George who was first president of A.F.L.-C.I.O. / MON 5-10-10 / 2006 boorish film character from Kzakhstan /
Monday, May 10, 2010
Constructor: Randy Sowell
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: SIT (53D: Use the start of 17- or 50-Across or 11- or 25-Down?) — fronts of theme answers are objects on which one might SIT
Word of the Day: SMAZE (34D: Some air pollution) —
This theme is a sleeper, and not the good kid (like the Woody Allen movie of the same name, or the little movie that could, like "Breaking Away" or "Saw V"). I mean the 'zzzzz' kind. You can, indeed, SIT on those items. But two of the SITting places are literal — a BENCH WARMER actually sits on the bench, a COUCH POTATO actually sits (or lies) on the couch. But the STOOL PIGEON does not sit on the stool, and while a CHAIRPERSON may sit to chair a meeting, the CHAIR is metaphorical. This makes the latter two theme answers much, much better than the first two. Places to SIT used in non-SITting contexts. Mainly, though, the theme is just boring. The rest of the fill is pretty solid, though. No real complaints other than the big one you heard up front.
- 17A: Second- or third-string player (BENCH WARMER)
- 11D: Boob tube lover (COUCH POTATO)
- 25D: Police informant (STOOL PIGEON)
- 50A: Presider at a meeting (CHAIRPERSON)
- 15A: Suffer ignominious defeat, in slang (EAT IT) — also a great parody song by Weird Al Yankovic
- 41A: One-horse town (PODUNK) — never get tired of this word. Seen it several times lately, always makes me happy.
- 54D: Suffix with schozz (-OLA) — this sounds like something somebody on "Happy Days" would have said, probably when talking about Al.
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