Wall Street Journal, 9/3/10

“Sets in Order” by Joe DiPietro – 11:58

WSJ Sept 3 10Theme:  2, 3 or 4 word phrases in consecutive alphabetical order.

Well here’s a theme we don’t see very often. If by not very often you don’t count last Sunday’s New York Times. As we all know, the crossword editors meet every Monday morning to plot these types of “coincidences”.  So enough about that. Let’s judge this one on its own merits.

Theme answers:

23A. [Explorer whose autobiography is titled "Alone"] – ADMIRAL BYRD – AB
25A. [July 1 celebration] – CANADA DAY – CD
31A. [Cost to compete] – ENTRY FEE – EF
34A. [Becomes besieged] – GETS HEMMED IN. The first twist; three words – GHI
51A. [Status attained after passing the Trials of Skill, Spirit, and Knowledge] – JEDI KNIGHT. JK. I had J-D and put  JUDO MASTER down. Jeffrey Krasnick works here. Dance off with the Stars Wars Stars!

65A. ["Don't these clothes I just got look good on me?"] – LIKE MY NEW OUTFIT – LMNO. Four words. The bar gets raised again.
82A. [It contains spooled documents] – PRINT QUEUE – PQ. But how do you get them out of the queue so they actually print?
97A. [Did diagnostic work] – RAN SOME TESTS – RST
102A. [Pope with the shortest reign (13 days)] – URBAN VII – UV. It gets harder near the end of the alphabet.
108A. [Popular operating system] – WINDOWS XP. Like I said.
111A. [Some demarcated parking areas] – YELLOW ZONES. Aren’t those actually no parking areas in many places? Don’t try it around here.

Bonus hidden clues:
6A. [Part of many stars' names] – ALPHA/11A. [Cash on hand?] – BET. ALPHA-BET screaming out on row 1. Nice touch!

Verdict – Well played!

Other stuff:
19A. [Engage in petty criticism] – SNIPE. Crossword bloggers should never do this.
20A. [GPS forerunner] – LORAN. Stupid answer [snipe].
21A. [Tribe that lent its name to a state] – UTE. The state of Utopia, of course.
27A. [You are here] – EARTH. Are you sure? Don’t astronauts do crosswords? If I’m in a space station, I want some Omnibus collections.  Speaking of which, I’ve started the Wall Street Journal Omnibus. All of the themes were Wall Street Journal, financial term based at one time. When did this change?
38A. [City founded in 1906 by U.S. Steel] – GARY. Gary U.S. Steel changed his name to Gary U.S. Bonds

39A. ["___ Blue?"] – AM I. Batman?
42A. [It may be used by Professor Plum] – ROPE. Again? Throw him in jail already.
62A. [Heroine of Cather's "The Song of the Lark"] – THEA. I’m guessing this clue proves there are no famous THEAs.
71A. [Jayma Mays's "Glee" role] – EMMA

118A. [Jed Clampett portrayer] – EBSEN. Hey, a new SNIPE clue
120A. [Quebec underground] – METRO. Montreal, actually. Good luck finding a METRO in Quebec City.
3D. [Handy moving company?] – MIME TROUPE. Just got it. MI METROUPE?  MIMET ROUPE? Parsing madness.
9D. [Gosling's first sound] – HARD G. Did you fall for it again?
33D. [Key of Scriabin's Symphony No. 1] – E MAJor. Can I find this clip? Yup.
46D. [Its biggest city is Chicago, Ill.] – MIDWEST US. More parsing madness. Midwestus? Past the fareastus?
52D. ["The Wanderer" singer] – DION
53D. [She played Anna in "Anna Karenina" and "Anna Christie"] – GRETA. Also in Anna Get Your Gun. The great  GRETA Merman.
66D. [Family on which "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" is based] – KERRS. This is an obscure fact twice- removed.
110D. [IV squared] – XVI. I prefer “cube root of MMMMXCVI”
115D. [___-Foy, Quebec] – STE. No Metro here either.

119A. ["Hello, ___ Be Going"] – I MUST. Hello, I must be going. I cannot stay, I came to say I must be going. I’m glad I came but just the same I must be going.

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8 Responses to Wall Street Journal, 9/3/10

  1. zifmia says:

    Streets in Pasadena? (Admittedly a relatively easy name with crossings.)

    No problem for me, since I lived there for 30 years, but should I study up on street maps of other US cities? Kansas City? Grand Rapids? Alamagordo? Yazoo City?

    What level of local geography is allowable in a national crossword?

  2. joon says:

    what’s more surprising, that the same 21×21 theme was done twice in the same week, or that i failed to recognize it until after solving both times?

    LMNO is pretty sweet. that has to have been the seed idea for this puzzle, right?

  3. Tuning Spork says:

    Hey, if Jedi knights like my new outfit, perhaps Quiet Riot should, too.

    Need more coffee.

  4. Vega says:

    Until Vera Wang xtinguishes your zeal.

  5. Paul Tomasko says:

    105 across answer is giros. No such word or variation. It is GYROS.

  6. Doug P says:

    GIROS isn’t a great entry, but you can find it in most dictionaries as a shortened form of AUTOGIROS.

    More Pasadena geography, please! I was on LAKE AVENUE this afternoon. :)

  7. Kevin Bryant says:

    The wife and I both initially went with “now” rather than “bow”. *I* even thought it made for a cute clue.

  8. Katy says:

    I just put a hard back copy of “please don’t eat the daisies” in a yard sale I was having Saturday morning, so I ran to my yard sale pile to look up the “kerr’s” family name for
    66D. It had been a loooooong time since i had read the book and needed help.

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