TUESDAY, Apr. 28, 2009 - M Ginsberg (Eric who played 2003's Hulk / Pacific archipelago nation / Nordic runners)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
GreengageGreen"gage`\, n. (Bot.) A kind of plum of medium size, roundish shape, greenish flesh, and delicious flavor. It is called in France Reine Claude, after the queen of Francis I. See Gage.
"Greengage" appears as one word in most descriptions I found. To complicate things further, "GAGE" appears also to be simply another word for "plum," as the definition of "plum" at Wikipedia begins, "A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus ..."
I did this one in well under 5, but still found it much thornier than your typical Tuesday (though with Tuesday, really, who's to say any more?). There was a veritable pantheon of B-to-C List crossword acting talent, some of whom didn't come readily to mind (most notably that damned ERBE woman - 57D: Kathryn of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"); there were plums I didn't know and a peninsula I'd never even heard of (KENAI - 40D: Alaskan peninsula where Seward is located), and then SERAPH (48D: Angelic figure), which I knew but couldn't spell immediately (SERIPH? Ugh - 48D: Angelic figure). But my two main sticking points came about as a result of my simply not knowing (or not readily getting) a couple similes. The two:
- 10A: _____ as a post (DEAF)
- 66A: _____ as a judge (SOBER)
Other theme answers:
- 24A: _____ as a pin (neat)
- 25A: _____ as a fox (cunning) - isn't "sly" more common?
- 26A: _____ as an ox (strong)
- 37A: _____ as an owl (wise) - with the bonus SAPIENS at 5D: Latin for 37-Across
- 41A: _____ as a dog (sick) - not a phrase I want to think about right now
- 56A: _____ as an eel (slippery)
- 67A: _____ as a doornail (dead) - SICK and DEAD. Nice.
- 68A: _____ as a diamond (hard)
- 6D: _____ as a drum (tight)
- 25D: _____ as a whistle (clean)
- 27D: _____ as a rail (thin)
- 29D: _____ as a bell (clear)
- 34D: _____ as a kite (high)
- 51D: _____ as a rock (solid)
- 54D: _____ as a bat (blind)
- 14A: Pacific archipelago nation (Samoa) - Kiwis (and perhaps others) put the stress on the first syllable of this word. Hard to get used to.
- 19A: Actress Singer of "Footloose" (Lori) - she and BANA (54A: Eric who played 2003's Hulk) and ERBE are all here auditioning for the Bobby SEALE biopic (31A: Newton's Black Panther Party co-founder). I misread this clue at first and thought it was looking for an actress/singer from "Footloose." So naturally I thought of this:
- 23D: Lawrence Welk's "one"/"two" connector ("and a") - yuck. Common enough, but yuck.
- 28D: Literally, "scraped" (rasa) - and the Latin lesson continues...
- 58A: It means nothing to Sarkozy (rien) - and some French for good measure.
- 2D: Auto denter in a supermarket parking lot (cart) - "denter" is cute. Most words undergoing crossword "ER"-ificiation aren't cute.