Sunday, February 3, 2013

Get a haircut!

longo 2-3.jpg

Frank Longo spares us the puns and riddles today and instead suggests a variety of hairstyles for our consideration. The puzzle is titled 'I Like Your Style' and that's the only clue Frank supplies to help us see what it is that he is up to. I had gone through all of the clues and filled in much of the grid when I looked at the long answers in search of a common theme and I noticed that each one begins with the name of a common hairstyle. In the end there are nine of them:

23a - BOBFORAPPLES (Take part in a Halloween tradition)
28a - FADETOBLACK (Stage lighting technique)
38a - SHAGCARPET (Thick-piled 96-Down)
53a - BUNINTHEOVEN (Developing fetus, slangily)
69a - DREADSTHEFIRE (What a burnt child does, in an old proverb)
86a - BEEHIVESTATE (Nickname of Utah)
100a- BUZZALDRIN (Second man on the moon)
109a- AFROASIATIC (Like the languages Hebrew and Somali)
118a- MOHAWKVALLEY (Region between the Adirondacks and Catskills)

I didn't have much trouble getting all the answers but I did have a couple of write-overs to make my grid messy in spots. I wanted  a good pal at 17d when A REAL pal was what Frank needed, and I was too quick to write in SEdate for "Tranquil" at 48d when SERENE fits the clue and spaces just as well. Otherwise I pretty much cruised through the grid and I had time to take note of some interesting juxtapositions in the puzzle. ILSA and ILKA were both occupying the upper right quadrant, the wall-to-wall RUG was just a couple of spaces over from Toys-RUS, and I thought it was a tad insensitive of Frank to have the Golden AGER share a space with SAG.  But what I thought was really unfortunate and probably should have been reworked completely was the proximity of ABORT (45a, Ends early, as a mission) to BUNINTHEOVEN. Those terms should not even appear in the same puzzle, in my opinion.

There were a couple of words that made me scratch my head, one being AVOUCHES (2d, Affirms) which I'm sure is a real word, but it's one I've never seen before. I guess I have heard a dollar referred to as a SIMOLEON (25a) but not recently - in fact probably not in the last 50 years! It's also been a long time since I have heard any mention of LPS (122d, Hi-fi  platters) but I used to have plenty of them - in fact I think one of them had this song, which suggests a hairstyle the the puzzle omitted:

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