MONDAY, Sep. 7 2009 — Disney lyric repeated before Darling it's better Down where it's wetter / Decorative needle case / Rapper turned actor
Monday, September 7, 2009
Constructors: Andrea Carla Michaels and Ashish Vengsarkar
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Extraterrestrials — the letters "ET" can be found a dozen times in the grid.
OK, the real THEME is probably: "GO FISH" (1A: Card game in which a player might aske "Got any 8's?") — 7 fishing-related theme answers (8 if you count CARPS => 38A: Complains) ... but I'm right about the "ET"s.
Word of the Day: SLOAN (5D: M.I.T.'s _____ School of Management) — The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the five schools of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is one of the world's leading business schools [...] MIT Sloan offers bachelor's degrees, master's degree and doctorates, as well as non-degree executive education programs. Its largest program is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, which matriculates students every year from more than 60 countries and offers the widest range of electives of any business school in the United States. U.S. News & World Report and BusinessWeek award it #1 in the most disciplines of any business school in the United States. (wikipedia, though the page reads like it was written by the SLOAN P.R. dept.)
Way more interesting, and thematically denser, than most Mondays, but also much looser, to the point that I'm not sure how to define the theme except very, very broadly. I thought at first there were just the three Across theme answers — different stages of fishing (baiting, catching, reeling in). But that seemed weak, and the stages weren't even in order. Then I noticed the long Downs, which have Nothing to do with fishing, but are both nautical. Then I looked back at the first Across answer, GO FISH, and thought that must be the title. And that's where I am now. I'm counting SINKER in the far SE (rotationally symmetrical with GO FISH), even though HOOK and LINE are nowhere to be found (except, you know, in SINKER's clue).
- 1A: Card game in which a player might aske "Got any 8's?" (Go Fish)
- 20A: Fall for it (take the bait)
- 41A: Start something that one shouldn't start (open a can of worms)
- 57A: Be a sucker (get reeled in) — interesting that two of these clues should be sucker-related (see 20A)
- 11D: Algae color (marine green) — really don't like this one. Never hear anything described this way. SEA green, yes.
- 24D: Disney lyric repeated before "Darling it's better / Down where it's wetter" ("Under the Sea")
- 72A: Hook, line and _____ (SINKER)
Felt a good deal harder than the average Monday, but when I finished my time was only a few seconds over my average, so ... either my average is lower than I think it is, or this puzzle was pitched to a normal Monday level of difficulty. When I use words like "hard" or "difficult" to describe a Monday puzzle, I almost always mean "hard ... to burn through as quickly as I'm used to." Monday puzzles are almost never genuinely "hard" in any sense of the term. Here, there were four banks of 6's (NW and W, SE and E), which gave the puzzle a little openness. I was slowed most by DUMPS crossing PROTEGE. [Jilts] seems so much worse and more pointed than the simple DUMPS. I had DUPES, which I believe to be a plausible component part of jilting. Also PROTEGE and [Tutee] aren't a very exact match. If you have a PROTEGE, you are operating on a very high artistic or technical plane. Any schmo can tutor someone. I've seen many a [Tutee] that no one but no one would describe as a PROTEGE (unless ironic laughter were the intended result).
- 16A: Useful item accompanying a face card in blackjack (Ace) — I don't like "useful" here at all. Unless you are McGyver. Then maybe you have real, non-card-related plans for that ACE.
- 22A: "The Simpsons" clerk (Apu) / 25A: "The Simpsons" neighbor (Ned) — aw, guys, you shouldn't have ... I love them!
- 49A: Bowler's button (reset) — me: "Bowler hats have buttons!?"
- 51A: Steeple contents (bell) — weirdly tough, in that "contents" makes me think plural.
- 68A: Verb go-with (noun) — I ... suppose, yes. If you are constructing a sentence, sure.
- 63A: Boxing combo (one two) — today this evokes "ONE fish, TWO fish ..."
- 21D: Instill with the three R's (educate) — remedially, yes, but again I don't like the clue match here.
- 42D: Where streets meet: Abbr. (cor.) — far and away my least favorite thing about the puzzle. One of my most hated abbrevs.
- 50D: English monarchs from Henry VII through Elizabeth I (Tudors) — fishing and English royalty today; see also ETON (58D: School for princes William and Harry).
- 59D: Decorative needle case (etui) — the old-timer returns.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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