Toon for which Hank Azaria won 1998 Emmy / SUN 1-17-10 / Orange-roofed establishment in brief / Rapper's retinue / Japanese I.T. giant
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Constructor: Cathy Allis
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Subtleties" — in familiar phrases, "T"s are removed from beginnings of words that follow words ending in "T," creating wacky phrases, which mostly sound like the familiar phrases, and which are clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: Chuck NORRIS (117A: "Good Guys Wear Black" star, 1979) —
Carlos [warning: do not call him "Carlos" unless you want a roundhouse kick to the face] Ray "Chuck" Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, actor and media personality. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. // Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of the Dragon in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee and was The Cannon Group's leading star in the 1980s. He next played the starring role in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 to 2001. As a result of his "tough guy" image, an Internet phenomenon began in 2005 known as Chuck Norris facts, ascribing various implausible feats of strength to Norris.-----
Well that was easy. Picked up the theme at WAR AGAINST ERROR, then went up top and, after taking a while to wrestle Dr. Ruth to the ground — kept PARSING that theme answer as GOD SHONE something... — tore through the rest of the puzzle like it wasn't even there. When all you're doing is dropping a single letter from enormous phrases, there's not a lot to figure out. Not that I didn't find the puzzle enjoyable. It was cute, and the grid as a whole was actually beautifully, elegantly filled, with almost no cringeworthy stuff (exc. "ANO," which I'll never like).
There are five ROOs hidden in this puzzle. Can you find them all?
- 23A: Dr. Westheimer telling it like it is? ("God's honest Ruth")
- 31A: All you need to brew a lot of coffee? (right urn only) — I feel like I'm missing the joke on this one. What does "a lot" have to do with the answer?
- 49A: Result of a plumbing disaster in the above apartment? (toilet raining)
- 65A: Tome that makes a pub owner feel nostalgic? (The Book of Lost Ales) — no idea what "Book of Lost Tales" is. Ugh, some Tolkien crap. Should have known. Adds to the nerdfest begun by the twin "Star Wars" "opening crawl" clues.
- 84A: Where to find a best-selling CD? (on the fast rack)
- 99A: Something kids might very well tune out? (the parent rap)
- 112A: Advice to Tin Man costume designers? ("Don't rust anyone")
- 19D: Debugger's mission? (war against error) — this is technically called "The War ON Terror," so ... not liking this one so much.
- 40D: Damage to a paperback edition? (soft issue injury) — that, I like.
Ran into snags here in there. Tried ANDANTE (?) first where ANIMATO was supposed to go (20A: Spiritedly, in scores). Thought 27A: Chief Ouray's tribe (Ute) might be OTO. Considered IHOP at 102A: Orange-roofed establishment, in brief (Hojo) — there's a ROOF in the grid, btw (ROOFRAT — 92D: Attic scurrier). Two, actually, if you count PROOFREAD (46D: Scan for slips). Apparently I thought Shevat and Sivan were Spanish mountains, because I tried MONTE first at 61D. Got DOBIE (58A: ___ Gillis of 1960s TV), but needed all the crosses to get DWAYNE (120A: Hickman who played 58-Across). Needed lots of crosses to get SONANT (10D: Voiced, in phonetics). Considered ELKO where the much more likely RENO ended up (44D: City near old silver mines). Don't remember what I had at first for 95D: Ethnic group including Zulus (Bantus), but it wasn't right. Thought the 47D: "West Side Story" girl might be MARIA (it's ANITA). Put in SEC for NEC (115D: Japanese I.T. giant). And for all that, still finished in only a little over 10 minutes.
- 17A: Ivanhoe's lady (Rowena) — You don't see many ROWENAs these days. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the most famous ROWENA in the world right now is ROWENA Ravenclaw, who gave her name to one of the four houses of Hogwarts.
- 47A: Male symbol components (arrows) — first, had to figure out what was meant by "male symbol" (?!). Then, had to wonder why the answer was ARROWS when the "male symbol" I know has just one.
- 60A: Rapper's retinue (posse) —
- 80A: 1977 Sex Pistols song ... or their first record label (EMI) — news to me.
- 11D: Quark/antiquark particle (meson) — a gimme! Finally ... I knew the day would come when MESON would be a gimme, and today was that day. From WTF!? to gimme in ... let's see ... three years. Pretty good.
- 14D: Handel oratorio king (Saul) — when you have the "-AUL," not so hard.
- 16D: Bert who was a Leo, aptly (Lahr) — 'cause lions say "lahrrrrrrr!"
- 49D: "___ of Souls, Na'vi temple in "Avatar" ("Tree") — some pop culture phenomena I opt out of. This is one of them. Haven't been as uninterested in a movie since Sandra Bullock played a crossword constructor.
- 101D: "This I Promise You" band, 2000 (*NSYNC) — group on which "Party Posse" (see above clip) was at least partially modeled.
- 114D: Toon for which Hank Azaria won a 1998 Emmy (Apu) —
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
PS For those who were curious about Caleb Madison's crossword class (see Thursday's puzzle), he has passed on the following info to me:
I’ll be teaching the class again in the coming spring semester. It takes place at John Jay College, 899 10th Avenue (between 58th and 59th street). Though the spring catalog hasn’t been released yet, you can find out more here.