T Mobile (06-26-2011)
T-Mobile blows, so you know it’s not going to be a good puzzle. David Levinson Wilk, you are on notice. The theme was pedestrian. Take a phrase with a ‘t’ somewhere in it and move the ‘t’ one space left or right. Now you have a new phrase that kind of makes sense. Take, for example, 40A: Celebration after a 1964 heavyweight championship? (FETE OF CLAY). So, take the incredibly common phrase “feet of clay”, move the ‘t’ one space to the left, and you have the celebration for Cassius Clay, or rather of Cassius Clay (good work with the preposition there, NYT). So, yeah, basically, that. We got five wrong, but two we just forgot to update after we caught our mistake. So, three wrong. Abbie only got two wrong, but she was outvoted by Mary who felt so confident that she promised us that we could choke her if she was wrong. She was and then had a suddenly urgent appointment to get to. Odd coincidence, no?
- 20A: Cry from a balcony (O ROMEO). Eric had LOOK OUT BELOW, HOW’S THE WEATHER DOWN THERE, and LOOK AT ME, none which were right. Props to Abbie, as per yoush.
- 25A: Penn State campus site (ALTOONA). Hey Mr. Ryan! Go Lions!
- 68A: Shriners’ headwear: Var. (FEZES). Fez is a great word, not used nearly enough. And, more importantly, fezes are not worn nearly enough (which perhaps explains the uncommon usage). Also note how we spelled the word. The plural of “fez” should probably be “fezes”. Why is this a variation? Is there another spelling? (Fezzes?) (Note: yes.)
- 59A: Scarlett O’Hara’s real first name (KATIE). Mary assured us that it began with an ‘s’ and her middle name is Carly, thus leading to S.Carly, thus Scarlett. We’re not sure why we hang out with Mary. (For those who are interested Scarlett was her middle name (good try Mary). Her full name is Katie Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler. In retrospect, a better book would have had her marrying Misters Caldwell, Anthony, Harding, Thomas, Orwell, and Adams, making her Katie SOHCAHTOA. Good effort, Margaret Mitchell, good effort.)
- 110A: Team that once played at Enron Field (ASTROS). Technically, every team in the National League once played there, the ‘Stros just a few more times than most. Go Houston!
- 102A: Love before war? (PRE-MARTIAL SEX). Theme clue that didn’t suck. We spent a while with PRE-MARTIAL LAW before Abbie pointed out that that didn’t make any sense in any way. Hee-hee.
- 107A: Shocking, in a way (TASING). Abbie once saw a guy volunteer to get tased for two Tecates. He was tased, he got the beers, it’s a win-win. ericandabbie would not have agreed to this exchange. Tasing for Andre’s. Bring. It. On.
- 3D: One hit by a tuba (LOW NOTE).
- 18D: Thief, in Yiddish (GANEF). Doctor Ganef, if you’re out there, not every malady requires four MRIs and a PET scan.
- 88D: Southwest Africa’s ____ Desert (NAMIB). We got this, and then Abbie pointed out that this might have something to do with Namibia being in Southwest Africa. We don’t care enough to check it out, but it probably does. We will be accepting this as fact from now on.
WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES
- 31A: “Hang on ___” (A MO). This is what you yell when you die before you can tell someone to hang on a moment. We guess. Also, AMO lends intself to a pretty classic clue. “____, amas, amat” anyone?
- 48A: Not so big (RUNTIER). First, that’s not a word. Secondly, it should be “not as big” since we’re using the imaginary comparitive of the imaginary adjective runty (runt with an arbitrary ‘y’ at the end). When clueing fake words, grammar is key.
- 24D: When doubled, a number puzzle (KEN). Yes, we know you also make Ken-Ken, Will Shortz. Stop whoring yourself out. “____ Shortz, best editor in the world.” That sucks.
- 1980s music references. 1A: KDLANG, 79A: LET’S DANCE, 95A: ELO. As far as we’re concerned, one is pushing it.
- 1940s movie references. 54A: LOY, 59A: KATIE. Seriously? The people who enjoyed those films are dead. Or senile. Or Abbie, whose dream man is Jimmy Stewart, so…
- 42A: Filmmaker Allen (IRWIN). Irwin Allen? Apparently he was kind of the shit in the ’60s and ’70s. That punk-ass bitch Woody came in and stole the title of Filmmaker Allen. Sorry Irwin. Also, sorry that your name is Irwin. Unfortunate.
That’s it. Sorry we sucked. Especially to John. This was John’s last puzzle before he moves to Chicago this week. He will be popping-in for some Skyped cameos, but we will miss his levity and ignorance.
Fuck you John,