Rigel or Spica / WED 4-21-10 / Rap component to rapper / Woodland reveler of myth / Liberal pundit with conservative father
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: DIAGONAL PARKING (40A: Easy way of pulling in ... and a hint to the six circled words) — circles are diagonal and spell out makes of cars
Word of the Day: ALDO (68A: International shoe company) —
The ALDO Groupe owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessory stores. The company was founded by Aldo Bensadoun in Montreal, Quebec, in 1964 where its corporate headquarters remain today. It has grown to become a worldwide corporation, with over 950 stores under 6 retail banners: ALDO, ALDO Accessories, Spring, Feetfirst (FIRST in the United States), Globo, and Little Burgundy. There are also ALDO outlet, ALDO Kids, ALDO Liquidation, Spring Liquidation, and clearance stores. Canadian, American, and UK stores are corporate stores while international stores are franchisees. The company once operated the now closed or re-branded banners Simard & Voyer, Pegabo, Transit, and Stoneridge. (wikipedia)
ALDO is Gucci's first name. ALDO's was the name of a local pizza place when I was growing up, where I had my 11th birthday party, the one where Graham Gitlin got me an ABBA album (I'm pretty sure his mom picked it out) and I was (apparently) visibly ungrateful and my mom let me know that was not cool. I was 11. I was only just getting over the revelation that the Village People were gay (whatever that meant), and that consequently I couldn't openly like them any more. I just couldn't embrace ABBA at that fragile juncture. Too disco. Too Euro. Too feminine. Surrounded by other boys my age — the peer pressure was just too great. Graham was from South Africa. People would forgive his musical eccentricity — he was foreign. I had no such excuse. Don't judge me. ABBA and I are cool now.
(Ironically, or coincidentally, or at least relatedly, I also received Devo's "Freedom of Choice" at that birthday party: Approved by all boys in attendance)
This puzzle was OK, I guess. Really had only one theme answer — a phrase I didn't even know existed. Where I'm from, we don't give the parking different names based on the angle of the painted lines in relation to the curb. But the phrase was easy enough to pick up. Knowing the theme was of absolutely no use to the solving experience. I simply looked up when I was done and said, "yep, those are cars." Felt very easy, though my time says perfectly normal for a Wednesday.
- FORD, DODGE, FIAT // AUDI, LEXUS, SAAB
- 14A: Voodoo accessories (DOLLS) — "Accessories" threw me slightly. To me, the pins, or whatever ornamentation you might have, *those* would be "accessories." The DOLL seems too crucial.
- 49A: Items for urban dog-walkers (SCOOPERS) — not sure I'd want people thinking about dog shit while solving my puzzle, but that's just me.
- 52A: Toga go-withs (SANDALS) — never seen "go-with" anywhere outside of crosswords.
- 65A: Half of a giant 1999 merger (EXXON) — never noticed the lexical similarity of EXXON and ENRON (44A: 2005 documentary subtitled "The Smartest Guys in the Room") before today. If ENRON (the word) were a cartoon character, and it got drunk, or died, it would look like EXXON.
- 72A: Counterparts of dahs (DITS) — I will forever think the answer is DATS, for some reason.
- 6D: Liberal pundit with a conservative father (RON REAGAN) — He's a "liberal pundit" somewhere. Whatever channel that is, I don't watch it.
- 15D: Black and white Mad magazine figures (SPIES) — as in "Spy v. Spy," which, as I've said before, I mentally confuse with Heckle and Jeckle.
- 23D: Woodland reveler of myth (SATYR) — think of them as horny fauns.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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