Sunday, July 15, 2007
- 17A: It rolls across the Plains (sage brush)
- 11D: Juice drink brand (Ocean Spray)
- 31D: Alluring dance (striptease)
- 65A: Beehive contents (honeycomb)
The wording on that theme-revealing clue is infelicitous in the extreme, and I don't like the layout of the theme-revealing answer: the verticality of the two parts is OK - a nice twist - but I really don't like that YOUR HAIR is a step higher than HOW TO FIX. Answers should read left to right and Top to Bottom. The higher second part hurts my head. Plus, when I got to 22D and saw "see 25D," then saw the wording on 25D, I resented being run around (if you solve on paper, you won't appreciate this as much as if you solve on-line, where you can't see all the clues at a glance). So I got slowed up some and ended up with another average Monday time (mid-low 4's).
So overall, a fine Monday puzzle, with some awkwardness of construction that made me wince - but I'm willing to admit it just may be a personal thing against what I perceive as fussiness in a grid. I thought some of the non-theme fill was pretty challenging and vibrant. 3D: Rapper Snoop _____ (Dogg) and nearby 5D: Snarling dog (cur) make a nice pairing, as do the once (LIRA) and future (EURO) coins of Italy. 59A: Saint _____, Caribbean nation (Lucia) did not come to me at all at first. Aren't there many Saint somethingorothers in the Caribbean? The Latinate crossings of 52A: Wife of Marc Antony (Octavia) and 45D: Cautions (caveats) also added a bit of BRIO (55A: Vivacity) to the grid. Lastly, CANASTA (9D: Card game with melding) gives me fond memories of long Pacific coast road trips as a kid, during which my sister, step-sister, and I would play CANASTA and other card games over and over and over as a way of entertaining ourselves during the Long drives, first from Fresno to Medford, OR, and then on up to Bellevue, WA. I am grateful that I we didn't have any technological distractions greater than a Walkman. The trip, I'm convinced, would have been far less memorable.
I'm out of here tomorrow (Fenway-bound) and won't be back til Thursday's puzzle. Linda G will be taking over for me for the next two days, so stop in and say 'hi' to her.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld