Animal House beanie sporters / TUE 6-1-10 / Hobbyist's knife brand / North-of-the-border grid org / Movie pal of Stitch
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Constructor: Sarah Keller
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: B[vowel]D — clues for five theme answers are, in order of appearance, BAD BED BID BOD BUD
Word of the Day: ALAN LADD (22D: "Shane" star) —
Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 – January 29, 1964) was an American film actor. [...] Ladd began by appearing in dozens of films in small roles, including Citizen Kane in which he played one of the "faceless" reporters who are always shown in silhouette. He first gained some recognition with a featured role in the wartime thriller Joan of Paris, 1942. For his next role, his manager, Sue Carol, found a vehicle which made Ladd's career, Graham Greene's This Gun for Hire in which he played "Raven," a hitman with a conscience. [...] In 1946, he starred in a trio of silver screen classics: the big screen adaptation of Richard Henry Dana's maritime classic, Two Years Before the Mast (for which he also received critical acclaim), the Raymond Chandler original mystery The Blue Dahlia (his third pairing with Lake), and the WWII espionage thriller, O.S.S.. [...] Ladd's played the title role in the 1953 western Shane. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (wikipedia)
Not much to this one. Familiar conceit — though often vowel progressions occur within the fill rather than the clues, and most repeated-clue-themed puzzles actually have the same clue for all theme answers, rather than slightly altered ones, as we see here. I'm trying to give the puzzle credit for being, perhaps, slightly innovative, but it's hard. There's just not much here to love. It's easy and it's adequate. Monday Monday. Oh, wait. It's Tuesday Tuesday. Memorial Day has me turned around. Didn't like BAD=MISCHIEVOUS, though I guess they're roughly parallel. BAD on its own seems more "evil" than MISCHIEVOUS. Liked FUTURE BLOOM best of all the theme answers — most interesting, and also hardest to get (for me). Had to work for the FUTURE part. Fill is mostly familiar stuff. No real interesting words or unusual combos or crosses or ... anything. OPHELIA (5D: Shakespeare character who goes insane) is the one answer that kind of dances. BLURT (49D: Say without thinking) is entertaining, as five-letter answers go. There's really no need to call GRETA (31A: Van Susteren of Fox News) a HOER (36A: Weed whacker), though. She's just doing her job.
- 17A: BAD (MISCHIEVOUS)
- 23A: BED (PLACE TO SLEEP)
- 37A: BID (OFFER)
- 46A: BOD (PERSON'S BUILD)
- 56A: BUD (FUTURE BLOOM)
Just a few missteps today: the ASIA/SAY thing, FINK for SING (33D: Rat on the Mob), the trouble with FUTURE, and then CFA for CFL (32D: North-of-the-border grid org.).
- 15A: Sluggo's comics pal (NANCY) — I really love this strip. Bushmiller's cartooning is fantastic, with many "NANCY" strips featuring zany, almost surreal humor.
- 39A: Movie pal of Stitch (LILO) — Should add that to my list of "21st Century Crosswordese" if I haven't already.
- 44A: "Animal House" beanie sporters (PLEDGES) — just saw an ad for this DVD, right before re-re-rewatching "Sixteen Candles" on Saturday.
- 64A: Hobbyist's knife brand (XACTO) — many (if not most) X-words in puzzledom are brand names. XEROX, XBOX, XGAMES, XTERRA, exetera.
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