Crustacean seven pairs of legs / MON 8-23-10 / Muckraker Jacob / Funnywoman Silverman / 1987 flop Warren Beatty Dustin Hoffman
Monday, August 23, 2010
Constructor: Oliver Hill
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Street signs — theme answers start with words or phrases commonly found on street signs
Word of the Day: ISOPOD (6D: Crustacean with seven pairs of legs) —
Isopods are an order of peracarid crustaceans, including familiar animals such as woodlice and pill bugs. The name Isopoda derives from the Greek iso meaning "same" and pod meaning "foot". The fossil record of isopods dates back to the Carboniferous period (in the US Pennsylvanian epoch), at least 300 million years ago. (wikipedia)
Set a new speed record on this one, so really I should have rated it "Easy," even for a Monday, but a quick glance over the grid (as well as a quick glance at times at the NYT site) makes me think it was probably an average Monday that I just got extraordinarily lucky on. I have no idea how I did this in 2:40 when there were not one, not two, but three big ??? clues. I'm sure I've seen the word ISOPOD before, but the seven legs clue did nothing for me. I don't associate WANNABEs with star-struckedness at all. I guess all those Madonna WANNABEs in the '80s were "starstruck" with Madonna, but that word now just has a general association of aspiration combined with inauthenticity. "Starstruck" = AGOG to me. So that clue didn't do anything for me. And then there was YIELD CURVE, the clue for which was annoyingly complicated, so I abandoned it in despair. Must have got it entirely from crosses, because I don't even remember an AHA moment. Everything else in the grid went in almost instantly—I was lucky enough to know all the proper nouns well: Duke ORSINO, SARAH Silverman, Jacob RIIS, etc. Wish the fill, in general, were livelier. STOP DROP AND ROLL is the most interesting thing in the grid, and I've seen that 15 before.
- 17A: By any means necessary (ONE WAY OR ANOTHER) — really really would have loved the Blondie song here
- 26A: Work that offers no chance for advancement (DEAD END JOB)
- 46A: Line showing the relationship between an interest rate and maturity date (YIELD CURVE)
- 57A: Instruction to someone who's on fire (STOP DROP AND ROLL)
This is a 78-worder despite having two grid-spanning 15s (my unscientific observation is that 15s tend to put the word count, in themed puzzles, down in the 74-76 range), and so there is a Lot of short fill, a lot of it partial and/or abbrev. and/or blah. INOW ASTO ORSO IPSO OHO IMON OLA ZOLA OHO CHOC IFS AER etc. Actually, I like ZOLA. I just wanted to run OLA and ZOLA together for effect.
My mother's first and last names cross in this puzzle. That's right; my mother's name is ULAN ADMAN.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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