MONDAY, May 18 2009 - B Truitt (Year-round alp topper / Style of the 1920s and '30s / Common burger topper)
Monday, May 18, 2009
- A painting medium in which pigment is mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size or egg yolk. Also called poster color, poster paint.
- Painting done in this medium.
[Italian, from temperare, to mingle, from Latin temperāre. See temper.]A Lively, timely, easy Monday puzzle. Stumbled very early on - while TEMPERAS wasn't exactly new to me, I feel as if I haven't heard the term since whenever the last time I had art class was (6th grade?), and so I wrote in TEMPURAS and then a few seconds later puzzled over what fruit I might know that begins "BUR..." (18D: Fruit on a bush -> it's BERRY). I also managed to make a double-wrong decision as I rounded the bend in the far east - had the initial "W" and "L" for 28D: One of the five W's and 29D: Minstrel's instrument, respectively, and went with WHEN and LYRE ... the answer were WHAT and LUTE. That's called a wipe-out. And yet, when I was done, the clock said 3:08, which is somewhat on the fast side for me on a Monday.
- 17A: Graham cracker pie shell (crumb crust)
- 26A: Spider or worm (creepy crawly)
- 44A: Lending crisis (credit crunch)
- 58A: Cajun seafood dish (crab creole)
Mostly liked the theme answers, especially CREEPY CRAWLY, which adds a dynamic colloquial flavor to the grid, and CREDIT CRUNCH, which is wonderfully in-the-language. Well, the phenomenon isn't "wonderful," but ... you know what I mean. I wasn't too thrilled with CRUMB CRUST. It's accurate enough, but I've only ever heard such crust called a GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST, so CRUMB CRUST didn't pop for me the way a couple of the others did. I'm also weirdly disappointed that "CR-" words were used not once but twice in the clues themselves ("cracker" in 17A, "crisis" in 44A). I think if they'd been kept out, the puzzle would have felt ... purer, somehow. And yet I liked the puzzle quite a bit. CRAB CREOLE is unfamiliar to me, though clearly it was familiar enough that I was able to fill in CREOLE once the CRAB was in place, so I must have heard of it somewhere, sometime.
- 21A: President who followed Harry (Dwight) - you almost never see this presidential name in the grid - at 83.3% consonants, that's not terribly surprising. Love it.
- 45D: Fire-breathing beast (dragon) - another answer to liven up the grid. Think of it as a gigantic CREEPY CRAWLY.
- 42D: Year-round Alp topper (snow cap) - such a weird-sounding clue, and yet I got this instantly off the "S" and probably would have gotten it with no crosses at all. I love that this answer crosses another "topper," RAW ONION (55A: Common burger topper).
- 3D: Batter's dry spell (slump) - another nice, colloquial, timely (i.e. basebally) term to liven up the grid. Also, an anagram of PLUMS.
- 9D: Style of the 1920s and '30s (art deco) - it's not crosswordese if you bring it out in its full-length format. See also MATA HARI, JAI ALAI, etc.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
My write-up of today's LAT puzzle is now available here.