Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unreal Estate
by Todd McClary
edited by Mike Shenk
November 27, 2009

Full answers available on WSJ's crossword puzzle page or with the following week's puzzle on WSJ's online Lifestyle page.

Theme: Real estate terms applied to well-known landmarks.
BRIDGE LOAN {25A The crooked realty agent tried to sell some sucker the Golden Gate by offering a ...}
CAPITAL PROPERTY {27A He tried to sell the National Mall, describing it as ...}
LIQUID ASSESTS {53A He tried to sell the Great Lakes, claiming they were ...}
LOCK IN CLAUSE {70A He tried to sell Alcatraz, even drafting a contract with a ...}
BALLOON PAYMENTS {98A He tried to sell the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade route, even arranging for ...}
CLEAR TITLE {101A He tried to sell the Crystal Cathedral, fabricating a ...}
CLOSING COSTS {16D He tried to sell Brandenburg Gate, offering to take care of ...}
LISTING AGENT {60D He tried to sell the Tower of Pisa, passing himself off as a ...}
(Is well-known redundant for landmark? If it isn't WK, would it qualify as a LM?)

News To Me [I got 'em but I didn't get 'em]: 3, at least
DOS {38A Good behavior} As in dos & don'ts, I assume?
T[-]MAC{108A Yao Ming teammate, to fans} Tracy McGrady on the Houston Rockets.
STARR {80D Best replacement} It's a Beatles thing. I did try to parse this as people rather than description but all I could conjure was Brenda Starr from the comics and Olympic rider Greg Best. Once I had the outstanding Gem Twist cantering around in my head, no mere drummer was going to oust him.

Progress Report: 3 Opportunities To Learn New Things & 1 Admission of Defeat
This one went down with something resembling style & grace except for the nest of proper nouns in the top middle. I had to make the digital acquaintance of EAGAN {21A Boston-based columnist Margery}, AMELIA {33A 2009 Hilary Swank biopic}, ALBANO {5D Pro wrestling's Captain Lou}, before I could coble together AZERA {8D Hyundai sedan}, STROM {9D Senator succeeded by Lindsey}, and HARRIS {11D Br'er Fox's creator}. Identifying this crowd was not helped by my inability to confidently corral the consonants in LISZT {20A “Les Preludes” composer} nor to shift from sanitarium & to baseball for {7D Bats} -> IS UP.

So the majority of my brain has rebooted save for this patch of Google green and a error-red spot where I took an erroneous flyer on ACCRA {90D Gold Coast port}.

Commentary: What do you mean it's Thursday again?! Where are my weeks going? The plan is to solve the puzzle on Friday, take a break for weekend warrior activities, and post on Monday. The reality is – not that. Invariably, I'm still finishing on Monday, Tuesday goes up in smoke, I surf and draft on Wednesday, and then post just in time to start all over again on Friday. The problem about being good with deadlines is being no good without one.

Katherine Walcott
Puzzle Fan

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