Friday, November 2, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
November will be featuring shorter-than-normal write-ups from me, as I am exceedingly busy with a Major Project. Plus, I have that thing, what's it called ... a job, a family ... my mom's coming out here in a few weeks for Thanksgiving (and my birthday, which means, mmmm... cake and pie). Anyway, in case you start wondering why the write-ups seem brief, now you know.
This puzzle was Medium in every way - challenging in parts, but ultimately gettable, with no killer crossings or exceedingly ridiculous cluing. I had a stupid error - at 13D: Greyhounds may run in it, I wrote in BUS LINE and never looked back, largely because the cross, whose clue I never looked at, ended up being FIR, and that's a word, right? Well, yes, but it's not the answer to 24A: Much (far) - though I gotta say, [Much] is kind of a sucky clue for FAR. Still, error is totally my stupid fault.
Never heard of LUANDA (8D: African city of 2.5+ million founded by the Portuguese), though google assures me it exists. Had a lot of trouble - well, a little - at the bottom of LUANDA, where LIVE lived in BIDE's spot for a pretty good amount of time (23A: Dwell). Also had a lot of trouble uncovering DYNAST, both because the incorrect LIVE made the "Y" cross BYE NOW impossible to see (23D: "See ya!") and because the only letters I was entertaining at the first letter position of DYNAST were C and M - D is the Roman numeral most likely to slip completely out of my mind (clearly), and as I had no clear idea when St. Genevieve is supposed to have lived, I botched the answer (26D: Year of St. Genevieve's death). Loved LOVE-INS (7D: Hippie happenings), and was so proud to get it instantly (I feel like I've seen the answer or some variant very recently). Couldn't name a FATS WALLER hit (1A: He had a hit with "The Joint is Jumpin'") if I tried, but I like his name in the grid. Had "SURFER GIRL" in place of "I GET AROUND" for a bit (15A: First #1 hit by the Beach Boys). And I'm always happy to see a city + state combo in the puzzle: today, RENO, NEVADA (17A: City on the Transcontinental Railroad).
Loved the clue for SATIRES (14D: Wilde things?). The NE was easy enough except for my stupid BUS LINE error, and then SILEXES, which was new to me (31A: Materials used as inert paint fillers). Always glad to learn some new pop culture - today, I got the name of a MONKEES movie I'd never heard of (41D: Group that starred in the 1968 film "Head," with "the"). I would have liked the double "Organ" cluing, but one of the clues was pretty terrible:
- 4D: They're located on organs (stops) - good
- 54A: Organs are located in it: Abbr. (anat.) - bad - how is ANATomy an "it"? I mean, technically, maybe, you could use that pronoun, but the way it's clued here is not ... right, somehow.
Never heard of / struggled with:
- 53A: 19th-century territorial capital (Sitka) - Alaskan territory
- 60A: Succulent African shrub popular as a bonsai (desert rose) - ???
- 35A: Whole slew of (zillion) - coulda been JILLION, I say
- 34A: El relative (los) - this hurt my head a little
- 40D: Like some surgery (in utero) - easy enough, but unpleasant morning imagery - for more (humorously) unpleasant imagery, including a stirring tale of surgery, check out my latest write-up of paperback cover art at Pop Sensation.
- 46A: Discriminatory leader? (non-) - :( ... TTH, IMOO
- 3D: Carpenter, at times (tenoner) - the puzzle loves the word TENON far more than is right or natural
I'm going to shut down FIREFOX (1D: Internet Explorer alternative) now and get some work done. I MEAN IT (36D: "This is no joke!"). BYE NOW.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
If you are truly bored or depressed, this non-crossword-related video demands your attention...
Or this one...