Dessert from Linz — TUESDAY, Sep. 22, 2009 — Riverbank cavorter / Bit of 1773 Boston Harbor jetsam / Accelerator bit
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Constructor: Gail Grabowski
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Tough" — same clue for three theme answers
Word of the Day: ORSER (59A: 1987 world figure skating champion Brian) — Brian Orser OC (born December 18, 1961 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian retired professional figure skater. He is the 1984 & 1988 Olympic silver medalist, 1987 World champion and the eight-time Canadian national champion.
He is one of the most accomplished skaters in Canada's history, with eight national titles, two Olympic medals, and a world title to his credit. He is the skating director at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. He currently coaches Kim Yu-Na, Adam Rippon, and Christina Gao. (wikipedia)
Not my favorite kind of theme, but for what it was, it was fine. Cute, if dated, phrases that are very accurate in their articulation and not at all clunky. I was oddly slow on the uptake, needing a bunch of crosses to get JUST DEAL WITH IT, but the puzzle went down in a very Tuesdayish manner after that. With such low theme density in this one, I would have liked to see something more interesting in the non-theme fill, particularly the long Downs. TEACHEST doesn't really do it for me (35D: Bit of 1773 Boston Harbor jetsam). By a country mile, the best answer in this grid is CONJOB (1D: Swindler's work), although TASERS is nice too (and brings a nice symmetrical law enforcement balance to the criminality of CONJOB) (46D: Cops' stunners). It probably goes without saying, but the best clue of the bunch, by an even longer country mile, is 23A: Riverbank cavorter (otter).
- 20A: "Tough!" ("Just deal with it!")
- 35A: "Tough!" ("Too bad, so sad!")
- 51A: "Tough!" ("Thems the breaks!")
- 25A: Wall and Bourbon, e.g.: Abbr. (sts) — like that the two STS are from totally different universes. Why are Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen linked in my head? ... wait, I just figured out. The famous father thing. Moving on.
- 61A: Womanizer's look (leer) — You can LEER without womanizing, I think. And "womanizing" implies serial infidelity, not a way of looking. And yet this clue was transparent!
- 32A: Problem with an old 45 (skip) — any excuse to play this song, even if the number's wrong ...
- 62A: Dictionary word in bold type (entry) — oh, you mean, the Word. That you are looking up. Right there. This clue confused me, as I was thinking of some subcategory of dict. word.
- 4D: Dessert from Linz (torte) — pretty sure xwords taught me that they make TORTEs in Linz, i.e. linzertortes.
- 22D: Accelerator bit (ion) — somewhat toughish cluing. Was not thinking particle accelerator at first, although how any other kind of "accelerator" might be anatomized into "bits" I don't know.
- 56D: Who wrote "All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream" (Poe) — absinthe will make you say some crazy sh@#.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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