Singer Flack or Peters / MON 6-21-10 / Kind of sleeve named after British baron / Whacked plant / Ad-libbing vocal style
Monday, June 21, 2010
Constructor: Fred Piscop
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: ["It ain't hard"] — the erectile dysfunction puzzle (same clue for all theme answers)
Word of the Day: RAGLAN (22A: Kind of sleeve named after a British baron) —
Baron Raglan, of Raglan in the County of Monmouth, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1852 for the military commander Lord FitzRoy Somerset, chiefly remembered as commander of the British troops during the Crimean War. Somerset was the youngest son of Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort (see Duke of Beaufort for earlier history of the family). His second but eldest surviving son, the second Baron, served as a Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) from 1866 to 1868 in the Conservative administrations of the Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli. He was succeeded by his son, the third Baron. He held office as Under-Secretary of State for War between 1900 and 1902 in the Conservative government of Lord Salisbury. His eldest son, the fourth Baron, was a soldier and also served as Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire. The fifth Baron was active in the House of Lords but lost his seat in the upper chamber of parliament after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999. As of 2010[update] the title is held by the fourth Baron's third but second surviving son, the sixth Baron, who succeeded in 2010. As a descendant of the fifth Duke of Beaufort Lord Raglan is also in remainder to this peerage and its subsidiary titles.
Under 3 = Easy. Surprised I wasn't faster than I was, actually, as my fingers never stopped typing. I think I lost time when I balked at a few answers, most notably POLLUTE (5D: Foul the water, e.g.), which prevented me from shooting out of the NW, and DUCK / SOUP, which had the kind of cross-referenced cluing I *never* look at (if I can help it) on early-week puzzles (slows me down more to check the clue than it does to just blow by it and get answer from crosses ... usually). Other small hesitations that likely cost me seconds: EASY AS PIE instead of ABC; SCOTSMEN instead of SCOTTISH; REBEL for R.E. LEE; and, because of a misreading on my part, ESCAPES instead of ESCAPED. Also balked briefly at 51D: Whacked plant (WEED), when I had just -E--. Otherwise, NO PROBLEMO. Finished RAPIDLY.
- 17A: "It ain't hard!" (SIMPLE AS ABC)
- 11D: "It ain't hard!" (CHILD'S PLAY)
- 28D: "It ain't hard!" (NO PROBLEMO)
- 53A: "It ain't hard!" (PIECE OF CAKE)
- 24A: With 46-Across, "It ain't hard!" (DUCK / SOUP)
- 44A: Singer Flack or Peters (ROBERTA) — Don't know the latter, but the former has (or had, at least) an exquisite voice. Loved her solo stuff, as well as duets with the late, great Donny Hathaway.
- 44D: Uses a Kindle, e.g. (READS) — aaargh. So simple. I hesitated here too. Figured there would be E-prefixing afoot.
- 48D: Ad-libbing vocal style (SCAT) — would've gone with "singing" style over "vocal" style; not that it made much difference.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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