The Square Egg author / WED 2-24-10 / Former Minnesota governor Carlson / Rat race casulaties / German admiral who went down with Scharnhorst
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Constructor: Kenneth J. Berniker
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: TRIPLES (36A: 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across, homophonically speaking) — wacky three-word phrases where all three words are homophones of one another
Word of the Day: Mobutu SESE Seko (30A: Zaire's Mobutu ___ Seko) —
Mobutu Sésé Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (14 October 1930– 7 September 1997), commonly known as Mobutu or Mobutu Sésé Seko (pronounced /məˈbuːtuː ˈsɛseɪ ˈsɛkoʊ/ in English), born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, became the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) after deposing Joseph Kasavubu. He remained in office for 31.5 years. While in office, he formed a totalitarian regime in Zaire which attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence and entered wars to challenge the rise of communism in other African countries.
Unimpressed with today's fare. The idea seems tired, worn, reheated, etc. I kind of like the first TRIPLE (not the greatest theme-revealer, btw): KNICKS NIX NICKS has a ring of possibility to it. Plus it has the "X." The rest — implausible and kind of bland. Yep, those are homophones. . . OK, so ... yeah. Uh ...
- 20A: Hoopsters turn down singer Stevie? (KNICKS NIX NICKS) — just finished listening to some woman butcher Stevie Nicks's "Landslide" on "Idol" this evening. A very, very weak night for the ladies, frankly.
- 26A: Misplace comic Costello's privies? (LOSE LOU'S LOOS) — yeah, that could happen. Because LOOS are easy to LOSE. So tiny ...
- 46A: Apportion hamburgers to track runners? (METE MEET MEAT) — I might have gone with the adjectival meaning of "MEET," i.e. "fitting, appropriate."
- 56A: Compose the appropriate ceremony? (WRITE RIGHT RITE)
- 53A: Secretary Geithner (TIM) — again, what is going on? He is Secretary of SOMETHING (namely Treasury). Just calling him "Secretary" feels weird. Especially since ... it's not like omitting his proper title is making his name harder to get. Clue just seems incomplete is all.
- 67A: German admiral who went down with the Scharnhorst (SPEE) — You can stop at "German admiral"; I know my crosswordese pretty well.
- 9D: Rat race casualties (BURN-OUTS) — now this, I like. I also like the odd, interesting clue on the next Down clue, 10D: Alternative to "Continue" in an online order (CANCEL)
- 48D: Heckle or Jeckle of cartoons (MAGPIE) — I had no idea. I figured they were just general, generic cartoon birds. I think I get them confused with the Spy Vs. Spy guys for some reason.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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