Universal soul in Hinduism / SUN 6-27-10 / Ukrainian city in WWI fighting / Alfalfa's sweetie / Miro museum architect Jose Luis / Fiji competitor
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Constructor: Michael J. Doran
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "To Thine Own Self Be True" — Clues are "I"-words that are imagined as two separate words: pronoun "I" + verb — answers are various jobs
Word of the Day: LUTSK (7D: Ukrainian city in W.W. I fighting) —
Lutsk (Ukrainian: Луцьк, translit. Luts’k, Lithuanian: Luckas, Polish: Łuck, Belarusian: Луцак or Луцк, transliterated Lutchak or Lutsk) is a city located by the Styr River in north-western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Lutskyi Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is also designated as its own separate raion within the oblast. [...] In 1850 three major forts were built around Lutsk and the town became a small fortress called Mikhailogorod. During the First World War the town was seized by Austria-Hungary on August 29, 1915. The town was slightly damaged. During more than a year of Austro-Hungarian occupation Lutsk became an important military centre with the headquarters of the IV Army under Archduke Josef Ferdinand stationed there. However, poor food supply led to a plague of epidemic typhus which decimated the city's inhabitants. // On June 4, 1916 four Russian armies under general Aleksei Brusilov started, what later became known as the Brusilov Offensive. After up to three days of heavy artillery barrage, the Battle of Lutsk began. On June 7, 1916 the Russian forces reconquered the city. After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1917 the city was seized by Germany on February 7, 1918. On February 22, 1918 the town was transferred by the withdrawing German army to the forces loyal to Symon Petlura. However, on May 16, 1919 it was captured by Polish forces under Gen. Aleksander Karnicki.
A very nice idea, as far as the clues go. The answers aren't always A-ONE — PONZI SCHEMER doesn't feel like a thing, LUGER is a fugly word, the ELECTION winner "ran" too, etc. — but they're successful enough for this puzzle to get an overall thumbs-up. It took me longer than I care to admit to glean the theme — I was half-heartedly trying to anagram the clues in the back of my mind as I pressed forward with the puzzle, then thought maybe the clue numbers were involved somehow ... but after I got nearly ever letter of FILM CRITIC from crosses, I put two and two together. Despite my slow start, I ended up a tad under my normal Sunday time. All my hangups involved questions of geography. No idea about:
- SKOPJE (39A: Macedonian capital)
- LAMBERT (4D: St. Louis airport)
- MINEOLA (vaaaaaguely familiar) (94D: Long Island town where the Wright Brothers experimented)
Also balked at spelling of SKÁL (wanted SKOAL, like the chewing tobacco) (97A: Swedish toast). Also balked at nearby RHO (92A: When written three times, fraternity in "Revenge of the Nerds"), as the only thrice-named frat I remember from "Revenge of the Nerds" is the Tri-Lams:
- 23A: Irate (FILM CRITIC)
- 28A: Isled (OLYMPIC LUGER)
- 52A: Islander (TABLOID WRITER) — Having "Isled" and "Islander" as clues feels a bit redundant; further, TABLOID WRITERS libel...
- 88A: Iran (ELECTION LOSER)
- 109A: iPhone (TELEMARKETER)
- 117A: Ibid. (EBAY PATRON)
- 33D: Icon (PONZI SCHEMER)
- 42D: Ideal (CASINO WORKER)
Strangely, my only non-geography-related trouble-spot came at 89D: Suffix with pant (-IES). I had something like AIRONS for 99A: Large planes have two, and so had "pantier" as my imaginary, hypothetical word. Then I got the plane answer down to AIRLES, and decided that *couldn't* be right. Took it out, stared, and then there it was, mockingly obvious "S" (and so AISLES) —something about suffixes that won't allow me to think of them as ending in "S".
- 25A: Universal soul, in Hinduism (ATMAN) — I get this word and ARHAT confused. Both related to Eastern religions, both five letters, both start with "A," both learned from xwords ...
- 37A: Lovingly, in music (AMOROSO) — what does that look like? Do you make emotional faces? Kiss your violin?
- 48A: Shanghai-born N.B.A. star (YAO) — [Gigantic Rocket] would have made a nice clue.
- 59A: Miró Museum architect José Luis ___ (SERT) — in one of today's more comical solving moments, the first answer I wrote in here was ... MIRÓ!
- 126A: Title girl on the first Beatles album (ANNA) — no memory of any ANNA song. And "Please Please Me" was one of the very first CDs I ever bought (mid-80s). OK, now that I listen to it, it's very familiar:
- 2D: What to play Super Mario Galaxy on (WII) — instinctively wrote in NES...
- 24D: Part of Eritrea's border (RED SEA) — what is it with "Eritrea" that I'm compelled to believe that it's a European country. I mean, I know it's not, but some instinctive part of my brain always flashes "Europe" before the sane part kicks in and fixes things. Oh, and I wanted a country here, duh.
- 31D: Alfalfa's sweetie (DARLA) — I think DARLA is a super-hot name. Alfalfa, on the other hand ...
- 52D: South American monkeys (TITIS) — not sure I've seen it in plural; mildly amusing, especially crossing ACHES FOR (!) and LICKING (!!!!!!!!!!) (74A: Greatly desires + 68A: Rout)
- 53D: Basketry fiber (ISTLE) — not to be confused with longtime Denver Nuggets center Dan ISSEL
- 65D: Fiji competitor (EVIAN) — Fuji = film, FIJI = water.
- 97D: Ocean dweller with five points (SEA STAR) — I know these as "star fish."
- @RiaDawn2011 dude. my dad spelled waste w-a-s-t on this crossword. bahahahah!
- @willishumphrey Okay, why am I n traffic & I look ova and this lady is driving and a crossword puzzle and talkin on the ph??? WTF????
- @CAROLiN3_bby My brother, Robby, and Christain are fighting over a crossword puzzle on the kids menu. Haha woww.
- @Raudive You know your teacher is off when there is a crossword on your final.
- @stasheez Dese lil girls is throwin bows cuz dey losin the crossword puzzle tournament lol this job is funny
- @ninaholmberg On the bright side, being stranded at the body shop w/o work email means I can devote my full attention to the NYT crossword. cc @olivia
- @Fuzzie_74 Poke my eye out with chopsticks. Couple sitting opposite are rubbing each other while doing a crossword puzzle.#nerdpettingewwwwwww
- @20Winxx NYT crossword clue: "Bam!" blurter. My first answer: Batman .......... D'OH!!!!
- @alexcarlton I now carry a box cutter so I can whittle pencils to do crosswords and kenkens. I'M REALLY COOL, wanna date me yet?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]