Sunday, April 28, 2013


This week's Premier Crossword by Frank A. Longo is titled "Wrigley Field" which turns out to be not one of Frank's punny puzzles as we so often see, but a "gummy" puzzle - in fact the puzzle suggests that "An apt activity while solving this puzzle?" is CHEWINGGUM. Unfortunately I didn't get to that instruction until my grid was almost complete as I always solve top-to-bottom so it was too late to pop a stick in my mouth to chew while I solved. That particular item, which appeared at 118 across, was the only one clued "?"-style so all of the rest of the theme answers were clued in straight-forward style with no wackiness involved, thus:

23a - LUNARORBIT (Revolution around the moon)
31a - CAREFREELIFESTYLE (Existence like Riley's)
41a - SUPERBAZOOKA (M20 rocket launcher)
62a - BIGREDMACHINE (1970s Cincinnati team nickname)
73a - TRIDENTSHAPED (Like the Greek letter psi)
93a - EXTRASPECIAL (Like a real treat)
101a-MITSUBISHIECLIPSE (1990-2011 sport compact car)

So apparently the theme involves compiling a list of brands of chewing gum, all presumably made by Wrigley, and combining them with other words to form longer recognizable phrases to go in the grid. I couldn't resist doing a little googling to see if the list comprises the entire Wrigley field and it does not - Juicy Fruit, Doublemint and Freedent are notable omissions - but it's still a pretty impressive accomplishment to get seven of them into a puzzle in more or less common phrases.

Okay, I just discovered that Bazooka Bubble Gum is not a Wrigley brand so maybe that shouldn't count as a theme answer - I'm not going to EXPEL (88d - Kick out) it though because it led me to discover this:
That's better than those sappy twins singing the praises of Doublemint, wouldn't you say? Anyway, back to the puzzle, and I suppose you want to kn ow what the completed grid looks like so here it is:

One feature I noticed that may or may not have been intentional is the Tennis shot (79a -LOB) crossing the BBSHOT (57d - Air rifle ammo) in the grid and right next door is RYDER (80a - U-Haul rival), the famous maker of air rifles. Stuff like that tickles me.

Not much else to say about the non-theme fill today - it didn't exactly IRIDESCE (89a - Shimmer with rainbowlike colors) for me, but it certainly satisfied my SWEETTOOTH (15d - What candy satisfies) and that's enough to make it a winner in my book. I'll leave you with a little Salsa to counter all that sugar - you'll have to find the inspiration for it in the grid yourself:


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