Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 Gareth Bain

Theme: "Pop" goes the weasel.  This was an unusual theme, which would be almost impossible to suss without the unifier:  45D. Asked, burst open, extracted, or broke, as the ends of this puzzle's four longest answers : POPPED. Or, as my title for the theme suggests "Jumped out". Can you think of any other meanings?

17A. "Will you marry me?" is one : YES OR NO QUESTION  (I would, Gareth, but DH might object!)
"Popped the question" uses the first unifier verb, meaning "asked".

32A. Steak au poivre flavoring : PEPPERCORN. "Poivre" is French for "pepper". And "popped corn" demonstrates the second unifier verb, for "burst open". 

41A. Administrative area on Ireland's south coast : COUNTY CORK.  A "popped cork" uses the third unifier verb for "extracted". 

59A. Bit of wedding toast effervescence : CHAMPAGNE BUBBLE. A "popped bubble" is the final unifier verb, meaning "broke".

Marti here, with what I hope was a logical explanation for this puzzle.


1. English horn, e.g. : REED. And clecho 47. __ anglais: English horn : CORCor Anglais is the French term for English horn.  But it is not from England, and is not a horn.  It is a double-reed woodwind in the oboe family. 

5. No Doubt lead singer Stefani : GWEN. Their first ska-pop album failed to make any waves. Gwen went on to launch a solo career with her successful album "Love. Angel. Music. Baby". "Hollabak Girl" from the album was one of the most popular songs of 2005. Judge for yourself.

9. Hard stuff : BOOZE. Did anyone want "cider"?

14. Old apple treatment : ALAR

15. Gaelic tongue : ERSE

16. Part of A/V : AUDIO. 50/50 shot of getting this one right..

20. Play flawlessly on the green : ONE PUTT. I'd rather pitch in for eagle.

21. Gets ready for market, as livestock : FATTENS

22. "Stillmatic" rapper : NAS. "One Mic" from the album (released in 2002), samples a portion of Phil Collins's "In the Air tonight".  Can you hear it

23. Commoner : PLEB

25. 4:00 English drink : TEA. I guess that would be 11:00 AM in Boston? 

26. Levi's alternative : LEE. Both popular brands of jeans.

27. Big pitcher : EWER. Weighing in at 270, NY Yankees pitcher Andrew Brackman would also qualify.

29. General Arnold of WWII : HAP. The only five-star general in both the Air Force and the Army, he was instructed how to fly by the Wright brothers.

36. Danish toy brand : LEGO.

37. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : ALI G. He also portrays Borat and Bruno in his whacky comedy routines.

38. See red? : OWE. Great clue.

39. Orenburg's river : URAL

40. Elizabeth of "Jacob's Ladder" : PENA. I can't watch thriller/horror movies like this.  You?

44. Street sign abbr. : AVE

45. Shroud of gloom : PALL. "McCarthy got drunk at Sullivan's wake, fell off the bar stool and broke his leg...threw a pall over the entire funeral!"

46. Much : WAY. As in, "I've had WAY too much to drink..."

48. Fall short : FAIL

50. GI entertainers : USO. "United Service Organizations"

53. Bit of moral fiber : SCRUPLE. From the Latin "scrupulus", meaning "pricking of conscience"; literally, "small stone". Like a pebble in your shoe, giving you anxiety.  

57. Skateboarder's wear : KNEEPAD

61. Peregrine's place : AERIE.

62. Reason to warn boaters : GALE. Does anyone remember the old sitcom "The Gale Storm Show"?

63. Caramel candy brand : ROLO. Yummm. Who doesn't like chocolate and caramel?

64. Pollster's find : TREND

65. Sardine's cousin : SHAD

66. Wilson of "Drillbit Taylor" : OWEN. Is this Friday? That was one of his more obscure (and poorly rated) movies, as I remember him better for "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Marley and Me", "Zoolander', "Starskey & Hutch" or "The Wedding Crashers".

Moving on...


1. Lustrous synthetic : RAYON. As I have said before, nylon, orlon, rayon...just wait for the perps.

2. 2010 tennis retiree Dementieva : ELENA. She won the singles gold at the Beijing Olympics. Interesting website.

3. Alleviates : EASES.  Aleve alleviates arthritis pain...

4. Pearl __ earring : DROP. I think of this painting by Vermeer.

5. Less violent : GENTLER

6. Authored : WROTE

7. Lawyer's letters : ESQ. Why are they "esquires"?

8. Bordeaux ball team? : NEUF. HaHa..."NEUF Ball". Get it? (Nerf ball?)...oh, never mind. I think Gareth meant there are nine on a ball team, and neuf is French for nine. (This is getting WAY too complicated, so I'll move on now).

9. Turkey-roasting tool : BASTER. That little syringe-y think that sits in your drawer all year, and comes out only on Thanksgiving.  Remember?

10. "I'm __ here!": "Bye!" : OUTTA. Not yet!  I still have more 30 more clues to unravel!

11. Comic strip dog : ODIE. One of my favs, from "Garfield".

12. Mount sacred to Judaism : ZION

13. Geologic periods : EONS

18. Indian capital : RUPEE. One of these days, they are actually going to be looking for "Delhi" as the answer.

19. Unlike leftovers : EATEN. Why, that's true! My leftovers usually sit in the 'frig for about two weeks, and then they are tossed.

24. Old English epic poem : BEOWULF. Did anyone see the 3-D version with Anthony Hopkins?

26. Org. for Paula Creamer : LPGALadies Professional Golf Association.

28. Birdhouse songbird : WREN

29. Po' boy relative : HERO. Or Hoagie, sub, grinder, torpedo, blimpie...

30. Ice cream thickener : AGAR. Much better image than "bacteria-growing medium".

31. Mexican War president : POLK. James Knox Polk, served 1845-1849. The victory in this war gave the USA much of the present southwest.

32. Bear with a hard bed : PAPA

33. Mountain sign no. : ELEV. Elevation.

34. Turpentine source : PINE

35. Not nerdy : COOL

36. "Peanuts" fussbudget : LUCY

41. "Cheers" barmaid : CARLA. Her full name was Carla Maria Victoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec.  

42. Hotel room choice : TWIN BED. Make mine a double...

43. New Eng. school since 1701 : YALE U. Hard to suss this one. I think of it as simply "Yale".

47. Curry flavoring : CUMIN

49. "The Jungle Book" pack leader : AKELA. Not familiar with this lone wolf.

50. Violin stroke : UP BOW. The player pushes the bow from tip to the frog (bottom of the bow), moving it towards the left shoulder. 

51. H�tel room : SALLE. More french. I wanted "chambre".

52. Cineplex name : ODEON

53. Gibberish singing style : SCAT. Ella Fitzgerald was one of the greats.

54. Mother of Chaz : CHER. Chaz is a transgender advocate, having completed a female-to-male gender transition in 2010.

55. A bit beyond raw : RARE. I like both raw tuna and rare steak.

56. Breakfast order : EGGS. These, I like cooked!

58. River to the Mediterranean : EBRO. Northern Spain. Want some monster catfish? Map.

60. Slangy dismissal : NAH. Yeah, now I'm OUTTA here!

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our blog matriarch (good one, Dennis) Clear Ayes. Thanks for being here for us.

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