Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Swee' Pea. The four theme entries all have the word "pea" split between two words in the phrases. A clever, fun theme from our Dynamic Duo, even if you don't like split pea soup.

17A.Ali ring trademark : ROPE-A-DOPE. Made famous in the '74 Foreman match, where Ali laid against the ropes and let Foreman hit him, until Foreman tired and Ali struck the deciding blow.  

23A. Epcot's "giant golf ball" : SPACESHIP EARTH. I think I would have to use at least a 1-wood on that...

37A. Painter of outdoors scenes : LANDSCAPE ARTIST. Like Clear Ayes! 

50A. Rolling over, so to speak : GIVING UP EASILY. I wasn't going to roll over and let this puzzle beat me, no sir!

And the unifier:
62A. Soup ingredients, and a hint to the hidden theme in 17-, 23-, 37- and 50-Across : SPLIT PEAS

Marti here, trying to fill in, but really, honestly, who could ever fill Santa's shoes? Let's hope his computer is out of sick bay soon!  But I am so happy to have the chance to blog another one of Don and C.C.'s puzzles!

So here's the scoop on all the rest:


1. Ivan the Terrible, e.g. : TSAR. Ivan IV Vasilyevich. Intelligent, devout, but given to rages and irrational fits of temper. His contemporaries called him Ivan Groznyi (Ivan "Redoubtable" or "Severe"), which means more in lines of might and power, rather than terror or cruelty.

5. Deadly snakes : ASPS. In Egypt, the asp was a symbol of royalty, often shown in hieroglyphs on kings' tombs.

9. Simple hoops shot : LAYUP. Sure, simple for Michael Jordan. For me, at 5'4", not so easy.

14. Restrictive membership word : ONLY. "Members only". Also, a brand of clothing.

15. Digital water testers? : TOES. I loved this clue. Do you stick a toe in the water to test how cold it is, or do you dive right in? 

16. Make laugh : AMUSE. I am easy to amuse...

19. Alumnae, e.g. : WOMEN. Not girls!

20. La la lead-in : OOH 

21. Conestoga-made grooves : RUTS. Conestoga wagons were used by pioneers traveling west. And they made lots of ruts.

22. Church-owned Dallas sch. : SMU . Southern Methodist University.

28. Victoria in Africa : LAKENot this one.

29. Comics scream : EEK

30. Easter basket delivery gait? : HOP. Like a bunny. Cute imagery.

32. Miracle Mets' stadium : SHEA. OK, it's C.C., so I know we're going to have baseball involved in the clues/answers. The 1969 World Series was between the NY Mets and the Baltimore Orioles with the winning game at Shea Stadium. 

35. Eyelid annoyance : STYE 

36. Stat for Cliff Lee : ERAEarned Run Average. Cliff Lee is a Major League baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. The stat is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. (You should know that I know nothing about baseball!!)

42. Coffee hour vessel : URN. Boy, I could use an urn of coffee right about now...

43. It was often worn over a tunic : TOGA. Who knew? I thought they were only worn at frat parties...

44. Rocks to refine : ORES 

45. Academic address letters : EDU 

46. Carnival resort : RIO. de Janeiro. This looks like fun! 

47. Battling group : ARMY 

56. Fingers for the D.A. : IDS. Identifies, as a perp.

57. Opposite of pre- : POST 

58. Subside, with "down" : DIE . Or "dah", as my southern DH would say...And a nice clecho with 59. Subside : ABATE.  

64. Des Moines resident : IOWAN

65. Slithery fish : EELS. Ah, got me.  "Fish" is plural here. 

66. "Heck!" : DARN.  Drat, dang, damn...

67. Lived : DWELT. Past participle of dwell, or simple past tense. Also, "dwelled".

68. Home run jog : TROT. More baseball !

69. To boot : ALSO .

We have to do the downs, to boot!


1. Bulls in Argentina : TOROS. My lawnmower is a real bull when it comes to getting the yard done!

2. Poke around : SNOOP

3. Pack leader : ALPHA. OK, I just can't resist this one.

4. Corned beef bread : RYE . With a side of slaw, please.

5. Just after sunset : AT DUSK

6. Relieve : SOOTHE

7. "For those who think young" soft drink : PEPSI 

8. Duluth-to-Dubuque dir. : SSE 

9. Member of Congress, say : LAWMAKER 

10. Love in Lille : AMOUR. Splynter, aren't you glad you're not on today? 

11. "Tasty" : YUM.  (I'm still thinking about that corned beef on rye...with a side of slaw.)

12. Exploit : USE. I was thinking of feat . But this is a different USE of the word USE.

13. Con's home : PEN. Short for penitentiary.

18. Vicinity : AREA 

22. "Gotta run!" : SEE YA.  (Not yet...I have to finish the downs.)

24. Dressed : CLAD

25. Red Rose : PETE. Sheez, more baseball.  This is like a foreign language to me, but I am learning! Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds was nicknamed "Charlie Hustle". His gambling on baseball got him into heaps of trouble

26. "A League of __ Own" : THEIR. Aww, c'mon C.C., you're killing me here with the baseball!  (Just kidding: this was actually a wonderful movie about sisters who are professional baseball players during WWII.)

27. Silver in old Westerns : HORSE. Whew, back to something I know about. The Lone Ranger's horse. Hi-Yo Silver, awaaaaay!

31. Loving strokes : PATS . Or, the New England football team.

32. Swing around : SLUE. We had this discussion a while ago, no? 

33. Game start? : HARD G. The word "game" begins with a hard consonant. I have a feeling it was C.C. who came up with this entry...

34. Listless feeling : ENNUI 

35. Hot tub : SPA 

38. Grating : STRIDENT. All I can think of is Edith's voice in "All in the Family".

39. Nickel and dime : COINS.  Great clue.

40. Wide-eyed : AGOG. From the old French "en gogues" meaning in jest, good humor or joyfulness.

41. Kids' stuff : TOYS. r Us

47. 17-mission NASA program : APOLLO. Did not know they had 17, but knew that Apollo went to at least 13.  So I wagged this one.

48. Fight back : RESIST 

49. Damon of "Invictus" : MATT. He is becoming the Pola Negri of modern crosswords, no?  

51. Indispensable : VITAL 

52. Berth place : UPPER. Clever play on "birth place". The UPPER berth is the one you have to use the little ladder for on the overnight train. But it's not so bad, even if you have to share with someone.

53. Perfect : IDEAL 

54. Some storytellers : LIARS. No, really??

55. Like some limited-choice questions : YES/NO 

59. Help : AID 

60. Gift decoration : BOW. I always have trouble tying those things. Thank goodness for the ready-made ones at Hallmark!  

61. Blow away : AWE 

62. Tennis unit : SET 

63. iPhone, e.g. : PDA. Personal digital assistant. It kinda makes me feel important, when you put it like that...

Answer grid.

Say Good Night, Marti.

Note from C.C. & Don:

Preparing Split Pea soup inspired this theme. We originally had HELP EACH OTHER instead of GIVING UP EASILY as 4th theme entry. Rich pointed out the differences between "in the language" and "Ordinary language" phrases and explained how former made for a strong theme entry. The theme idea seemed easy on the surface, but when it came time to matching up phrase lengths, etc., this was a challenging theme to put together. Which is your favorite fill? Mine is 33D of course.

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