great Sandoval (Arturo), 37D: German biographer __ Ludwig (Emil), 44D: Key of Elgar's Symphony No. 1 (A flat), 48D: "Bye Bye Bye" band, 2000 ('N Sync), 78D: "Luncheon on the Grass" and others (Manets), and 88D: __ of Six" (Joseph Conrad story collection) (A Set). I've never seen this painting before...I can't remember the last time I had a picnic in the nude with two fully-clothed men.

I didn't know the significance of Meadowlands in the clue at 1A: Rooter at the Meadowlands (Jets fan)...once I did, I was pretty impressed with the answer. The J crosses at 1D: with __ Kádár, 1950s-'80s Hungarian leader (Janos).

Until I saw it in print, I never knew the spelling of the clue at 30A: Comme ci, comme ça (so-so). So much more elegant than I was seeing it in my head.

Other clues I liked...58A: Brown alternative (Yale), 63A: Jawaharial Nehru's daughter (Indira)...definitely a Sunday clue, 95A: 87 or 93 (octane), 4D: Squash, squish or squelch (step on), and 32D: The less you see of this person the better (dieter).

Time to get on with the daily in the big chair with the boys, watching the birds. Leslie and Candy will be here for dinner...Elaine and Jesse, her new boyfriend, will stop by again on their way back home.

Happy Mother's Day...remember to do something nice for yourself.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I agree about the lower right corner. I had TEApot for quite a while which hurt. Coudn't get Saville Row to work with anything, but EMBASSY just wouldn't pop. Woke up in the middle of the night and it all made more sense.

What !?? You forgot our great picnic?

wendy said...

I never fathomed the theme and gave up; the 'changing sounds' ploy is not my cup of tea so the wavelength disconnect was massive. I filled in about a third of the answers, but it didn't bode well when I was wrong right away with Clark as my Superman answer. Couldn't remember his other name to save my life, even with a few letters already in place.

Linda, I guffawed over your picnic comment, though. Kind of makes you wonder what opiate the artist was high on *that* day, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Nice writeup, Linda, as usual.

I alwasy love seeing Zelig in a puzzle. It's not just a fun word, it's an underappreciated film.

DONALD said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Sunday 5/11/08. I think 11 down is Loge and 22 across is Amino.

Linda G said...

Glad you two enjoyed the picnic line...KarmaSartre tried to give away one of my secrets ; )

Jim, always nice to hear from you. On your recommendation, I'll add that to my Netflix queue.

Donald, thanks for the Mother's Day wishes.

Anonymous, you're so right. I don't redo the puzzle on AcrossLite or the Applet, so things like that often slip by me. Thanks for the sharp eye.

Admin said...

The Chagall U.N. window was also issued as a UN postage stamp:

I also dabbled in making leaded glass windows way back then. I wasn't very good at it.


cornbread hell said...

i came here with 2 blank squares. the N at 85 and your last U in slue/educt.

hilarious picnic aside!

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