Conspirator against Caesar — THURSDAY, Aug. 6 2009 — Coin with laurel branch on back / Rick with 1976 #1 hit Disco Duck / Scales seen at night
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Constructor: Dan Naddor
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: ERR (29A: Use the answer to any of this puzzle's starred clues in ordinary conversation?) — theme answers are non-words that people often use mistakenly
Word of the Day: Rick DEES (66A: Rick with the 1976 #1 hit "Disco Duck") — Rick Dees is an American comedic performer, entertainer, and radio personality, best known for his #1 internationally syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown and for the novelty song "Disco Duck." He is a People's Choice Award recipient, a Grammy nominated performing artist, and Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee. He wrote two songs that appear in the film Saturday Night Fever, plus performed the title song for the film Meatballs. Dees also is co-founder of the E.W. Scripps television network, FINE LIVING, and was the former host of the Rick Dees Morning Show at Movin' 93-9 FM in Los Angeles. (wikipedia)
Very short write-up today, as I have a plane to catch.
Didn't like it. Didn't like having to figure out non-words, which by definition don't have a correct spelling. Never heard CAME ACROSSED in my life. Had ASTERIKS as my final answer. No fun all around. Furthermore, allow me to add, SEACALF (22A: Common seal). Is it in a permanent state of childhood? Always a CALF? Unfortunate that "sea" is in both clue and answer. More unfortunate that I just didn't know it.
- 17: *Privilege (perogative) — if you said this "in conversation," as the ERR clue states, no one would notice much. "In conversation," it hardly sounds any different from the correct PREROGATIVE. Just ask Bobby Brown.
- 19A: *No matter (irregardless)
- 31A: *And so forth (ex cetera)
- 36A: *Ways things are said (pronounciations)
- 41A: *Sign to look elsewhere (asterick)
- 54A: *Stumbled upon (supposably)
NE started out easy with EL AL (1A: Commercial name that literally means "to the skies") and LIBRA (2D: Scales seen at night) and the rest (even MILA) falling pretty easily, but once I got into the N and NE, it got ugly. Worked a diagonal down to SE and then just floundered around after that, trying to figure out how to spell incorrectly. Wrong first answers included TENT for GEAR (18D: Backpack fill), LOO for LAV (11D: John), SUN for LYE (12D: Cause of some skin burns), and (my favorite) HAGS for HAMS (44D: Unlikely Oscar nominees).
- 25A: Virgil described its "roar of frightful ruin" (Etna) — ETNA and IDA in the house today. Nice. But apparently only one of them is a "MT" (50A: Peak for Zeus, in Homer).
- 24D: Coin with a laurel branch on the back (franc) — ASTERIKS caused FRANK. It also caused RUSS, which looked just fine, even if it's clearly wrong (30D: Kennedy's secretary of state).
- 32D: Imaging lab output (xrays) — spent some time with "T" in the first position here, for obvious reasons.
- 33D: Actor Feldman (Corey) — they probably expected you to go for Marty here.
- 34D: Here, to Javier (aca) — spent some time with "ACI" as it sounded like "AQUI," which I know better as the Sp. for "here."
- 15D: Conspirator against Caesar (Casca) — Cassius and Brutus are in the 9th ring of hell, and they are the only ones I could remember.
- 43D: Informal byes (ciaos) / 53D: Informal bye (adios) — I was unaware that either of these was particularly informal. Foreign, yes. Pretentious if you aren't actually speaking the language in question, yes.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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