Gradually slowing in music / MON 6-7-10 / Sicilian erupter / Lure for Simple Simon / Recipe guideline for hot dish / Many northern Iraqi
Monday, June 7, 2010
Constructor: Lynn Lempel
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging [for a *Monday*]
THEME: IT'S OK WITH ME (62A: "Sure, go ahead" ... and a literal hint to what's found in 17-, 26-, 38- and 53-Acros) — theme answers have both "OK" and "ME" buried inside them somewhere
Word of the Day: OUZO (56A: Greek liqueur) —
Ouzo (ούζο) is an anise-flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece. Similar aperitifs include pastis (France), arak (from the Levant) and raki (from Turkey) although, in Greece, raki is generally not anise-flavored. Its aniseed flavor is also similar to the anise-flavored liqueurs of sambuca (Italy) and patxaran (Bilbao, Spain) and the stronger spirits of absinthe (France) and a variation of Mastiha (Chios, Greece). It can be consumed neat or mixed with water. (wikipedia)
The phrase "OK BY ME" feels more familiar / colloquial to me, but that would have been a bear to find answers for: BOOKMEN? TOOKMEASURES? LOOKMENACING?
- 17A: Recipe guideline for a hot dish (COOKING TIME)
- 26A: Family divided by divorce (BROKEN HOME)
- 38A: High-stakes draw in Las Vegas (POKER GAME)
- 53A: Pastrami, for one (SMOKED MEAT)
Other stumbling places, besides COOKING TIME, included STUB for SLIP (5D: Sales receipt), SUNI (?!) for KURD (39D: Many a norther Iraqi), SOCK for STOW (51D: Store (away) — don't like STOre to clue STOw; too close), and took at least three crosses to see DENNY (35A: Name in a family restaurant chain — I'm an IHOP man, as you know).
- 21A: Lure for Simple Simon (PIE) — "Lure" is a bit odd. He met a pieman and wanted to taste his wares but the dude was like "let's see your money" but Simon didn't have any so he goes fishing or something. "Lure" makes it sound a. like he was drawn by something (aroma, etc.), or b. like the pieman was trying tempt him.
- 50A: Gradually slowing in music (RIT.) — RITardando; we've had this before. I knew SUNI felt wrong as soon as I plunked it in the grid; RIT. just confirmed it.
- 8D: Kimono closer (OBI) — despite seeing OBI clues thousands of time in my life, I swear the first thing my brain thought of when reading this clue was "Japanese pitcher." Thankfully, I got back on the crosswordese horse with OTT (7D: Slugger Mel) and ETNA (29D: Sicilian erupter)
- 13D: Dishes for doll parties (TEA SETS) — more fun with plurals. First there was TUNAS, when the clue could easily have been asking for TUNA (44A: Fish often destined for cans). Here there's TEA SETS, when clue could easily have been asking for TEA SET (singular).
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