Fireball Contest – Wednesday, October 13, 2016

9:16 (Jenni) 
Meta: DNF (either of them) 


Peter Gordon’s Fireball Crossword, “Reverse Split” – Jenni’s writeup

This puzzle had two separate contests: “What two-word adage with nine letters in the first word and seven letters in the second word would have made a good title for this puzzle? And what 1934 hit song for Bing Crosby could have been a theme answer in this puzzle?”

The six theme answers contain words that are opposites next to each other, thusly:

  • screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-11-05-pm

    FB contest puzzle, 10/13 – solution grid

    19a [Formal statement describing essential religious doctrine] = CONFESSION OF FAITH (on/off.)

  • 26a [Gets severely reprimanded] = CATCHES HELL (he/she.)
  • 41a [Email-filtering program] = SPAM ASSASSIN (Pa/Ma.)
  • 53a [Recurring character in the final season of “The Brady Bunch”] = COUSIN OLIVER (si/no.)
  • 69a [1971 Elvis Presley B-side single whose A-side was “I’m Leaving'”] = HEART OF ROME (to/from.) I don’t know Elvis music all that well; is that one as obscure as I think it is?
  • 80a [Latin phrase meaning “I believe so that I may understand”] = CREDO UT INTELLIGAM (out/in.) I had “intelligum” and almost left it, but I just couldn’t figure out how 78d [Drone, e.g.] clued MULE. It doesn’t, of course; the answer is MALE.

The Bing Crosby song that could have been an additional theme entry turns out to be “June in January,” from the movie “Here is My Heart.” The opposites are “nein/ja.”

This is a brilliant feat of construction. My FB cap is off to Peter.

A few other things:

  • I was initially convinced there was a rebus, because I thought 3d [Main character on “Vega$”] was DAN TANNER. Turns out he was DAN TANNA. That would be different.
  • Further confusion resulted from 1d [Anna Kendrick’s role in “Pitch Perfect”] = BECA. I was looking for a second C that isn’t there.
  • 32d [“The brandy of the damned,” according to Don Juan in George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman”] is our classic Peter Gordon very long clue. Answer: MUSIC. I beg to differ.
  • 55d [Creator of ice-nine] was a gimme for me, since I took a whole course in high school about Kurt VONNEGUT.
  • If you watch “Chopped,” you know that EMUS lay green eggs. No ham, though.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that catgut actually comes from SHEEP.

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3 Responses to Fireball Contest – Wednesday, October 13, 2016

  1. Matthew G. says:

    Very nice puzzle. I got the adage correct—the theme leapt out at me even before I finished the grid—but I got the song incorrect.

    For the song, I went with “Ridin’ Around in the Rain” on the theory that AROUND and IN were opposites. I suspected even then that there was a better, more pair of opposites somewhere in the list of songs. But after about three passes through the list, I failed to see NEIN/JA, and I made a conscious decision to go on with my day rather than keep looking.

  2. Giovanni P. says:

    And for those wondering, the alternate title is OPPOSITES ATTRACT.

    Nice wordplay finds Peter!

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