2005 Survivor setting/ SUN 6-6-10 / Country that's just 8 square miles in area / Noxious atmosphere / Tarzan's simian sidekick
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Constructor: Daniel A. Finan
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "TYPECASTING" — font of theme clue becomes modifier for the clued answer, creating familiar two-word phrase
[Note: Online and AcrossLite solvers can find a .pdf version of this puzzle here.]
Word of the Day: NAURU (105D: Country that's just 8 square miles in area) —
Nauru (pronounced /nɑːˈʊəruː/ nah-OO-roo), officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island nation in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 km to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, covering just 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi).
A very clever idea, though one that had me wondering for a while what COURIER CANDLES were (turns out the CANDLES were ROMAN). I have only one real beef with this puzzle, and that's the DLR (72D: Abbr. on some license plates) / PALAU (76A: 2005 "Survivor" setting) crossing. PALAU sounded right (I may have still been watching "Survivor" back then), so I went with the "L," but I honest had no idea what "DLR" could mean as a license plate abbrev. When I looked it up (after I was done), I saw it meant "DEALER," which makes sense, but I've never (to my knowledge) seen DLR in a puzzle, and I really thought it was an initialism, and PALAU just isn't well known enough to be the "L" crossing on so odd an abbrev. There was a bunch of other stuff I didn't know — MELANIE, CHAPALA, NAURU — but it was all crossed pretty fairly (96D: U.S. tennis player Oudin + 2D: Mexico's largest lake + 105D: Country that's just 8 square miles in area).
- 23A: JAIL OR FINE (CAPITAL PUNISHMENT)
- 37A: Perspectives (SLANTED VIEWS)
- 59A: Putting in a carton (SHADOW BOXING)
- 79A: Wordsmith (SCRIPT WRITER)
- 101A: Birthday cake toppers (ROMAN CANDLES)
Couple-swapping(STRUCK OUT SWINGING) — best theme answer by a million miles
- 16D: Assertion (BOLD STATEMENT)
- 58D: Untruths (GOTHIC FICTION)
- 30A: Year Attila the Hun was born (CDVI) — I wonder if you can read my penciled annotation to this one... oh, whoops, I cut off the left margin. Let's just say that it was a little more colorful than my comments in the upper right margins:
- 33A: Chris ___, player of Mr. Big on "Sex and the City" (NOTH) — no idea how I knew this, as I find that show loathsome in every possible way. One of my great joys of the past couple weeks has been reading the scathing reviews of the most recent "SATC" movie. Ebert's is good. This one is better.
- 44A: Tarzan's simian sidekick (CHEETA) — No "H," because Tarzan couldn't pronounce it properly. Little known (made up, nonsensical) fact.
- 63A: Bygone name in hair removal (NEET) — NEET and NAIR, the pair that share a hate of hair (down there). NEET became VEET, which sounds like FEET, so that's a lateral move at best, as far as I can tell.
- 73A: French suffix (-IÈRE) — one of the more unfortunate bits of fill today, trumping even DLR, I think.
- 94A: Noxious atmosphere (MIASMA) — one of my favorite words. See also FUG.
- 107A: Jedi foes, in "Star Wars" (SITH) — this reminds me: Happy Birthday, Wade.
- 121A: 1976 album "Olé ___" ("ELO") — it's a palindrome!
- 45D: What a penguin doesn't really wear (TUX) — I loved this clue, as it's absurd yet spot-on.
- 50D: Race that takes a northern trail in even years and a southern trail in odd years (IDITAROD) — I had no idea. Still, got it off the first "I." Booyah!
- 55D: Warren : rabbits :: couch : ___ (OTTERS) — You will never need to know this meaning of "couch" again. Not only that, you'll forget it in 6 hours. I think you've already forgotten it, actually.
- 57D: Home of the U.S.'s last active nickel mine (OREGON) — winner of the "least compelling reason to visit OREGON" contest.
- 85D: Dude ranch nickname (SLIM) — wow, really? They make you take on nicknames at those places? Isn't just being there degrading enough?
- 88D: When tripled, a "Seinfeld" catchphrase (YADA) – always want this to be "YADDA," but I think that's because of the influence of YADDO (artists' community) and YABBA DABBA DOO.
- @1863_project My crossword puzzle asked me for a 5-letter word for 'Firth.' I almost wrote Colin. Oops. @OrangeXW Crossword blog comment spam: "Become an agent for Inernet Modeling & make money recruiting models from your visitors. Earn $1,000/wk!"
- @nosleep3 Bored, so bored. Crossword puzzle bored.
- @invurted333 My job is a joke! For the 3rd week in a row, I've sat here and napped, watched tv, did crosswords, and played brick breaker for 8 hours. Fml
- @nickr78 Are you fucking kidding me, Saturday crossword? Get out of here and give me a call when you start making sense.
- @NicoleInDC Just had great convo w Christopher a 4yr old from FL who thinks its cool that I do crosswords. If only all boys were so easy to impress ;)
- @FranktheFOX Old lady just came into my store asking me to help her with her crossword puzzle- "What band does Gwen Stefani sing in?" lol cute.
- @MarkieMalarkey This white man be on his breaks doin crossword puzzles and ish on his break! #Lame
- @adozenlies He slapped my butt when i'm doing crosswords and my butt hurts until it went abit numb ._.
- @HappyArtichoke I am getting extremely nauseus lately because I have been doing so many crosswords (nine a day).
- @Cloverpie I feel bad. Age 13 I stole the crosswalk guards chair and crossword puzzle and broke her pencil while she was stranded helplessly mid-street
- @lights Let it be noted that my socks have crossword puzzles on them. #ilikethemcausetheyreugly http://tweetphoto.com/23765751
- @millarca Fuck it. I'm doing crosswords.
- @zeeby Failing at eng lit revision, doing the @bust_magazine crossword instead. :D
- @StephxAftershok Fuck French crossword puzzles! I can't believe this is homework.
- @Wordy_Anansi I don't log on for how long and then it's just to bitch about my crossword... why do I have 92 followers?
- @higgsuk This knob just sneezed in my face. Didn't say sorry just kept on struggling with the Daily Star crossword. http://yfrog.com/0eygunj
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Father's Day is rapidly approaching, and if you know a dad with a decent sense of humor, you might consider "It's not PMS., IT'S YOU" by the lovely, talented, and (importantly) funny Deb Amlen. Deb constructs puzzles for "The Onion" (among other outlets) and is now, apparently, writing humor books. When I first read the title of her new book, I thought it was a book directed at women, i.e. "You Keep Blaming Your Bad Behavior on Your P.M.S., but Really You're Just An Asshole." But it turns out it's directed at men, particularly those who might be apt to write off women's concerns / complaints as a periodic (!) function of their menstrual cycle. I am pretty averse, most of the time, to "Women are like this and men are like this"-type books, but Deb's sense of humor is more subtle and playful than that. Plus, the book looks like a damned Hershey Bar. How can you not want one?
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