Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: A GOOD DEAL (60A: What 17-, 25-, 36- or 50-Across is)
I have an exam to give in 67 minutes, so this will be very short (really, this time, it will). The theme is cute and satisfactory.
- 17A: 21 in two cards (blackjack)
- 25: Happy hour offering, maybe (two for one)
- 36A: C.E.O. protector (golden parachute)
- 50A: Huge amount (bajillion)
Notably, the phrase A GOOD DEAL applies in a different way to each of these answers. Nice. However, never in a BIJILLION years would I have spelled BAJILLION with an "A." I'm sure it has authority - it just looks painfully wrong. I have an eerie feeling I've made this complaint before ...
My time on this puzzle was mediocre - I think I was meandering somewhat aimlessly through the grid. I'd just gotten back from prison and it was late and I was winding down ... is that a good excuse? I had most of my problems in the N and NW where THEMA (4A: Discourse topic) killed me. Who uses this and when? When!? And, more importantly, in what country? I was very confused when I had ERK for 8D: Neighbor of Mo. (Ark.). Moreover, OCA (21A: Andean tuber) is - well, if not entirely new to me, nearly so. That's some forced fill right there. Got HAD (1A: Snookered) and OBI (14A: Butterfly _____ (sash)) in the NW, and then DIAL IN (3D: Try to reach a talk show, say) going down, but NALA (20A: "The Lion King" queen), ugh. Forgot her name completely. Never having seen "The Lion King" didn't help. And then O-RING (23A: Circular seal). Double ugh. ABLARE (2D: Loud, like trumpets), which is a perfectly serviceable word, was nowhere to be found. I might have had ABLAZE in there for a while - I honestly can't remember. HOJO (5D: "28 Flavors" chain, for short) was a lucky stab. Then there's SONAR, which simply did not occur to me as an acceptable answer for 15A: Underwater wave generator until the very, very end.
Finally, I leave you with a candidate for ugliest word in the English language: SNELL (66A: Fishhook attachment)
More ample write-up tomorrow, I promise.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld