Thursday, October 6, 2011

10.06 Thu

October 6, 2011
Peter A. Collins

Theme: Surprise Elements — Elements hidden inside of theme answers.

Theme Entries:
  • 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY).
  • 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER).
  • 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL).
  • 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS).
  • 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51-, and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT).
Hey, puzzle fans. Doug here, filling in on a Thursday. PuzzleGirl is taking a well-deserved day off. Well, a day off from the blog. She's still got to be at work for eight hours. And then she'll come home and handle a myriad of household and PuzzleKid-related chores. What a slacker.

Peter A. Collins brings us a scientific theme today. I hope you were able to uncover all the elements. Two metals (lead & gold) on top and two nobles gases (neon & argon) on the bottom. I don't think there's any significance to those pairings, but I could be missing something. Mr. Collins is fond of putting easter eggs into his puzzles. Maybe he's got the chemical formula for Clamato running diagonally through the grid.

I appreciate the fact that every word in each theme entry is part of a hidden element. Hiding TIN in SET IN STONE wouldn't be as cool, because STONE doesn't contribute to the hidden word.

Before we get to the bullets, I want to give a huge shout-out to fellow cruciverbalist Joon Pahk. Joon won his third Jeopardy! match on Wednesday, and it was a nail-biter. Be sure to tune in Thursday. Joon rocks!

  • 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG). A Mickey Finn is an alcoholic drink laced with a drug that'll knock you unconscious. Wikipedia tells me that it's likely named for a notorious Chicago bartender, Michael "Mickey" Finn, who was accused of using knockout drops to incapacitate and rob some of his customers.
  • 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE). At a singles bar. For the record, "Wanna see this crossword I made?" has proven to be a horrible pickup line.
  • 60A: Net reading (BLOG). I typed EMAG here first, and I was happy it was wrong, because BLOG is a much better answer. Mere seconds later...EMAG appeared at 1-Down. With the same clue! The life of a crossword blogger is never boring. 
  • 2A: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE). The phrase "the writing on the wall" originates in the book of Daniel. A disembodied hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall: "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin," foretelling the demise of the Babylonian Empire. Hmmm, I always thought it was ""Klaatu, barada, nikto."
  • 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK). Cool entry. That's where Kellogg's is headquartered. Do you think the whole city smells like Pop-Tarts?
  • 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE). Remember when they changed the name to "Freedom onion soup"? And forced chefs to make it with All-American American cheese slices.
  • 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB). National Transportation Safety Board. Yep, nothing funny to say about that.
  • 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS). You know, I've never seen a single episode of any of the various CSI incarnations. But I have seen a lot of episodes of "Bewitched." (I had to figure out some way to use this Elizabeth Montgomery picture again.)
    I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that PuzzleGirl will be back tomorrow. Have a good one.

    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE).
    • 47A: Bit of code (DAH).
    • 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO).
    • 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR).
    • 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL).
    • 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS).
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    Everything - 1A: Smoldering bit (EMBER); 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG); 10A: It may have all the answers (CRIB); 14A: Stiller's partner (MEARA); 15A: High rollers' destination (RENO); 16A: Half of 10? (ZERO); 17A: Speed skater Apolo __ Ohno (ANTON); 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY); 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER); 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE); 23A: "Friendly skies" co. (UAL); 24A: __ center (REC); 27A: PC time meas. (MSEC); 29A: Performed, in a way (SANG); 32A: Band that performed "Whip It" (DEVO); 33A: Bars in stores (UPC); 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE); 35A: Aaron's team for 21 seasons (BRAVES); 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51- and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT); 40A: Make (CREATE); 41A: Gloom mate (DOOM); 42A: Rural stretch (LEA); 43A: "... two fives for __?" (A TEN); 44A: Skin malady, perhaps (CYST); 45A: What crews use (OARS); 46A: Expression of disappointment (TSK); 47A: Bit of code (DAH); 49A: Hair care purchase (TINT); 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL); 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS); 59A: Baggy (LOOSE); 60A: Net reading (BLOG); 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO); 62A: Ban's predecessor at the U.N. (ANNAN); 63A: Bastes, e.g. (SEWS); 64A: Attic constructions (WEBS); 65A: Bridge seats (WESTS); 1D: Net reading (E-MAG); 2D: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE); 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK); 4D: Steamy (EROTIC); 5D: Arrested (RAN IN); 6D: Bore (DRAG); 7D: Bank takeback, briefly (REPO); 8D: Deprive of juice? (UNPLUG); 9D: Israel's Meir (GOLDA); 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR); 11D: Thing to stop on (RED); 12D: Savings for later yrs. (IRA); 13D: When repeated with "oh" in between, "Wow!" (BOY); 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL); 21D: Mythical beast, to locals (NESSIE); 24D: Epiphanies (REVELATIONS); 25D: Score-tying shot (EVENER); 26D: Olympics broadcaster Bob (COSTAS); 27D: Mideast capital (MUSCAT); 28D: Last lap efforts (SPURTS); 30D: Spa sounds (AHS); 31D: Indigent (NEEDY); 32D: Lake creator (DAM); 34D: Interior decorator's concern (ART); 35D: Juiced (BLOTTO); 36D: Sleep acronym (REM); 38D: Cooking utensil (PAN); 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS); 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE); 45D: Numbers after nine, often (ONE ONE); 47D: Sam & Dave, e.g. (DUO); 48D: Nixon's first veep (AGNEW); 50D: Union acquisition? (INLAW); 51D: Vandalizes, in a way (EGGS); 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB); 53D: Those, to Pedro (ESOS); 54D: Future atty.'s hurdle (LSAT); 55D: Eye part (LENS); 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS); 57D: Microbrewery buy (ALE); 58D: Altercation (ROW).