By: Patrick Berry
Theme: Anchors Away! (Boat-related puns)
Difficulty (0-10): 5
I started with a pretty good groove on this one. I was able to pick up several three and four letter answers at fairly good pace (27A – INCAS, 35A – ORE, 38A – PEZ, 43A – ODDS, 47A – GPS).
Pez was invented in Austria, and later exported worldwide. The all-uppercase spelling of the logo echoes the trademark’s style on the packaging and the dispensers, with the logo drawn in perspective and giving the appearance that the letters are built out of 44 brick-like Pez mints (14 bricks in the P and 15 in each of the E and Z).
Despite the widespread recognition and popularity of the Pez dispenser, the company considers itself to be primarily a candy company, and over 3 billion bricks are consumed each year in the U.S. alone. Pez dispensers are part of popular culture in many nations, an example being ‘Soul Candy’ in Japanese manga series Bleach. Because of the large number of dispenser designs over the years, they are collected by enthusiasts. Wikipedia: Pez
One problem I had in the northwest corner was that I thought 1D was ACT because I was thinking Kick in as in medicine kicking in. Once, I was able to figure out that it was ADD it was easier to get the crosswords DISCOS and DEPART.
The first them answer that I got right was 54A – Kids’ game in which small vessels attack each other? I was easily able to recognize the letter pattern that led to ROCKEMSOCKEMROWBOATS. This is a takeoff on the old kids game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.
“Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots is a popular two-player action toy and game, designed by Marvin Glass and Associates and was first manufactured by Marx toy company in 1964. It features two dueling robot boxers, Red Rocker and Blue Bomber, mechanically manipulated by the players, and the game is won when one player knocks the head off of the opponent. The 2000s version of the game by Mattel features physically smaller robots.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots has enjoyed far-ranging success in the United States, selling in the hundreds of thousands and becoming something of a minor popular culture phenomenon. The game was developed for the Marx toy company by the renowned toy design firm Marvin Glass and Associates, in the early 1960s, and first became available to retailers during the 1964 season. The toy maker produced the action set, virtually unchanged, for well over a decade, until the packaging and characters were updated for the 1977 sales season with a more overt outer-space theme to make it appeal more to buyers looking for space toys following the release of the movie blockbuster Star Wars.” Wikipedia: Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
This answer pointed me in the direction of naval-related puns. It made it much easier to get the others:
24A – GALLEONSOFMILK
31A – WARSHIPATTHEALTAR
54A – ROCKEMSOCKEMROWBOATS
66A – SEMITRAWLER
76A – AINTSEENNOTHINGYACHT
100A – DIRTYDOUBLECRUISER
111A – APPLEFREIGHTER
One other thing that gave me a chuckle was the intersection of 117A – Game of Thrones, e.g. and 106D – Entry ticket. It reminded me that the latest episode the Game of Thrones SAGA is on tonight and since it’s never caught on with me I’m going to take a PASS.
The Thing I Learned
The one thing I learned about from today’s puzzle was 64D – Soubise sauce. I had never heard of this so I looked it up.
“The soubise sauce is a classic cream sauce for vegetables made by sautéeing onions and adding them to a basic béchamel sauce. It’s an excellent accompaniment for vegetables, eggs or chicken, or as a base for making casseroles. Traditionally the onions were puréed before adding, but this isn’t essential. But if you don’t purée them, you’ll want to chop them pretty small.” The Spruce: Soubise Sauce Recipe