Best-selling jogging advocate / SAT 5-7-11 / Bourgeouis to Brit / Blades of song film / Unlike opera Wozzeck / 1963 1996 treaty topic
Saturday, May 7, 2011
tr.v., -meled, or -melled, -mel·ing, or -mel·ling, -mels, or -mels.
- A shackle used to teach a horse to amble.
- Something that restricts activity, expression, or progress; a restraint.
- A vertically set fishing net of three layers, consisting of a finely meshed net between two nets of coarse mesh.
- An instrument for describing ellipses.
- An instrument for gauging and adjusting parts of a machine; a tram.
- An arrangement of links and a hook in a fireplace for raising and lowering a kettle.
- To enmesh in or as if in a fishing net. See synonyms at hamper1.
- To hinder the activity or free movement of.
[Middle English tramale, a kind of net, from Old French tramail, from Late Latin trēmaculum : Latin trēs, three + Latin macula, mesh.] (answers.com)
• • •Took me almost twice as long as yesterday's puzzle ... which still puts it in the easy-for-a-Saturday puzzle. Might have set another record, but got held up a tad (A MITE?) in the NE, where TRAMMEL was not a word I knew, and LIESL (8D: Von Trapp girl who's "sixteen going on seventeen") was not a name I knew (though, to my credit, when I got that -SL ending, I persisted rather than scrapping it—first guess: GEISL), and I didn't know if I was dealing with LEVEL I or LEVEL A or maybe, in some odd twist, LEVEL 1 at 8A: Most convenient section of a parking garage, usually, so I sat back and waited for crosses. Also never heard of ANNA SUI (62A: Designer with the Night of Fancy fragrance) and took a while to remember NON-U (54D: Bourgeois, to a Brit) and wanted APIA instead of SUVA (49A: Main campus site of the University of the South Pacific) and had PASTE instead of BASTE (42D: Wallop) which left me with the odd PEAR SALAD at first (instead of BEAN SALAD) (42A: Barbecue side dish). Still, all these obstacles were minor, especially for a Saturday. 1A: Best-selling jogging advocate (JIM FIXX) was a gimme, and those are some pretty auspicious letters to start out with.
I liked the puzzle fine, but I won't remember it tomorrow. Nothing here really stands out. STRAP-ON could have stood out ... but not with that clue (35A: Like scuba tanks, typically).
- 14A: Size of about 16 tennis courts (ONE ACRE) — got it easily enough, but the wording is weird. I thought the clue meant that there were about 16 tennis courts in the world that were that big. Those would be some big courts.
- 15A: Green light for un hombre (SI SEÑOR) — never saw the clue, which is weird, considering I actually struggled a tiny bit in that section.
- 16A: 1963 and 1996 treaty topic (TEST BAN) — seemed a very militaristic puzzle, with TEST BAN and H-BOMB and ARMS DEAL and ICBM and IRAQ and TRAUMA and LUTIST (just seeing if you're paying attention)
- 33A: Unlike the opera "Wozzeck" (TONAL) — I like this clue. Actually, I just like the name "Wozzeck."
- 22A: Olympic gold-medal pentathlete Lehtonen (EERO) — "How am I supposed to ... oh, it's just EERO."
- 25D: They moved to St. Louis in '95 (L.A. RAMS) — Had the L- and -MS and couldn't come up with a sports team because I kept thinking "The Saint Louis ... what!? BLUES? CARDINALS?"
- 32D: Deadly African tree-dwellers (MAMBAS) — my entree into the NE (from below). Couldn't get anything to cross it at first, so I doubted it a bit (A MITE!?), but eventually the answers came.
- 34D: High-tech gadgetry suffix (-TRON) — Saturday clue. Any other day, and that's a movie title.
- 48D: Blades of song and film (RUBEN) — BLAH-days. Before my time. Never heard him before, to my knowledge—but I kind of like this, esp. the set, and the band:
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter or Tumblr]