October 16, 2009

Daily Beast, 10/16/09

Time - 12:17

Hello, crossword puzzle fans. Welcome to Jeffrey Krasnick blogs about Matt Gaffney’s “Where the Wild Things Are” puzzle in the current “Daily Beast”.

This is not Roger Ebert reviews the movie “Where the Wild Things Are”. Roger and I have a deal – he does movies, I do puzzles. So I won’t discuss the movie. A good thing, since everything I know about the movie comes from Roger’s review I just read, post-solving. Well, I learned 3 things about the movie from the puzzle: It is based on a book written by (43A) Maurice SENDAK; the kid in it is named (36A) MAX, who is not in a balloon; and it stars (109D) Catherine O'HARA.

Matt’s cool spin on the title, revealed way down at 135 across, is to hide an ANIMAL in ten city names. Well, Matt didn’t hide them, they were already hidden there. Am I making sense?

Theme Answers:
1A – MOSCOW, Russia
23A – BATTLE CREEK, Michigan
25A – ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands
52A – NEWTON, Massachusetts
57A – BOTSWANA, Africa (oopsy, not a city)
89A – CAPE TOWN, South Africa
94A – NASSAU, the Bahamas
123A – CLEVELAND, Ohio
125A – SCHENECTADY, New York
56D – SPANDAU, Germany
Hmm. No Canadian cities. What about BRAMPTON, SAANICH, RED DEER, SWIFT CURRENT, STRATHCONA, MOOSE JAW. Put them two-by-two in MARKHAM.

Other animal references: HAWK, WASP, ORIOLE, PAWS, HORSE’S HEAD, ANT.

More Canadian content:
Tim Horton – a medium box of Timbits and a double-double, please.
Pam Anderson, Mike Myers, Catherine Ohara, Tamara Taylor

For 3 word fans:

98D: X’S AND O’S

Other interesting stuff:
30D – [They make you #2] - LAXATIVES. One of those clues that you think, nah can’t be talking about that! This one is.

71A - [Unfit for habitation] - SQUALID, like living IN A SHOE, perhaps?

99A - [Frames in a scandal] – SEX TAPE. Great clue.

54D - [2008 bank failure, for short] – WAMU – That would be Washington Mutual. Quick, name the only country that has had no bank failures during the current crisis.

Tip of the week:
21 Across – [Artist Sciele]

Here is my three step solving process.

1) Solve 11D XEROXED, 12D EGOS, 13D NOTED, and 14D ANT.
2) Read what is written in 21A: EGON
3) Done!

Not necessary if you are an expert on Austrian painters who died at 28.

This series is a great addition to the Sunday-sized puzzle world. See you next week!