Site of London's Great Exhibition of 1851 / TUE 7-20-10 / Medallioned vehicle / Loonlike bird / Electrician's alloy
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Constructor: Ed Sessa
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: BILLY (68A: Name associated with the starts of 17-, 27-, 48- and 64-Across) — actually, "BILLY" is the first name that goes with the last names represented by said "starts":
Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself
Word of the Day: Jennifer EHLE (60D: "Pride and Prejudice" actress Jennifer) —
Jennifer Ehle (pronounced /ˈiːliː/; born December 29, 1969) is a two-time Tony Award-winning British-American actress of stage and screen. She is probably best known for her starring role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 mini-series Pride and Prejudice. [...] [She won the] Best Performance by a Leading Actress Tony Award for her 2000 Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. (wikipedia)
- I wrote in BOWER for ARBOR (12D: Shady area);
- I hit a theme answer I just didn't know: CRYSTAL PALACE (never heard of it) (48A: Site of London's Great Exhibition of 1851); and...
- I hit EHLE, a name that just made me stare in disbelief. I only just (resentfully) committed actress Kathryn ERBE's name to memory. Please don't tell me this one's going to be a repeater too. This is what happens when you try to stuff BILLY right up underneath WORSHIP like that. Gives you LASSIE, but it also gives you EHLE. When it comes to EHL- names, I'll take EHLO any day. He's famous! For this:
So I ended with a very average Tuesday time—about the same time yesterday's tougher-than-average puzzle took me. Not much else to say about this one. Those are some BILLYs alright. Strangest thing about the grid is the placement of BILLY, one step up from the position in which one would expect to find the theme revealer (i.e. the final Across answer). Only reason (that I can see) to have put BILLY here is to avoid a terminal "I" at 51-Down.
- 11A: Medallioned vehicle (CAB) — "Medallioned" is not a word you see very often. Cabs that are not medallioned are sometimes referred to as "GYPsy cabs" — ethnic slur to some, non-pejorative slang to others (44D: Cheat, in 43-Across (SLANG)).
- 52A: Yucky, in baby talk (ICKY POO) — irksome, ugly word. This is adult baby talk, a fake baby talk I find repulsive.
- 43A: All ___ is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry": G.K. Chesterton (SLANG) — that's a slippery slope, G. K.
- 11D: Rags-to-riches heroine (CINDERELLA) — strange, but hard as it may be to believe, "CINDERELLA" never struck me as a "rags-to-riches" story, though clearly she is in rags, of a kind, in the beginning, and she becomes a princess by the end, so the tag, like the shoe, fits. Rags-to-riches = Horatio Alger, in my mind. I do kind of like this way of looking at "CINDERELLA"—deromanticizes it a bit.
- 50D: Ineligible for kiddie prices, say (TOO OLD) — I wonder how far you could extend the "TOO ___" answer. TOO YOUNG? TOO FAT? TOO LOUD? Not that I don't like the answer.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]