SATURDAY Sep. 20, 2008-Joe Krozel (Founder of the Foundation for Florida's Future / Bursts open, as legume seedpods / Politico Hutchinson and others)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
I like the shapes the black squares make - looks like some kind of small, rudimentary robot with four legs that's about to walk off the grid, stage left. Beyond that, I didn't care much for this puzzle. It's got a couple "K"s and, let's see, a "J" way up there, but otherwise, it's a pretty unscrabbly puzzle. Lots of ordinary letters and lots of yawner words. I think of grids on a scale from Scrabbly to Wheel-of-Fortuney (RLSTNE), and this one skews heavily toward the latter end of the spectrum. The biggest problem is that this is the Odd Jobbiest puzzle I've seen in a while. Made-up -ER words Everywhere, and then a few more -ER words that aren't nouns but that heighten the overall suffocating "-ER" effect.
- 14A: They might be weaving (speeders)
- 36D: Participants in a kids' game (seekers)
- 7D: Ballerina, often (leaper)
- 12A: Drama queen (emoter) - ouch
- 30D: One signing off (approver) - OUCH "I'm the Decider!" "I'm a Uniter, not a Divider." Do you see why my ears hurt? I mean, even if you love that guy, it has to hurt, at least a little bit, to hear him talk.
Here's what I liked. The first word I put in the grid, madcappily, was BETCHA (16A: "You _____!"). Why this was my first instinct, I don't know. But it gave me the "B" right where I needed it to get the delightful (letter-wise) JEB BUSH (1D: Founder of the Foundation for Florida's Future). Great clue on JEB, btw. I also really like both clue and answer at 42A: Separator of light and dark (tan line). My first two thoughts: GOD and LAUNDRESS. The clue on NEUTRINO (31D: It's free of charge) has probably been used before, but I still like it. The word ANORAK is always alright by me (45A: Snow-covered cover-up). The GLINDA quote is hilarious in its potential offensiveness (6A: "Only bad witches are ugly" speaker). Beauty = good, children. Remember that.
- 17A: Asian range, with "the" (Himalaya) - "Give me an 'S'!," he DEMANDED (29D: Said while pounding the fist, say).
- 22A: Something taken before swinging (stance) - baseball. Also taken before not swinging.
- 26A: Loafer attachment (tassel) - am I the only one who thinks these look stupid?
- 35A: Sports equipment wired for scoring (epees) - do puzzles long enough and you'll learn all kinds of fascinating stuff about EPEES.
- 43A: "Les Mains Sales" playwright, 1948 (Sartre) - hot on the heels of yesterday's "No Exit," we get "Dirty Hands." Mid-century French playwright - who else was it going to be?
- 44A: Delivered by a third person, perhaps (narrated) - yeah, OK. Something about this doesn't sit right with me, but I'm too tired to figure out what.
- 15D: Blouse coverer (pinafore) - here, we have the Odd Job in the clue. PINAFORE is a pretty answer.
- 39D: Lucia's brother in "Lucia di Lammermoor" (Enrico) - some Italian guy's name, gotcha.
- 41D: Singer of the 1991 hit "Wicked Game" (Isaak) - this was first released in 1989 and I remember it very well from 1990, possibly because of its use in David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" (1990). David Lynch's work was, pop culturally, one of the few things about my college years that wasn't horrible.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld