XW Info

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
by Jeff Stillman
★POW Wed 3/4/2015
© 2015, The New York Times
Jeff Chen notes:

By nature, crosswords targeting a particular subject area will delight a portion of solvers while leaving others shrugging their shoulders. Count me in the former category — BOND, SOLO, ROCKY, and AXEL (Foley) were huge parts of my childhood. Total delight.

The NYSE trading floor, back in the day

I especially liked the wordplay on BOND TRADERS, as it describes so perfectly the switching of Connery to Lazenby to Connery for the lead role. Plus, BOND TRADERS! I know there are very few actual traders on the floor of a stock/bond market flashing specialized hand signals, but the phrase still evokes a colorful image in my mind.

ROCKY START also gave me a smile, as plenty of people complain about the way Rocky I starts the series. My wife and I recently sat down to watch Rocky I (her first time, my nth), and her reaction at the end was (SPOLIER ALERT!):

"What the bleep?! Rocky doesn't win?" Or something to that effect.

TRIPLE AXEL was also apt, since there were three "Beverly Hills Cop" movies. It felt a little odd though, since people refer to BOND, SOLO, and ROCKY by those singular names, and AXEL isn't quite to that level.

Saving the best for last, Han SOLO. My childhood hero, a stereotype-breaking space cowboy, an olio of human greed, moxie, and honor that surprised even him. (FLYING SOLO would have made this perhaps my favorite puzzle in a while. Sigh, a man-boy can dream.)

As if that weren't enough, it's a rare puzzle where the fill catches my eye. CETOLOGY is such a cool, odd word that I wanted to study it (both whales and the word itself). It's usually hard to wow me with single-word entries, but getting DACTYLS, CHIANTI, LARIAT, SUBTITLE along with DEEP END and AL DENTE was a barrage of goodness.

Like some (many? most?) of my choices, not all will agree that this one was the NYT Puzzle of the Week. For those that disagree with my choice, I answer: 1.) there are indeed at least two other puzzles this week I seriously considered and 2.) hokey religions and and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

1.Bow-toter on seasonal cards : CUPID
6.Piano exercise : SCALE
11.Cold and blustery : RAW
14.Turn topsy-turvy : UPEND
15.John Lennon's tribute to Yoko Ono : WOMAN
16.In vitro needs : OVA
17.Connery and Lazenby, between 1967 and 1971? : BONDTRADERS
19.Tesla, for one : CAR
20.Prefix with matter : ANTI
21.Neighbor of a Yemeni : OMANI
22.Record problem : SKIP
23.Hood's piece : GAT
25.Poetic feet : DACTYLS
27.Study of whales : CETOLOGY
32.Beginning of a conclusion : THUS
33.Boston Garden legend : ORR
34.Walrus mustache feature : DROOP
36.Lay to rest : INTER
39.River of Orléans : LOIRE
41.Scrape (out) : EKE
42.Tiny type size : AGATE
43.Poplar variety : ASPEN
44.European finch : SERIN
46.Competed in the last leg of a triathlon : RAN
47.After the whistle : LATE
49.Foreign film feature : SUBTITLE
51.Where to take a dive : DEEPEND
54.Twin or quadruplet, for short : SIB
55.Cy Young candidates' stats : ERAS
56.___-watch : BINGE
59.The same, in footnotes : IDEM
63."Empire" network : FOX
64.What Harrison Ford was doing in 1977, 1980 and 1983? : PLAYINGSOLO
66.Tribute in rhyme : ODE
67.Father of Impressionism : MONET
68.Novi Sad natives : SERBS
69.Popular Japanese pizza topping : EEL
70.Skedaddles : SCATS
71.To date : ASYET
1.Homeland of many Miamians : CUBA
2.Over : UPON
3.Confined, with "up" : PENT
4.Spectrum hue : INDIGO
5."Silent Spring" pesticide : DDT
6.Competed in the first leg of a triathlon : SWAM
7.Sonata ending : CODA
8.Add a rider to, say : AMEND
9.Ring in a rodeo ring : LARIAT
10.PT boat officer: Abbr. : ENS
11.1976, for Stallone's rise to stardom? : ROCKYSTART
12.Be of use : AVAIL
13.Board defects : WARPS
18.Turbine part : ROTOR
22.Deeply offended : STUNG
24.Still a little firm : ALDENTE
26.Wine traditionally sold in a fiasco : CHIANTI
27.Bar mixer : COLA
28.Counterpart of 1-Across : EROS
29.Eddie Murphy, after 1984, 1987 and 1994? : TRIPLEAXEL
30.Says, in teenspeak : GOES
31.Symbols of servitude : YOKES
35.Land bordering Lake Titicaca : PERU
37.Citation abbr. : ETAL
38.President Coty of France : RENE
40.Swings a sickle, say : REAPS
45."The Wild Duck" dramatist : IBSEN
48.All together : ENBLOC
50.Once-sacred birds : IBISES
51.Author who wrote on Friday? : DEFOE
52.Chip away at : ERODE
53.Title woman of a 1957 #1 Paul Anka hit : DIANA
57.Russian refusal : NYET
58.Skedaddles : GITS
60.Boat with oars : DORY
61.Dresden's river : ELBE
62.Guinness Book adjective : MOST
64.Cameron and Blair, for short : PMS
65.Govt. property org. : GSA

© 2015, Jim Horne