Soft drink since 1924 — THURSDAY, Sep. 3 2009 — Twin Tony whose #6 jersey was retired / Counterpart of Thanatos in Freudian psychology
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Constructor: C.W. Stewart
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: BOTTOMS UP (20D: "Cheers!" ... or a hint to answering this puzzle's five starred clues) — theme answers are two word phrases in which first word is a synonym for "bottom"; further, all theme answers are entered into the grid upside-down (i.e. "BOTTOMS UP")
Word of the Day: Coventry PATMORE (1A: English poet Coventry _____, who wrote "The Angel in the House") — Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore (23 July 1823 - 26 November 1896) was an English poet and critic best known for The Angel in the House, his narrative poem about an ideal happy marriage. (wikipedia)
PATMORE is one of the worst 1-Acrosses I've seen in a loooooooong time. What a dismal way to kick off your puzzle — with some horrible know-it-or-you-don't nobody from more than a century ago whose name is only in the grid because you couldn't make anything decent work. Really, truly ugly. The theme of the puzzle is clever. I got the basic idea early, but misinterpreted it and thought just the "bottom" (i.e. second half) of the theme phrases would be upside-down. Didn't notice until very late that there were synonyms for "bottom" everywhere. Wanted TAILGUNNER for the never-before-heard REARGUNNER (even though "tail" is in the damned clue) and wanted FUNNY GIRL for FANNY BRICE. Last thing to fall was SEAT COVER because I had written in MERGER instead of MERGES (40A: Tricky highway maneuvers), which left me with RE-TCOVER for far, far too long. MERGES aren't "tricky" unless you are a horrible driver. They are ordinary, everyday driving events; it's just that people are often TERRIBLE at executing them. "Oh ... cars are coming ... should I stop, or ... why aren't you letting me over [glance, glance, weave]." Take a bus.
- 6D: *Auto accessory (REVOC TAES) - seat cover
- 12D: *Crewman on the tail of a bomber (RENNUGRAER) - rear gunner
- 28D: *1968 Barbra Streisand starring role (ECIRB YNNAF) - Fanny Brice
- 35D: *Beef cut (TSAOR PMUR) - rump roast
Cluing seemed amped up, difficulty-wise, today. NINE is 55D: Highest score in baccarat?? News to me. "NINE" is the next Tim Burton film, or Ted Williams number, or my bin number at the comic book store. Baccarat? Coventry PATMORE (god, his name alone makes me want to punch him) probably played baccarat. And whist. And wore a MONOCLE (4D: Item on a chain). Actually, Bond plays baccarat, so maybe it's too cool for PATMORE. Wanted OZONE for 44A: Where a hole may develop (elbow). If you have a hole in your ELBOW, for god's sake see a doctor. Didn't know what to do with 34A: Profitability, for a business (aim). GOAL seems more apt (can't bring myself to write "APTER"). Also, don't some businesses AIM to lose money from time to time, for various reasons. And there are such things as "non-profit businesses." Etc.
- 37A: Popular newspaper columnist who writes for Good Housekeeping (Heloise) — "writes," present tense? Jeez, how old is she? Seems like she's been around an eternity. Or maybe "she" is just a name that various writers assume.
- 46A: Counterpart of Thanatos, in Freudian psychology (Eros) — Death drive v. sex drive. Couldn't see it at first because I had some version of TAIL or REAR giving me a wrong letter in the cross.
- 57A: World capital known locally as Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Bangkok) — always nice when you have the -KOK in place (!) before you ever see the clue.
- 5D: Twin Tony whose #6 jersey was retired (Oliva) — shame on me for forgetting this. I kept thinking OJEDA ... couldn't get OJEDA out of my head. OJEDA was a baseball player. Just not the one I needed.
- 9D: Soft drink brand since 1924 (Nehi) — did you know there used to be a soft drink called "Wink?" If you lived in the 60s, you probably did. I only just discovered it via a blog I enjoy, "A Touch of Tuesday Weld." Check out some ads.
- 10D: Liquide clair (eau) — what I drink, mostly.
- 38D: Kansas town on the Neosho River (Iola) — crosswordese of the highest order.
- 54D: Goddess who restored Osiris to life (Isis) — she's hidden in his name. Easy.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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