Tenor Cura — SATURDAY, Nov. 14 2009 — Former Canucks coach Harry / 1998 film featuring Colonel Cutter / Russians call it Mother of Cities
Friday, November 13, 2009
[ERROR ERROR ERROR: There's an error in my grid. 18A should be UTES, 9D should be RES. And I checked the grid against the correct answers! Ugh. So ... you can ignore everything I say below about how easy this puzzle is, I guess. Man, that crossing is ... whatever. Too tired at this point to go on]
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Super easy for me, but I think that was a fluke, so I'm going to guess, I don't know, Easy-Medium in general
Word of the Day: Harry NEALE (2D: Former Canucks coach Harry) — Harry Neale (born March 9, 1937 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada) is a hockey colour commentator, who currently works for the Buffalo Sabres on the MSG Network and WGR. He is a former NHL and WHA coach and General Manager. [...] During his coaching career, he was known for his dry wit, which came out in comments to the media. One of his most famous quotes came when he was coaching the Canucks during the 1981–82 season, when he quipped, "Last season we couldn't win at home. This season we can't win on the road. My failure as a coach is I can't think of any place else to play." (wikipedia)
Did this in under 9 minutes. Yesterday's puzzle took me 20. Not sure what allowed me to get through this in something like record time. Maybe it was being familiar with the movie title "MOON OVER PARADOR" (37A: 1988 comedy starring Richard Dreyfuss and Raul Julia). Or luckily getting "ARRIVEDERCI, ROMA" off only a smattering of letters pretty early on (38A: Song with the lyric "City of a million warm embraces"). Nothing in the puzzle is really in my wheelhouse, but unlike yesterday, almost everything was a word / name that I'd at least heard of, and the clues were far less tricky, or not as tricky as they thought they were. In the end, only NEALE and TREN (35D: One way around Spain) were new to me. Oh, and JOSE, though I was able to guess that pretty easily (61A: Tenor Cura). Just one of those days. Weird.
Started off fast with (to me) obvious 1A: Deserves a deal? (antes). Got ERN and SAT quickly thereafter, then ZEBRA went across, and with the "Z" in place, the whole section went down. Then, it was time to jump the canyon. But I balked and decided to creep up into the far N first. Guessed ENTER off just the final "R" (7D: It may start a scene) and AMEX off of nothing (8D: Charging giant, informally), and so that section didn't last long either. Then tried to build a bridge across the canyon. Had UN ... ABLE and ALO ... S at 25D: Not to be persuaded and 21D: Alternative medicine treatments, respectively, and from the back ends of those worked into the SW — SKID broke that corner open (49D: A screech may accompany it). So now I've got three little sections done and still No progress on the canyon (except for YOU PASSED IT, which floated down nicely — 6D: "That was the turnoff!"). But that SW corner gave me the BEEF I needed to get CORNED BEEF, hurray (34D: Something to make a hash of). Then I went SHE to NORAH and then ARRIVEDERCI, ROMA just slid right in. Had to change LEONIN to LEONID (24D: Russian writer Andreyev) to get MANDARIN ORANGES (39A: Pomelo relatives). Once that happened, I was flying toward the home stretch already.
Little detour up to the NE to pick up that small corner (no sweat with PRAIRIE DOG ramming right into that section, 11D: Natural tunnel creator), and then on to the S and SE. Here was my one real problem: couldn't get LA PROMENADE (28D: Renoir at the Getty). Knew it was LA PRO-something, but I put in VOLE without hesitation at 42A: Uninvited rooter, so I had LA PROV... PROVENÇAL? Ugh. Actually finished the puzzle with LA PROVENADE as my final answer, but knew that that wasn't a French word (not one I'd heard of, anyway). Then after mentally checking all the crosses, the VOLE/MOLE switch occurred to me. And VOILA, LA PROMENADE. And done.
18A: 2009 Sugar Bowl champs (UTEP) — real problem up there was the REP. What "monitor" displays "REPs?" (9D: Monitor stat)— [nothing to see here ... move along ...]
- 22A: Hue similar to chrome lemon (maize) — "Chrome lemon" is a real color? Sounds super made-up.
- 53A: Russians call it the Mother of Cities (Kiev) — four letters, with "K" in place, cinch.
- 12D: 1998 film featuring Colonel Cutter ("Antz") — wanted "CARZ," but that was the wrong YEAR (6A: Many a Roman numeral), and wasn't spelled with a "Z" anyway.
- 51D: 1993 standoff site (Waco) — grim.
See you Sunday,
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]