Thursday, June 14, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
66A: Angels (messengers)
This is like Dogs (shedders), in that the answer is appropriate only for some dogs, some of the time. Angels are other things besides MESSENGERS, so there's just not enough synonymity here for me to assent to this answer.
61A: One who deals in futures (horoscoper)
I refuse to believe that that is a word. ASTROLOGER, I would buy. This, I don't. And please don't dictionary me to death on this one. It's a bad "word" and you know it.
27A: Certain campus Greeks (Delts)
Aren't they usually some kind of DELTS, like TRI-DELTS or PHI DELTS or something? DELTS are muscles, as far as I'm concerned.
40D: Singer with the 1975 #1 hit "Lady Marmalade" (LaBelle)
While Patti LABELLE was indeed the lead vocalist on the song, LABELLE was a group, so technically they had the "#1 hit" in question. "LaBelle" with capital "B" = singer's last name. "Labelle" with lower-case "b" = group.
6D: Object of a miracle of Jesus (leper)
You can be sure that Jesus wouldn't have called him an "object."
OK, so my major complaints are out of the way. Much of the rest of this puzzle, I liked. I am especially happy at some of the great guesses I made, including:
19A: 1899 gold rush site (Nome) - with just the "E" in place. I guess not that many cities of note are four letters ending in "E," but still, I'm mildly proud of the guess.
34A: Political payoff, perhaps (sinecure) - a great word. Had the -URE and sifted through some more ordinary words before SINECURE sprang out at me. Tenure can be a kind of SINECURE. In fact, there appears to be an acrimonious debate out there on just this topic.
24A: Machu Picchu, for one (ruin) - Not terribly hard, but still, got it with no crosses, so it makes me happy.
45D: Highlands relative of an elk (red deer) - OK, so I had ROE BUCK, and then ROE DEER, but still, I was on the right track, in a way, so I am going to count this as a great guess, even though the initial guess was pretty wide of the mark.
Unknown to me were:
16A: Self-styled world salsa capital (Cali)
49D: Some hogs (Durocs) - thought this might be a brand of motorcycle, but no: pigs. Very cute pigs (when they're young, anyway)
53D: Villa _____ (D'Este) - I have heard of this, but don't know what it is. Now I do.
38A: _____ P. Halliburton, founder of the Halliburton company (Erle) - somebody scoured the globe to find an ERLE who wasn't also a STANLEY GARDNER. Good job.
50A: 1994 Peace Nobelist (Peres) - Shimon PERES? Yes. Alright, then I did know this one. Nevermind.
I got lucky on VANUATU (12D: "Survivor" setting, 2004), because I have a "Survivor"-addicted wife, and EOCENE (26D: Dawn-of-mammals epoch), because I've seen it in the puzzle before. I misspelled it here as EOCINE at first, possibly confusing it with EOSINE, which has also been in the puzzle. Maybe EOCENE hasn't been in the puzzle, but some other -CENE has. Anyway, I feel as if I've seen it before. I got thrown by 11A: Troy Aikman, John Elway and others, in brief (MVPS) because, like many of you (probably) I thought the answer had to do with their being quarterbacks ... only QBS was a letter short and I'd never heard of quarterbacks being abbreviated any other way (though I did entertain QBKS for a few seconds). Lastly, I'd like to commend the stack of three 10-letter words in the NW, all of them good:
- 1A: Energy source (granola bar)
- 15A: Home of the National Automobile Museum (Reno, Nevada)
- 17A: First lady who was once a prominent radio actress (Evita Peron) - I think "lady" should be capitalized, shouldn't it? It's a title. My favorite part about this clue is my initial (wrong) answer: BESS TRUMAN.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld