THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2008 - Doug Peterson (Constellation with a music-related name / Nieuwpoort's river / Rock band triple-platinum album "High Voltage")
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: LITTLE DEVILS (52A: Mischief-makers (you'll find seven of them in the answer grid)) - a rebus puzzle where "IMP" appears in seven squares throughout the grid
A great crossword word turned into a rebus - I love when that happens. It happened with "ERG" a couple years back. It took me longer than it should have to tumble to the theme, but after I figured it out, the puzzle was not hard at all. A delightful romp, with lots of IMPiness, including a spectacular mid-puzzle collision between 15-letter "MISSION IMP OSSIBLE" and WRITING IMP LEMENTS. The "IMP"s aren't symmetrical, but when there are so many of them, who cares? There was precisely one word I didn't know - BUNIN (56A: Russian Literature Nobelist Ivan) - one word I almost didn't know - LYRA (18A: Constellation with a music-related name) - and only a few of those exotic-sounding words that late-week, high-end crosswords tend to throw around from time to time (today, KRAIT - 23D: Banded snake - and CEYLONESE - 4D: Like some black tea). Otherwise, simple, but still entertaining.
Theme answers (all 14!)
- 19A: Effects seen down the road (long term IMPact)
- 15D: Sights at many football games (blIMPs)
- 22A: Be stingy with (skIMP on)
- 24D: Deadlock (IMPasse)
- 37A: TV series that's now a film franchise ("Mission IMPossible")
- 7D: Quills, sometimes (writing IMPlements)
- 55A: Spear (IMPale)
- 46D: See for a second (glIMPse)
- 66A: Spontaneous skits (IMProv)
- 33D: Seafood cocktail ingredient (tiger shrIMP)
Clean-up on aisle 4:
- 1A: Rock band with the triple-platinum album "High Voltage" (AC/DC) - the only album I own by them is "Back in Black." What's on "High Voltage?" Aha ... their first of at least two songs about balls:
Here's the other:
God, I love the album cover on that second one. I owned that album (vinyl!) when I was 11.
- 5A: Direct sales giant (Amway) - not clear to me what they "do," but I know the name.
- 13A: Something sold in half sizes (shoe) - two problems here. First, nobody buys/sells a single shoe. Second, in my printed-out puzzle, "half sizes" is right over "Restraints" (14A), and my eye kept reading the clue as [Something sold in half pints].
- 15A: Orange Free State settler (Sulu, I mean Boer, [wink!])
- 26A: Hollywood's Davis (Ossie) - did he really belong to "Hollywood"?
- 6D: Legume used to produce sprouts (mung bean) - possibly my favorite answer in the grid, despite the fact that MUNG is a super duper ugly word, rhyming as it does with DUNG and BUNG. Yuck.
- 9D: Nieuwpoort's river (Yser) - only the Dutch can make "U," "W" and "P" behave long enough to form a word in sequence together.
- 10D: Big East basketball powerhouse (Hoyas) - answer wants to be GEORGETOWN. Is there any cluing rule that would allow a solver to differentiate between school and mascot / team name?
- 29D: Petro-Canada competitor (Esso) - an old standard, though it feels like I haven't seen it for a while.
- 36D: Green and Rogen of comedies (Seths) - I vote for SETH #2.
- 47D: Muscat money (rials) - word "Muscat" makes me think of only one thing:
Or, if you are more into masochism, there's this version:
- 53D: Web site with PowerSellers (eBay) - I want "Web site" to be one word. Is there someone I can lobby for that to become true?
- 51A: Popular Art Deco prints (Ertés) - eeks. That name's bad enough in the singular.
- 60D: Verb on valentine candy (luv) - undeniable. Sweet.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS if you have not done it yet, please enjoy Rex Parker Free Crossword #1: a VP debate-themed puzzle entitled "Don't Blink" - MERCI (11D: Polite Parisian's reply)