Jazz great Evans / THU 6-24-10 / More colorful sloganeer / Clara Harriet 1960s TV / Cawdor title / Mortgage giant founded 1938
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Constructor: John Farmer
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: TAKE A STEEP NOSE DIVE (61A: Plummet ... or what this puzzle's theme answers do?) — this answer and two others start out Across, head Down, and then resume their Acrossness. Down and second Across parts are unnumbered in print version; in e-versions, they are numbered, but have "-" for their clues ... *and* the part that "dives" spells out NOSE. Ta da!
Word of the Day: THOR (31D: Onetime part of the U.S. arsenal) —
Thor was the first operational ballistic missile in the arsenal of the United States, operated by the US Air Force. Thor was 65 feet (20 m) in height and 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter. Named after the Norse god of Thunder, it was deployed in the UK between 1959 and September 1963 as an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) with thermonuclear warheads. It was later augmented in the U.S. IRBM arsenal by the Jupiter. // A large family of space launch vehicles—the Delta rockets—were derived from the Thor design. A modified version is still in use today as the first stage of the Delta II.
- 1A: Find out what's wrong (DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM)
- 30A: "Huh?" ("IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME")
- 19A: Monogram of 1964's Nobel Peace laureate (MLK) — Not a gimme. I'd forgotten he won this. Figuring it out helped me get "A HIKE!" (3D: "Take ___!")
- 43A: Jug handle, in archaeology (ANSA) — textbook crosswordese. The only problem it gives me nowadays is that I have to stop and think "is ANSA the jug handle or the Faulkner character?" (the latter is ANSE).
- 66D: Robert Langdon's field in "The Da Vinci Code" (SEMIOTICS) — Like "Lost," the whole "DVC" phenomenon is something I've deliberately completely avoided. "Ooh, if you like puzzles and mysteries, you'll like ..." Uh, no. No I won't. I promise you.
- 6D: Actor in the Best Picture winners of 1975, 1983 and 2006 (NICHOLSON) — wanted this but refused to put it in because I believed there was a Nicholson Best Picture date missing: 1997. Turns out "Titanic" won that year, not "As Good As It Gets" (for which both NICHOLSON and co-star Helen Hunt won Oscars).
- 70A: Milan-based fashion label (PRADA) — helped me decide if LASAGNA was spelled with a final "E" or final "A" (46D: "Mangia!" dish).
- 43D: Clara and Harriet, in 1960s TV (AUNTS) — cute but tough. I think the former is from "Bewitched." I don't know who AUNT Harriet is (the "Batman" TV series!? Wow).
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