“Pole Dance” by Patrick Blindauer – 11:07
Good morning everyone. Jeffrey here. In case you missed it, please read Amy’s announcement in the previous post. I’ll have more to say about this over the next few days. For now, let’s talk about today’s Wall Street Journal puzzle by Patrick Blindauer.
The title is “Pole Dance” and I must confess I didn’t figure out the theme until after I had solved the whole thing. Pole refers to the North (N) and South (S) poles and the dance is to flip all N’s to S’s and vice versa in the theme answers.
23A. [Gave Bambi a bad review?] – “Passed the buck” becomes PANNED THE BUCK
38A. [Career path for a petty officer?] – “Bonus track” becomes BO’SUN TRACK. Boatswain (pronounced and abbreviated bos’n): The warrant officer (noncommissioned officer) in charge of equipment such as ropes, sails, et cetera. One of the oldest ranks in the navy, it dates back to at least 1040. I know this term from HMS Pinafore.
49A. [Rules concerning cold cases?] – “Front lawn” becomes FROST LAWS. Double switch here.
58A. [Hipster who’s a quipster?] – “Pussy cat” becomes PUNNY CAT. A punny clue to boot.
68A. [Support for the sympathetic?] – “Charity case” becomes CHARITY CANE. I may need one of these in the coming days.
76A. [Conflict between truly identical twins?] – “Close combat” becomes CLONE COMBAT.
89A. [Impertinent Hockey Hall of Famer Neely?] – “Nanny cam” becomes SASSY CAM. I’m guessing many of you didn’t know Cam Neely, but you must admit nanny to sassy is awesome.
98A. [Lass who’s hard to please?] – “Funny Girl” become FUSSY GIRL. “Funny Girl” star Barbra Streisand may be fussy at times.
108A. [Endeavor for Enya?] – “Sewage tank” becomes NEW AGE TASK. Wow. This may be the most original switcheroo ever.
125A. [Painted ponies from Michigan?] – “Detroit Piston” becomes DETROIT PINTOS.
92D. [Offer?] – “Annannis” becomes ASSASSIN. Ok, not a theme answer but how cool would that have been?
That still leaves 10(!) theme answers. Great stuff.
1A. [“Just one and heartburn’s done!” sloganeer] – PEPCID. Who doesn’t love an acid reflux reference at 1 across?
7A. [Atlantic island group owned by Portugal] – AZORES. Owned? Do you think we can scrape up enough money to buy them and hold the ACPT there?
13A. [Tooth trouble] – ABSCESS. Who doesn’t love to think about dental pain on the top row?
21A. [Sister of Venus] – SERENA Williams.
30A. [Home of Goodyear’s headquarters] – OHIO/35D. [Home of Goodyear’s headquarters] – AKRON. Founded in 1898.
33A. [Dead meat] – CARCASS. This may be the cause of your heartburn and tooth trouble.
36A. [Rotgut] – HOOCH. This may be the cause of your heartburn and tooth trouble.
47A. [Dr. Zhivago] – YURI
64A. [Cry of feigned innocence] – MOI. Miss Piggy!
65A. [Subject of Weird Al’s “The White Stuff”] – OREO
72A. [Word from the Algonquian for “white dog”] – OPOSSUM. I didn’t o-know that.
75A. [1962 Paul Anka hit] – ESO BESO
85A. [Syr. neighbor] – LEB. I put ISR. So did you.
87A. [___ Abner] – LI’L
96A. [Pommes frites additive] – SEL. That would French fries with salt. Et du ketchup?
115A. [“Breaking ___ Hard to Do”] – UP IS. Do you prefer the fast or the slow version?
123A. [She, reflexively] – HERSELF. Miss Piggy?
9D. [Saturn or Mercury] – ORB. Car? God? No, orb.
12D. [Barneys rival] – SAKS. Fred is Barney’s friend, not rival.
14D. [Owies] – BOOBOOS. Bamm Bamm is Barney’s son. Boo Boo is Yogi Bear’s friend. This concludes the Hanna-Barbera portion of our puzzle.
31D. [Esteem, abroad] – HONOUR. How else would you spell it?
32D. [Needs no more nuking] – IS DONE is answer.
43D. [“___ Mia”] – MAMMA
45D. [Ruby’s longtime husband] – OSSIE Davis was married to Ruby Dee for over 50 years.
50D. [Stephen Sondheim has eight] – TONYS
53D. [Time piece?] – O’CLOCK. I did o-know this.
63D. [Drill bit?] – AT EASE. Not a tease.
71D. [Newark mayor Booker] – CORY. Um, ok. Now I know.
88D. [Singer Rimes] – LEANN
110D. [Mahalia’s milieu] – GOSPEL
Thanks, Patrick for a fun puzzle. See you guys tomorrow.