SATURDAY, Jul. 25 2009 — Model Melissa Aronson familiarly / Sing parts of in succession / Philosophy of Montague or Santayana / Hairy clue-sniffer
Saturday, July 25, 2009
- To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.
- To fish in by trailing a baited line: troll the lake for bass.
- To trail (a baited line) in fishing.
- Slang. To patrol (an area) in search for someone or something: “[Criminals] troll bus stations for young runaways” (Pete Axthelm).
- To sing in succession the parts of (a round, for example).
- To sing heartily: troll a carol.
- To roll or revolve.
- To fish by trailing a line, as from a moving boat.
- To wander about; ramble.
- Slang. To patrol an area in search for someone or something.
- Music. To sing heartily or gaily.
- To roll or spin around.
- The act of trolling for fish.
- A lure, such as a spoon or spinner, that is used for trolling.
- Music. A vocal composition in successive parts; a round.
[Middle English trollen, to wander about, from Old French troller, of Germanic origin.] (answers.com)
A solid Saturday outing from Judge Fleming. Solved it in a leisurely manner, with pencil on paper, lying on my couch. Much more enjoyable than trying to plow through it on my computer (I like solving on the computer, generally, but I'm sitting at this thing So Damned Much that it's nice to be just about anywhere else, especially at the very end of the week). Nothing particularly sparkly here. Just solid fill and thorny cluing. Slightly on the easy side for me, but definitely Saturday-worthy. Got AFTA right away (1A: Brand seen near razors), even though I've never used the stuff and can't recall anything about it (what the bottle looks like, what the ad jingle is ... weird). AFTA has solid crossword cred, so it's the first shaving brand that came to mind (after ATRA, which this answer clearly wasn't asking for). Got a couple more answers up there, but then bogged down a bit as 19A: Roman _____ wouldn't come. That one took me a while. Honestly, I had the ACLE- and was looking at it thinking that there is No word in the English language that looks like that. ACLER? What's an ACLER? Then I parsed it. À CLEF. Roman À CLEF. Man. Parsing. Parsing! Rookie mistake.
NE proved thornish (thornyish?) too, as I went for St. KITTS over St. BARTS (10D: St. _____ (Caribbean hot spot)) at first. Let me tell you, an errant "K" can !@#@ you up. Thank god the ultra-crosswordy, ultra-easy NIAS was up there to get me going (12D: Actress Long and others). She gave me STE (21A: One may be prayed to: Abbr.), which made me pause — STE seems like it should be valid only in French. We don't spell female "saints" any differently than we do male "saints," do we? I have written "STE" in the grid a million times, but only now is it striking me as weird that there should be an "E" on this abbrev. *in English*. Also, does the "E" save the answer from being accused of replicating a word in the clues (namely, the BARTS clue)? I think so. Anyway, after I gave in to the Frenchness of 9D: Word of politesse and wrote in MERCI, things started to happen. First, PROPOSE MARRIAGE went down (17A: Inquire about a union contract?). Had that "G" from -SGT ... which turned out to be the rarely or never-seen-by-me TSGT (13D: U.S.A.F. NCO). Seen SSGT and MSGT; TSGT not so much. Figured 16A: Philosophy of Montague or Santayana was some kind of -ALISM. ARBOREALISM? Nope, doesn't fit. Took me til the last letter (i.e. the first letter) before I understood what the hell I was looking at. NEO-REALISM. Parsing!
Once I hit the middle of the puzzle, things started to open up very quickly. Got NUMISMATIST (35A: Quarter master?) off just the "M" in AMIS (27D: "London Fields" novelist, 1989). The other two long Acrosses also came with very little coaxing. The main problem for me, after the top of the puzzle was settled, was figuring out what the tail end of 7D: Losing the fuzz? was supposed to be. I thought it was about ripening, like a peach, or else ... COMING INTO manhood. Like, "Oh look, no more peach fuzz — now you have manly whiskers. Enjoy shaving those for the rest of your life. Or wearing a bush on your face. Either way." Even with "F" from DECAF (which I got easily, despite almost never touching the stuff — 46A: Certain joe), I was still puzzled. FORCE? FORM ... S? FLOWER? Honestly considered FRUIT, thinking something botanical was going on. Decided maybe just working on the other parts of the bottom section might help. It did. Whole bottom turned out to be reasonably easy. ELECTRICAL STORM came quickly (60A: Meteorological shocker?), and gave me the "C" I need to (finally) get COMING INTO FOCUS. I have to admit that the clue on that one is valid. It clearly did its job (being Saturday tough) for me today.
- 57A: Father of Eleazar, in the Bible (Aaron) — got it after choking down EATER at 47D: One working on the side?, which resulted in the initial double-A. Of all the "?" clues in the puzzle — and there are a lot, as this seems to be the preferred way of adding difficulty to late-week puzzles — the EATER clue was the loopiest. It was the first thing that came to mind, but my initial thought was "No way. Ridiculous."
- 28A: Trumpeter with a prominent neck (swan) — not HIRT (whose neck I know nothing about)
- 59A: Psychics claim to see them (aurae) — somehow I doubt that most psychics use the Latin plural.
- 64A: Model Melissa Aronson, familiarly (Emme) — had -MME before I ever saw this clue, so knew the answer right away. Famous "plus-sized" model who is in the puzzle a lot.
- 66A: Relative of a chestnut (roan) — horses.
- 5D: It'll cover you: Abbr. (ins.) — insurance. Really really wish this one had been tied to the answer it intersects at the "I": INCUMBENTS (5A: They're in seats) — those answers are synonyms! But I see that "in" is in the clue for INCUMBENTS ... and maybe INS is short for INCUMBENTS? I always thought INS just meant the people were "IN" office. Hmm. Anyway, I like that collision up there.
- 8D: Heavens: prefix (urano-) — something tells me I've seen this clue before ... and that it stumped a lot of people. Certainly stumped me until I got a few crosses. Daughter is very into mythology now, so I'm going to have to brush up on my Greek/Roman lore or be schooled by my daughter on a daily basis.
- 29D: Superior setting: Abbr. (Wisc.) — goes nicely with 53D: Mocha setting (Yemen).
- 30A: Hairy clue-sniffer (Asta) — something very disturbing about the proximity of sniffing and "hairy." ASTA is far too dignified to deserve such cluing.
- 33D: Seaman whose last words were "God and my country!" (Nemo) — Verne's captain from "20,000 Leagues." His name means "no one" in Latin.
- 36D: Kindergarten "grade" (star) — love the contemptuous quotation marks. It's like a second-grader wrote that clue.
- 38D: Biological interstices (areolas) — If you want to be as unsexy as possible, that is the phrase you go with.
- 49D: Edible pomegranate parts (arils) — totally strange to see ARILS without its usual "seed coverings" clue. Even with ARI-S in place I blinked dumbly at the clue for a few seconds.
- 55D: Wellsian race (Eloi) — like NIAS in the NE, this was a neatly wrapped gift for any crossword enthusiast. "Having trouble? Here, have an ELOI. That should help."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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