Reader's Digest co-founder Wallace / MON 7-5-10 / Big name in copiers / Moniker for Lone Star cowboy / Dance in Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monday, July 5, 2010
Constructor: Jill Denny & Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: APART (38A: Separate ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) — four phrases with last word A(body part): AHEAD, ABREAST, AFOOT, ABACK
Word of the Day: LILA Wallace (32D: Reader's Digest co-founder Wallace) —
Lila Bell Wallace (December 25, 1889, Virden, Manitoba, Canada – May 8, 1984, Mount Kisco, New York) was a United States magazine publisher. // Born as Lila Bell Acheson, her father was a Presbyterian minister who brought his family to the USA when she was a child, and she grew up in the Midwest. She graduated from the University of Oregon (1917), taught at schools for two years, and then worked for the Young Women's Christian Association. // In 1921 she married DeWitt Wallace, with whom she co-founded Reader's Digest; they published the first issue in 1922. // The Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writers Award was endowed in her memory. // On January 28, 1972, Lila Bell Wallace was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon. In 1992, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
This played more like a Tuesday for me. The whole top half, esp. the NW, threw me completely off my game. I mean, a plural clue for a singular (and uncommon) answer at 1D: Grain husks (CHAFF)? A super-vague clue on FULL SPEED AHEAD (20A: "Go!")?! A copier brand I can't remember ever seeing before at 25A: Big name in copiers (IKON)? Even the idea of TUFT as a "bit" of hair threw me off. "Bit" doesn't give me "TUFT" — not easily (10A: Bit of hair standing up). I mean, it's completely defensible, just not ... TUFTy enough for my brain to grasp easily. Never mind that I had no idea who this LILA person was, and wanted TEAL and AQUA before I ever considered CYAN (!) (30D: Greenish blue)—a word I know only from medical shows ("He's cyanotic!"). I'm just saying that my brain said "Tuesday," and with some tougher cluing, this could've been a Wednesday. Not the constructors' fault—concept is actually tad cleverer than the avg. Monday (considering I was finished and thinking on it for many seconds before I realized what the theme even was).
- 20A: "Go!" ("FULL SPEED AHEAD!")
- 10D: Surprised and flustered (TAKEN ABACK)
- 26D: Going in side-by-side pairs (TWO ABREAST)
- 56A: Sherlock Holmes phrase, when on a case (THE GAME IS AFOOT)
- 42A: Billy the Kid, for Henry McCarty (ALIAS) — "Henry McCarty" meant nothing to me, so needed crosses before I was sure of the relationship here. For more cowboy action, see 13D: Moniker for a Lone Star cowboy (TEX)
- 57D: Tooter (HORN) — Why in the world did I write in HOOT here? Why? I ask you.
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