SUNDAY, Sep. 14, 2008 - Jeremy Newton (Native tongue of R&B singer Rihanna / Symptom of catarrh / Genre explored by Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Year-Round" - rebus puzzle featuring the three-letter abbrevs. of each month of the year, arranged in a circular pattern around the grid
This puzzle is a good example of how quality of architectural construction can be quite divorced from solving enjoyment level. I recognize that this is a wonderful, creative design, and yet once I cottoned to the theme, I knew that the remainder of my time would involve no surprises, would involve simply slogging through to find all the months, and would likely involve my encountering multiple awkward entries - sacrifices to the Demanding Theme gods. In fact, the "Challenging" part of the "Medium-Challenging" rating relates only to the first 5 or so minutes of solving, when I felt like I was getting nowhere, and nothing seemed to be fitting properly. Even after my brain went "It's a rebus, dummy," it took me a little bit longer to figure out the nature of it. And then ... trudging dutifully onward to the finish line.
Twenty-four answers are involved in the rebus theme. Some of them wonderful, but most of them ... not. Here we go:
- 25A: Native tongue of R&B singer Rihanna (Ba JAN) - never heard of this language ever. Ever. That's my problem, I realize. So, fine answer, I suppose.
- 6D: Paris was part of it (Tro JAN army) - great answer.
- 22A: Possible punishment for steroid use (li FEB an) - didn't like it. Ear wants "lifetime ban."
- 9D: It's darn likely (sa FEB et) - thought this would involve sewing. It's OK.
- 27A: Wise guy (s MAR ty) - meh.
- 19D: Mustang rival (Ca MAR os) - good.
- 43A: Genre explored by Run-D.M.C. (r APR ock) - great.
- 34D: Lucratively (at APR ofit) - ugly, and slightly off. Not all profits are lucrative.
- 66A: Cancun resident, once (ancient MAY an) - the "ancient" part seems arbitrary.
- 54D: "Quite possibly" ("it MAY be") - blah.
- 85A: Thrill seeker (adrenaline JUN kie) - fantastic.
- 77D: Like some professors (ad JUN ct) - ugh, this is a bad word in my profession at the moment.
- 103A: Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Pulp Fiction" (JUL es) - yay!
- 80D: Drinks in frosted glasses (mint JUL eps) - pretty good.
- 109A: Filled (with) (fr AUG ht)
- 97D: Beer serving in a pub (dr AUG ht)
- 101A: Nativity figure (Jo SEP h) - best job of hiding the rebus.
- 93D: Wages, before overtime (ba SEP ay) - OK.
- 82A: Boils down (dec OCT s) - one of the worst words ever invented by man.
- 65D: Professional with many contacts? (eye d OCT or) - what am I, a child? The EYE DOCTOR has a professional, specific name. Try the same trick with OB/GYN or proctologist or urologist, and you'll see what I mean.
- 64A: Cry at sea ("Ma NOV erboard!") - nice.
- 50D: Pop singer who appeared in the movie "St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Do NOV an) - hurray, NOVember.
- 40A: Experts at exports (tra DEC ommissions) - zzzzzz ... wha? I'm sorry, did you say something?
- 30D: Biker's add-on (si DEC ar) - also, a fantastically named drink.
The Left Behind:
- 1A: Portraitist of George Washington (Stuart) - no idea. STUART is a name, so that's what I ended up putting there.
- 7A: Robot maid on "The Jetsons" (Rosie) - true enough. Also a riveter and that lady who tells you you're soaking in Palmolive ... right? Or, wait, no ... is ROSIE the Bounty lady? It's Bounty:
- 19A: Spreader of holiday cheer (caroler) - "I'm a spreader!"
- 21A: Singer who said "At least I had that, one guy understood me" (Yoko Ono) - took me an embarrassingly long time to get this, even with the "K" in place.
- 46A: Mexican mouse chaser (gato) - goes Spanishly with AHORA (92D: Now, in Nogales).
- 51A: Proust title character (Swann) - hmmm, do people generally know the component parts of "Remembrance ..."?
- 69A: Hall's partner in pop (Oates) - oh yes. Let's see, what to choose ...
- 76A: Actors Max and Max Jr. (Baers) - the dad was a boxer.
- 79A: _____ Taylor, co-host of "Make Me a Supermodel" (Niki) - no idea. Had NIKO for a while.
- 96A: Symptom of catarrh (hack) - "Symptom of Catarrh" sounds like a Death Metal band.
- 113A: It's usually said with the eyes closed (achoo) - ingenious. All sneezes involve closed eyes, but I guess one could simply say "achoo" with one's eyes open. Yes, that works.
- 1D: Weightlifter's helper (spotter) - first thing in the grid, oddly, given that I lift weights almost never.
- 2D: Have a break at 4:00, say (take tea) - when I first learned what "zeugma" was, this was the example:
Close by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,Apparently this type of "zeugma" (yes, there are many types) is called "syllepsis."
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign tyrants and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take--and sometimes tea.
- 4D: Basic travel path (a to b) - rough. Because of the unknown BAJAN, I had real trouble putting that "B" down in the end, though I figured it was safer than "Z." I had ITER here for a bit.
- 12D: Unlikely event for puritans (orgy) - well, let's be honest: unlikely event for most people.
- 14D: Foe of Spider-Man (Electro) - I read comics, but not this one. ELECTRO was a total guess.
- 15D: Like some modern maps (genomic) - nice.
- 33D: Admit defeat, in a way (punt) - if you punt in football, you have not been defeated. Metaphor, shmetaphor.
- 46D: Bottle opener's surprise (genie) - [in fiction] - SHEESH.
- 60D: White wine from Verona (soave) - many many wine names I have learned from xwords.
- 82D: Hit Sony product introduced in 1984 (Discman) - I'm gonna challenge "hit." The Walkman was a Huge hit. I didn't know anyone in H.S. with a DISCMAN.
- 85D: Design feature of many a viaduct (arch) - how is "viaduct" different from "aqueduct"? I'm serious. Aha, the former term is derived from the latter, and describes bridges.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS gratuitous dog pictures...