As grasshopper prepares / THU 4-1-10 / Old like some painted cars / Secret thieves slang / When Flower Knighthood 1922 film
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Constructor: Lee Glickstein
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: "Like the clues in all the words in this puzzle" — even in this clue, the words are: REARRANGED (17A), MOVED AROUND (11D), FLIP-FLOPPED (25D), and OUT OF ORDER (53A)
Word of the Day: TWO TONE (47A: Old like some painted cars) —
2 Tone (or Two Tone) is a music genre created in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rocksteady, reggae and pop. It was called 2 Tone because most of the bands were signed to the record label 2 Tone Records at some point. Other record labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. Within the history of ska music, 2 Tone is classified as its second wave, the product of a time when the New Wave music of the early 1980s stirred nostalgia for vintage music. It is the musical precursor of the third wave ska scene of the 1990s. (wikipedia)
I guess this is supposed to be the puzzle equivalent of an April Fool's joke. It did not fool me. I got the joke about 20 seconds in, when I realized PUGET had to be the answer at 14A: Washington's Sound ___ and AGA the answer at 3D: Respect of Easter title. At that moment I had the horrid realization that this would continue for 70-some odd clues. What followed was a painful, tedious, soul-sapping exercise in rearranging words / filling in the grid — a far below-average grid for a Thursday, btw. Many of the clues are Tortured in order, I guess, to be clever-sounding. This is the only hypothesis I have for something like [Drive off the top?] —> [Top off the drive?], is that it? And wouldn't that be RE-PAVE? Clue to EAT INTO makes next to no sense, even REARRANGED — 40D: Part of drain —> [Drain part of]??? Again, you have to waterboard that clue to get it to give you EAT INTO. VIET is not short for anything (58A: Some served veterans there: Abbr.). It's just missing a NAM. Criminy. SADDENED doesn't even begin to describe my feelings about this one (9D: Low on the side) ... The big cherry on top of this sundae was CANTS. That's CANTS, plural. [Cough]. CANTS / POTS was my last letter. Actually ran the alphabet. I guess CANTS are secret thief languages or whatever the words in the clue can be rearranged to say (28D: Secret thieves of slang). And the "Nursery" in the POTS clue involves plants, not children. In the end, this puzzle left me feeling choked with fine sand. By which, apparently, I mean "SILTED" (27A: Fine with choked sand).
I don't really know what else to say. It hardly makes any sense to comment on the clues individually. I'm not about to explain how you are supposed to rearrange Every Clue. So ... hmmm, OK, I'll improvise.
- 20A: As a grasshopper prepares (MIXES) — I can only guess that a "grasshopper" is a "mixed" drink of some kind. Possibly green. Yes. Here's a recipe for you from wikipedia:
Ingredients: 1/2 oz. Crème de menthe (green) 1/2 oz. Crème de cacao (white) 1/2 oz. Fresh cream
In a shaker filled with ice cubes, combine the crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and fresh cream. Shake well for about 6–8 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- 23A: Faith without a person (INFIDEL) — no. An "INFIDEL" is a person without *your* faith.
- 26A: Years of plenty (DECADES) — [Plenty of years]? That's your clue for "DECADES?" Good lord. At least try ... something.
- 5D: Having a sound grating (STRIDENT) — botched this by putting in the "-ING" ending, a mistake made worse by the fact that the "N" was right.
- 36D: Drivers of love (OPEN ROAD) — another one that made little sense to me. [Love of drivers] = OPEN ROAD. Some drivers, I guess. Sometimes. Ugh. Exhaustion complete. Good night.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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