TUESDAY, Sep. 8 2009 — Conflict settled by Treaty of Paris in 1856 / Skewered Asian fare / pseudopod-forming organism / Pirate or Padre for short
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A dish of southeast Asia consisting of strips of marinated meat, poultry, or seafood grilled on skewers and dipped in peanut sauce.
[Malay saté, satai or Indonesian sate, both perhaps of Tamil origin.] (answer.com)
Couple of oddly phrased clues today (e.g. 21A: Joe Six-Pack's protrusion => POTBELLY), but otherwise there wasn't much in the way of resistance today. Took me only about 15 seconds longer than yesterday's puzzle did. I always feel slightly disappointed now when I see a "word that can precede" or "word that can follow" puzzle, as I was told the NYT was steering away from that particular type of puzzle on account of its being wildly overdone. This one doesn't even have that bonus element you sometimes see in this type of puzzle, where maybe both words in a phrase can precede/follow the magic word, or maybe the theme-revealer is a clever expression instead of, you know, just a word, sitting there, in the corner. As these types of puzzles go, this one is very solid, and the theme density is admirable, but conceptually it's pretty run-of-the-mill.
- 17A: Borrower's limit (credit LINE) — I have a hard time seeing "limit" and LINE as synonyms, but I see how an argument can be made.
- 21A: Joe Six-Packs' protrusion (pot BELLY) — I think my mom took BELLY-dancing lessons when I was a young boy. Ah, the 70s. So many things to be embarrassed about.
- 36A: Harmless-to-humans slitherer (garter SNAKE) — "SNAKE dance?" Maybe this should have been my Word of the Day
- A ceremonial dance of the Hopi in which the dancers traditionally carry live snakes in their mouths.
- A procession of people who join hands and move forward in a zigzag line.
- 44A: Typical visitor to Cooperstown (baseball FAN)
- 54A: One cause of deforestation (acid RAIN)
- 64A: Conflict settled by the Treaty of Paris in 1856 (Crimean WAR) — wow, three Native American dances, one Asian, one Middle Eastern. And then there's the LINE dance. USA! USA!
Non-theme fill was occasionally wonderful. Love the unexpected non-"V" plural of MAPLE LEAFS (11D: Canadiens' rivals) and their equally Canadian nemesis the ACID RAIN. GARTER SNAKES are GREEN so the intersection of GARTER SNAKE and GREEN LIGHT is nice (28D: Go-ahead). Watched a great U.S. OPEN (19A: Up-front) tennis match last night in which young Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat the favorite Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in a tiebreaker in the third set. Wozniacki ACED (40A: Hit a serve past) her opponent almost never, but SHE (43A: "That's all _____ wrote") was far more consistent — the Russian seemed like clearly the better player (when SHE wasn't making scores of unforced forehand errors), but SHE had on-court emotional stability issues, and couldn't pull ahead and close it when SHE had the chance. Oh, this all took place at (or near, I forget) ASHE Stadium (66A: Queens tennis stadium), which is part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York City, where the U.S. Open is held.
- 10A: Part of Latin 101 conjugation (amat) — guessed wrong with AMAS, but TINY straightened it out (13D: Facetious nickname for a giant).
- 1D: Popular ballpoints (Bics) — also popular lighters.
- 5D: Bernie Madoff job (swindle) — PONZI, SCAM, "INVESTMENT," all came to mind before SWINDLE, which I think of more as a verb than a noun.
- 6D: Co. offering a Buddy List (AOL) — never been an AOLer. I know what I know about it largely from xwords.
- 10D: Pseudopod-forming organism (amoeba) — get a real pod!
- 38D: Sedona and Sorento automaker (Kia) — I'm beginning to think KIA designed its name so that it could get into the puzzle more than any other automaker and thus give its various models a lot of free face time with the car-buying public. This strategy did not work out for the Oldsmobile ALERO — or for Oldsmobile in general.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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