Viking poet / SAT 4-24-10 / Like some harrows / Summer salon service / What 1776 got in 1969 / Title role in 1983 black-and-white film
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Kibei kibei (帰米, literally "go home to America") was a term often used in the 1940s to describe Japanese Americans born in the United States who returned to America after receiving their education in Japan. (wikipedia)
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Mostly wonderful puzzle that felt easy, but final time says normal. Three potentially killer answers, but all of them crossed fairly. Studied medieval literature in grad school and still never heard of a SKALD (3D: Viking poet). My "wacky medieval words for 'poet'" list begins and ends with SCOP (it's Old English / Anglo-Saxon, and if you haven't seen it in the grid, you will). No clue about the Barbra Streisand "hit," though "STONEY End" (23A: "___ End" (1971 Barbra Streisand hit)) turns out to be a Laura NYRO composition that has been recorded by many, many people, including Diana Ross and Linda Ronstadt. The scariest mystery word of the day, however, has to be KIBEI. I reflexively wrote in NISEI without properly reading the clue, but then 29D: Very full ended up ending in -ACNED. Not likely. So I waited on JAMPACKED and then GAME TABLE (31D: Play furniture?) to give me the "K" and "B," and they just prayed that KIBEI was, in fact, a word. And it was.
Here's how I broke this one open. After my typical few moments of "huh?" "wha?" "don't know it" "Oh come On!," I got SNOG (5D: Make out, in Harry Potter) and ZELIG (19A: Title role in a 1983 black-and-white film) in quick succession. That "Z" was precious, as it allowed me the educated guess of IBIZA at 1D: One of the Pine Islands, which gave me the first letters of all those long Acrosses up there. Those Acrosses didn't come right away, but luckily the little 3s up there (HIM (6D: Exclamation at a lineup), AWE (7D: Something to gaze in)) were easy to get, and gave me enough leverage to bring down the long Acrosses after all.
Made a fantastically good guess at 12D: Person prone to proneness? (LAZY BONES) with just the "Y" in place. Or maybe I had the "B" from (wrongly) guessing BSA at 25A: Org. with the motto "Start With Trust" (BBB). Yeah, I know, "Be prepared." Maybe orgs. can have more than one motto, what do I know? Anyway, LAZY BONES was enough headway to lay that whole corner to waste, despite my not having any clue about Ariel the mermaid's sisters (16A: One of Ariel's sisters in "The Little Mermaid" => ALANA), and never having heard of 33A: Broadway's "Never GONNA Dance" — does it really belong to *all* of Broadway, and no one particular show?
Rebooted in the SW, once I finally changed TID to TER (35D: Thrice, to a pharmacist), which instantly got me PTER- (41A: Wing: Prefix). TER / PTER = not a great cross, but there was too much goodness for that to matter much. Then there was the aforementioned KIBEI encounter. Rounding the corner to the SE proved easy. Finally closed in on ELIO, which was bugging me, as it's a name I know I've seen but just couldn't retrieve today (37D: Chacon of the 1962 Mets). Finished things up down in the SE, which is my least favorite area today, due primarily to the uninspired Downs. The FIRESTORM (55A: Violent outburst) / FLUMMOXED (59A: At a loss) pairing is pretty hot, though, so I can't be too mad at that corner.
- 15A: Summer salon service, for some (BIKINI WAX) — I was like "summer? summer? why summer?" And now I know.
- 29A: One with an ear and a small mouth (JUG) — Frustrating! Knew what clue was going for but could come up with only EWER (?)
- 38A: Quietly tells a tale (MIMES) — Pretty sure that's "Silently ..."
- 51A: Target of some leg-pulling (CRAB MEAT) — that is a most decent clue.
- 2D: Like some harrows (TINED) — Confused "harrows" with "barrows," and I barely know what "barrows" are. Disaster. At least I know TINED is a word. A "harrow" is a farm implement that is dragged over ground to level it, break up clots, etc.
- 14D: Remove graffiti from, in a way (SAND BLAST) — Sounds extreme. Does SAND BLASTing use actual sand? Here's more than you'll ever want to know about abrasive blasting.
- 21D: Wide receiver Welker (WES) — for a guy who's only 5'9", he's kind of a big deal. Major offensive force for the New England Patriots. His late-season knee-injury kept him out of the this past year's playoffs. New England didn't get far.
- 24D: What "1776" got in 1969 (TONY) — More Broadway. Lucky me :( For whatever reason, I could only think of "Barry Lyndon" (1975)
- 48D: Leader who died 27 days after his election (LEO XI) — early 17th century pope. He gives you an "X" and a lot of vowels. He's very crosswordesey. My favorite wikipedia fact about him: "He was nicknamed Papa Lampo ("Lightning Pope") for the brevity of his pontificate."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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PS Happy Birthday to PuzzleGirl, my friend and (most) trusted blog assistant / administrator / adviser / fire-putter-outter. Andrea (of Carla Michaels fame) and Doug (Peterson) and PuzzleSister (who comments here sometimes as @addieloggins) put together a little puzzle in her honor, which I'm told should be generally doable (i.e. no special PuzzleGirl knowledge required). You can get it here. I haven't done it yet, but if there's nothing about Iowa Wrestling in it, I'll be shocked.