Coleridge's sacred river / TUE 9-28-10 / Foil-making giant / Fabric dealers to Brits / Bushel of Boscs / Homer Simpson's Indian friend
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Constructor: Michael Torch
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Puns on PARA- words — Four different "Pair" homophones lead off four different punny phrases ...
Word of the Day: NO PAR (41A: Like some stock) —
Being without face value; having no par value: a no-par stock certificate.
This didn't work for me. It's like a bright idea that should've gone nowhere but was forced into becoming the basis for an entire puzzle. PÈRE AMOURS (29D: French father's affairs?) and PARE A PHRASE (58A: Edit?) don't take their original phrases into different semantic universes the way PEAR AMOUNT (11D: A bushel of Boscs?) and PAIR A GRAPHS do (20A: Two charts?). But the biggest problem by far is PAIR A GRAPHS. PAIRA? PAIR-A? PAIR A'? Has anyone anywhere ever written "Pair of" in that manner. LOTTA = "lot of," sure. But PAIRA? PAIR O', maybe. Maybe. None of the other theme answers involve *imaginary spelling*. Total fail. Some ideas, however cute at first blush, need to be put aside until they're fully ripe. Or else thrown away.
Then there's the rest of the fill, which is dull at best (ORE x/w ORAN (28D: Algerian port), ADIA (60D: 1998 Sarah McLachlan song) x/w ADDA, etc. etc.), with the exception of a few of those longer answers — "HOP ON POP" (27A: Dr. Seuss title), WINGSPAN (5D: Bird spec), RIP APART (42D: Shred) and HIT HARD (25A: Severely affected) are all just fine to quite good.
- 19A: What to "Come see the softer side of," in a slogan (SEARS) — is that slogan still active? It's Very familiar to me, but I don't remember hearing it for years and years.
- 53A: Danced at Rio's Carnival, maybe (SAMBAED) — the more I look at this word, the uglier it gets. Sitting underneath the awful ARRS. isn't helping it any (49A: Some airport data: Abbr.)
- 56A: Homer Simpson's Indian friend (APU) — "Friend" is accurate enough, though his main role is snack food provider.
- 3D: Coffee shop convenience for a laptop (WIFI) — It's a "convenience" for the laptop *user*...
- 45D: Fabric dealers, to Brits (DRAPERS) — My favorite Draper is Don.
- 47D: Coleridge's sacred river (ALPH) — I always want this to have an "X" in it, probably because of "Xanadu" in the opening line of "Kubla Khan." ALPH is in the third line of the poem:
- In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
- A stately pleasure-dome decree :
- Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
- Through caverns measureless to man
- Down to a sunless sea. (1-5)
- 54D: Foil-making giant (ALCOA) — Foil-in-five=>it's this 60%-vowel answer.
- 63D: Prominent features of a "Cats" poster (EYES) — Possibly the most go-out-of-your-way-to-be-off-putting clue for EYES ever. Not sure I've ever seen a show clued via its poster (?). Here's a "Cats" poster where the only "prominent" thing is ridiculousness.
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