Lower class in 1984 / WED 7-21-10 / Rope for pulling sail / Woman's name meaning weary in Hebrew / When doubled popular 1980s-90s British sitcom
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Constructor: Oliver Hill
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: BROKEN HEART (57A: Lover's woe ... or something found, literally, in the 4th, 5th, 8th and 11th rows of this puzzle) — word HEART is split by black squares four times
Word of the Day: 'ALLO 'ALLO (64A: When doubled, popular 1980s-'90s British sitcom) —
'Allo 'Allo! is a British sitcom broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992 comprising eighty-five episodes. It is a parody of Secret Army and was created by David Croft, who also wrote the theme music, and Jeremy Lloyd. Lloyd and Croft wrote the first 6 series. Series 7 onward was written by Lloyd and Paul Adam. Lloyd and Croft were also responsible for the popular sitcom Are You Being Served?. In 2004, Allo 'Allo came 13th in Britain's Best Sitcom. A reunion special, comprising new material, archive clips and specially-recorded interviews, was broadcast on 28 April 2007 on BBC Two. (wikipedia) [HA ha: not having read this wikipedia paragraph, from the next room, my wife said "yeah, I've heard of it. We had it in New Zealand. It's bad. It's "Are You Being Served?" bad]
Unpleasant experience for me, so I'll keep it brief. Started out great, but saw quickly that there were no clear "theme answers," which made the grid feel Thursdayish and made me think "there's some trick here ... maybe it's a rebus." Then I hit 43A: Flirtatious one. I had the COQ- part and at that point I was *sure* there was a rebus afoot. I mean, COQUETTE is spelled thusly, so ... it doesn't fit ... sooooooo ... I don't get it. Add to this miscomprehension an understandable but serious FAILure on my part at 33D: Information superhighway (THE WEB). I wrote down THE NET (which, unlike "THE WEB," has the virtue of having been a '90s movie *about* the "Information superhighway"). Didn't know PROLES (49D: Lower class in "1984"), couldn't pick up the odd past tense formation at 48A: Made tidy, in a way (SWEPT UP), and so was well and truly screwed in the W and S. 44D: Rip into is TEAR AT? Pretty sure I wanted TEAR UP. Anyway, it was all ugly down there. Mistakes were all my fault, but COQUET makes me hate this grid. Subjective, I realize, but that spelling (despite dict. cred), is asinine. Add an "R" in there and you have a real word. Otherwise, barf. Twice as many hits for the correct spelling, COQUETTE, plus most of the first hits for ["coquet"] are this song by of Montreal, which, you'll notice, also contains the real spelling of COQUETTE:
Lastly, INHAUL = ? (15D: Rope for pulling a sail)
The theme: shrug. Not impressed. Don't really care. Nothing here worth seeing. Theme is something that you can only really appreciate once you're done, as there are no real theme answers. Not a fan.
- 24A: Woman's name meaning "weary" in Hebrew (LEAH) — guessing this helped me get 21D: Lacking spice (TAME), which I couldn't see to save my life.
- 51A: Experience a mondegreen, e.g. (MISHEAR) — this I like. Original-seeming. Accurate.
- 65A: Alexander the Great conquered it ca. 335 B.C. (IONIA) — one of those common crossword place names that have lots of different clues, none of which mean anything to me. "Hey, it's that Greek place that's 80% vowels. Awesome!")
- 2D: Filmdom's Willy, for one (ORCA) — laugh-out-loud clue. I'm imagining Willy living somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, part of the movie scene. "Filmdom." Rich.
- 7D: Metric prefix (KILO-) — annoying. First, because KILOmetric is a ridiculous word, and second because the clue doesn't signify KILOmetric after all—only that the prefix KILO- is associated with the "metric" system. Just give me a drug clue.
- 8D: Pretty vistas, for short (SCAPES) — "Look at that lovely SCAPE, honey! Don't you just love SCAPES? I know I do." More ugh. SCAPES are flowering stems. Garlic SCAPES are some of the first edible things to come out of the ground here in the spring.
- 28D: Uh-Oh! ___ (Nabisco product) (OREO) — The only thing that follows "Uh Oh" is "Spaghettios." Also, this alleged "product" is actually bygone–the name is, at any rate, if wikipedia is to be believed: "Golden Chocolate Creme Oreo are 'reverse' (inverse) Oreo cookies in that they comprise vanilla wafers and a chocolate cream filling. Originally, the title was named Uh-Oh Oreo until 2007." (wiki)
- 37D: Poet/illustrator Silverstein (SHEL) — uneven cluing. This and the adjacent ETTA (36D: "At Last" singer James) are transparent—Monday easy, with recycled cluing.
- 52D: Poem with approximately 16,000 lines ("ILIAD") — the number of lines is perhaps the Least interesting thing about this poem.
- 53D: With 45-Across, largest city in California's wine country (SANTA / ROSA) — Having grown up in CA helped here. Got the SANTA first and then went hunting for the back end, with my mind spinning with possibilities (I know squat about wine country, but I got a rolodex of SANTA names in my head from having lived in CA for 17 years).
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