Toothpaste with green sparkles / TUE 7-6-10 / Unwanted plot giveaway / Small sci-fi vehicle / Blondie to Cookie Alexander
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Constructor: José Chardiet
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Apple of my EYE — last words of five theme answers can all be preceded by "i" to make an Apple product name: iMAC, iTUNES, iPOD, iPHONE, iPAD
*NOTE: Blogger is eating comments today, and I have no idea why. (updated 7:25am)
*If you want to comment (as of right now, 7:50), you have to do so as "Anonymous"...
*I *think* this issue has cleared up now (updated 4:50pm)
Word of the Day: BERNIE MAC (20A: *"Ocean's Eleven" actor) —
Bernard Jeffrey McCullough (October 5, 1957 – August 9, 2008) better known by his stage name Bernie Mac, was an American actor and comedian. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Mac gained popularity as a stand-up comedian. He joined comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and D. L. Hughley as The Original Kings of Comedy. // After briefly hosting the HBO show Midnight Mac, Mac appeared in several films in smaller roles. His most noted film role was as Frank Catton in the remake Ocean's Eleven and the titular character of Mr. 3000. He was the star of The Bernie Mac Show, which ran from 2001 through 2006, earning him two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. His other films included starring roles in Booty Call, Friday, The Players Club, Head of State, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Bad Santa, Guess Who, Pride, Soul Men, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
It is hot as &$%& here tonight, so you will have to excuse the briefness of this write-up. I have to find a cold drink or ice cream sandwich very, very soon, or I can't be held accountable for what I might do.
My friend Angela just directed me to a picture of today's constructor, who appears to be very, very young. Some people care about this kind of thing. I don't. I mean, I'm thrilled for the kid, but debuts and youth and what not have never altered my assessment of puzzles, and I'm not gonna change things today.
Luckily I don't have to feel bad, as my initial notes on this puzzle are almost all positive. It was too easy for a Tuesday (faster by far than yesterday's for me), but that's an editorial, not a constructing issue. This was my second-fastest Tuesday of the year (fastest was an all-time record), and I would've been faster if I'd just spelled stupid GLEEM right the first time through (failure to do so meant I had to double back and come at the bottom from the west) (56A: Toothpaste with "green sparkles"). With the exception of ATE DIRT (45D: Groveled) and EATS AT (30A: Annoys incessantly) (not a fan of same verb used twice), and EXLAX (esp. as clued, jeez louise; if you're gonna be that specific, why *not* allow ENEMA as a valid word?), I liked this puzzle a lot. Cute idea. Some people will get their hackles up and squawk about product placement (perhaps by starting their complaints with "In my day..."), but I don't care (much) about such things. Theme answers are solid, and the rest of the fill is actually quite cool in places. One place that is not quite cool is this damned office, so ... moving on ...
- 20A: *"Ocean's Eleven" actor (BERNIE MAC)
- 25A: *Tweaks (FINE TUNES)
- 37A: *Small sci-fi vehicle (ESCAPE POD)
- 52A: *"Get Smart" device (SHOE PHONE)
- 58A: *Blastoff spot (LAUNCH PAD)
- 64D: Storm center ... or, phonetically, letter that can precede the ends of the answers to the five starred clues to spell popular devices (EYE)
- 32A: N.B.A. nickname (SHAQ) — ESPN crawl just now said something about his possibly becoming an Atlanta Hawk next year. So look out for misdirective Hawky clues, I guess.
- 67A: "Boy Meets World" boy (CORY) — during my most depressive time in grad school, I watched this show. A lot. The older brother made me laugh. It got creepy toward the end—too much sex/marriage stuff for (come on) 18-year-olds. Well, sex, OK, but marriage? Jeez louise, again, I say.
- 2D: Uncalled-for insult, say (LOW BLOW) — as opposed to all those insults that are called for.
- 3D: U2 guitarist (THE EDGE) — ESPN trotted out this U2 song esp. for the World Cup, a remix of "Get On Your Boots"—I have watched a lot of World Cup, and I have literally heard that song no times since its pre-tournament unveiling. What was the point?
- 42D: Unwanted plot giveaway (SPOILER) — In "Where Danger Lives," Robert Mitchum gets arrested for being clean shaven in an Arizona town where they are celebrating something called "Whiskers Week" ... SPOILER!
- 46D: Blondie, to Alexander and Cookie (MOM) — had the "O" and wrote in "SON" (forgetting that the guy is Dagwood, not Blondie)
- 59D: 50 ___ ("Candy Shop" rapper) (CENT) — that guy's still working? Good for him.
I'm coming for you, ice cream sandwich.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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