Bat used for fielding practice — WEDNESDAY, Jul. 15 2009 — Kingly title in Spanish Latin / Christogram part / Fandango offerings slangily
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Constructor: Joon Pahk
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: IT MAY BE TAKEN OUT (38A: Statement about 17-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across)
Word of the Day: ORIBI (51D: Graceful African antelope) — n., pl. oribi or -bis.
A small brownish African antelope (Ourebia ourebia) having long legs, short horns, and a short tail.
[Afrikaans, from Khoikhoin arab : ara, to provide with stripes + -b, masculine n. suff.] (answers.com)
- 17A: Feeling of nonfulfillment (frustration)
- 24A: Frequent home acquisition (mortgage)
- 49A: Burgers and fries, often (fast food)
- 59A: Item that may have a date stamp (library book) — my library copy of "The Way We Live Now" does not have a date stamp (just a receipt from self-checkout). It also doesn't have pages 47-78. And so my quest to read this book continues. I'm beginning to think "The Way We Read Now" is via Kindle. If I had one, I could have the entire novel in my eager hands, for free (public domain), in a matter of minutes. I know you can download books to certain cell phones and iPods, but a. I don't have one that's capable, and b. the phone I do have got Destroyed yesterday when I had a rather serious fall. Well, it felt serious. Ended up with no injuries ... except a phone-shaped bruise on my right thigh.
BOFF? I've heard of BOFFO to describe a big hit in Variety-speak, but I've never heard hit=BOFF. Ugly (1D: Big Broadway hit). EAST LYME felt very contrived (40D: Town near New London, Conn.) — is there any reason anyone outside the immediate area of EAST LYME should know about EAST LYME? Or New London, for that matter? A KEY is pretty bad as partials go (57D: "The House Without _____" (first Charlie Chan mystery)). I wonder if Joon will tell us why LIBRARY BOOK is the last and not the first theme answer in the grid. At quick glance, it appears the "Y" (in EAST LYME) and "K" (in "A KEY") would be easier to wrangle if LIBRARY BOOK were up top, but surely there were other factors I can't see right now.
Solved this puzzle in slightly odd fashion, as THE / X-FILES made me jump tracks, abandoning the east (where I hit the clue, 43A: With 45-Down, "Trust No One" series), for the south and southwest. I honestly don't remember any snags at all. There must have been hesitations or problems of some sort, but none stand out. The SE was probably the oddest part, but even that went down fast, I think. The element of the puzzle that took the longest to get was the central theme answers, actually. And a word about that — shouldn't the clue have an "or" in it instead of an "and?" I mean, if it's a statement about 17-, 24-, 49- *and* 59-Across, then wouldn't the "IT" in the answer be "THEY?" I think you need the "or" to make the singular pronoun in the answer work. I'm willing to hear rebuttals.
- 16A: Brian who produced or co-produced seven U2 albums (Eno) — this guy has crazy, eternal crossword fame. This is one of the easier ways to clue him, though *any* time you looking at *anything* having to do with modern rock music in three letters, this guy should get first consideration. Assuming it's not ONO.
- 42A: Hall-of-Fame QB/kicker George (Blanda) — just before my time. His name rang bells, even though I put in BLANCA at first.
- 44A: Fandango offerings, slangily (tix) — forgot briefly what Fandango was. Then remembered really really really annoying pre-movie commercials for their service. Like that Fandango is in same puzzle with FUNGO (49D: Bat used for fielding practice).
- 63A: Like 36 piano keys (ebony) — you may not remember that there used to be racial problems in America. It's true. Then one song put an end to all of that:
- 64A: Original Thanksgiving fare (maize) — this word will forever remind me of an old margarine commercial from the 70s where some Native American woman, explaining the origins of corn oil says, of corn, "We call it 'maize'." Wonder if youtube can find it for me... man, it's like magic:
- 67A: Kingly title in Spanish (El Rey) — "The King"; paired, interestingly, with 18D: Kingly title in Latin (Rex). P.S. if intersecting REX with HEX was some attempt to curse me, you should know that OBEAH gives me immunity to such things.
- 4D: Violinist Heifetz (Jascha) — an unusual name to have appear in the puzzle twice in one week. Cool.
- 8D: Christogram part (chi) — when candygrams just feel too secular: Christograms!
- 13D: Robert who won a Tony for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (Morse) — also won Tony for the much shorter (and far more crosswordtastic) "TRU."
- 36D: Former baseball commissioner Bowie (Kuhn) — All-Star Game was last night. No idea who won. Don't care. Don't like it. Also, Home Run Derby = most pointless baseball-related event ever. But worse than the Derby itself was the breathless, earnest coverage it got on some sports shows. I'd rather watch those players pull tractors with their teeth or eat 50 hot dogs in ten minutes or something.
- 39D: "Clear Light of Day" author Desai (Anita) — no idea who this is.
- 48D: Like "Survivor" councils (Tribal) — that's where they vote people off. "The Tribe Has Spoken."
- 61D: Uracil-containing molecule (RNA) — "uracil" should have been my word of the day, but the definition involves "pyrimidine," and then That would have had to have been word of the day, ad infinitum.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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