Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Relative difficulty: Super-Easy
THEME: "THUMB" - rebus puzzle where THUMB (or a picture thereof) goes into four squares symmetrically arranged throughout the grid
This was criminally easy for a Wednesday. There are maybe two or three answers that were odd or tricky or possibly unknown to people (including me), but nothing you couldn't get from crosses with no problem. The theme itself was easy to uncover, and once you had it, long answers became a piece of cake. I like the feeling of being a puzzle master as much as the next guy, but if there's no challenge, then the accomplishment of a fast time hardly seems to matter. And did you really have to remind me that there once existed a show called "Joey?" (12D: "Friends" spinoff)
- 1D: Barnum midget (Tom THUMB) - is "midget" still an OK word? I do love the way it sounds.
- 20A: Expresses scorn (THUMBs one's nose) - Tried to fit "Turns up one's nose" in here for a while
- 29A: 1966 Rolling Stones hit ("Under My THUMB") - again, like "midget," something totally politically incorrect that I love
- 33D: Kind of sketch (THUMBnail)
- 26D: It may stick out (sore THUMB)
- 43A: Scan (THUMB through) - these don't seem quite equivalent
- 51A: Human hand characteristic (opposable THUMB)
- 56D: Encouraging sign (THUMBs up)
The only answers that should have slowed people down at all are...
15A: 20 Mule Team compound (Borax) - which I still don't understand. Must be some old advertising slogan. Thought the answer was going to be "BORAT" for a few seconds. Wasn't sure how that would have worked, logically, but then again I haven't seen the movie yet.
19A: Wilson of "Zoolander" (Owen) - easy for me, but I can see it befuddling the people whose minds aren't poisoned with inane pop culture of the past decade. Or perhaps you just know OWEN Wilson better as "Dupree."
39D: Quarterbacks' play changes (audibles) - easy for me, but I can see it befuddling the sports illiterate among you. This is probably my favorite answer in the grid. AUDIBLES are plays called from the line of scrimmage (instead of from the huddle).
30D: Boortz of talk radio (Neal) - and here we come across my area of illiteracy - talk radio, ugh
58A: Rhone feeder (Saone) - Yesterday AARE, today SAONE; with vowel combinations like that, is it any wonder I hold a grudge against all European rivers?
24A: Early TV comic Louis (Nye) - Why do I know this guy's name if he's "early." This is the NYE who is not the "Science Guy."
Enjoy your Wednesday,
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld