Sea grass grazer / FRI 9-17-10 / Colorful stage performers since 1987 / Literally different lizards / Five-time NBA All-Star Chris
Friday, September 17, 2010
The hunter's moon—also known as blood moon or sanguine moon—is the first full moon after the harvest moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. // The Hunter's Moon is so named because plenty of moonlight is ideal for hunters shooting migrating birds in Northern Europe. (wikipedia)
• • •Not much to say about this one. Seems fine. Nothing offensive, nothing too memorable. It's pretty funny that he's got BELLA (7D: "Twilight" protagonist) up there next to a full moon (i.e. the BLOOD MOON), since the "Twilight" series involves werewolves. It's less funny that NUVA (17A: ___Ring (birth control brand)) is somehow being accepted as a standalone answer, when it's not a word, real or commercial or whatever. The brand is NuvaRing, one word. I don't know if I've ever seen one part of a camel-capped word allowed to fly solo like this. Feels really wrong. The short Acrosses in that NE section are pretty weak in general — all in the name of JIU JITSU, I guess (it is a pretty sweet word; 10D: Practice with locks and pins?). I like DAWG (41A: "Wassup, ___?") over BARK (46A: Where you might see some initials — carved into trees, I guess). Some of the question mark clues were cute, or tough to see through, but there's just not a lot here to make you sit up and take notice.
I had trouble getting started in the NW—a lot of trouble. First pass rendered virtually nothing — LOSS (21A: Perfect-record breaker) and ROC-A (9D: Jay-Z's ___-Fella Records), I think. After flailing a bit, I somehow guessed NO PROBLEMO off of just that final "O" (13A: "Easy peasy!"), and it all opened up from there. BELLA/EMILY (8D: "Bones" actress Deschanel) /ROC-A/WEBBER (4A: Five-time N.B.A. All-Star Chris) seems a pretty massive cluster of contemporary names / pop culture clues. NO PROBLEMO for me, but for others, maybe more of a PROBLEMO. Had some trouble in the SW, trying OUTDATED before OUT OF USE (33D: Defunct) and trying and failing many times to come up with a company that started "CLIN..." (it's CLINIQUE—32D: Company that gets a lot of its money from foundations?). Once I got past DUGONG (26D: Sea grass grazer) and into the SE, things got easy again and I was home free. At first I thought DUGONG was DUGOUT ... as in, a DUGOUT canoe ... that "grazes" sea grass ... as it glides along ... in the sea? I guess. Had HEAD for HOPE (43A: One might lose it in a crisis), but otherwise, cake down there.
- 1A: Japan's Prince Hirobmi ___ (ITO) — bah. I'm sure I've seen this ITO before, but couldn't remember him. I'll take the judge or the skater.
- 29A: Literally, "different lizards" (ALLOSAURUSES) — not hard, but somehow annoying. Did not like the plural. Don't quite understand my own strong distaste here, but there it is.
- 32A: Descartes found this truth to be self-evident (COGITO ERGO SUM) — love this clue, which spins the word "self-evident" in an unexpected direction.
- 34A: Colorful stage performers since 1987 (BLUE MAN GROUP) — don't think I've seen them in the puzzle before. Cool (I mean, as an answer — as a group they just creep me out).
- 35A: There are 50 in a keg of Newcastle (LITRES) — pretty easy to infer this answer. British liquid measurement—not many places to go from there.
- 36A: Home of Polar Bear Prov. Park (ONT.) — my first guess, but I balked because of my DUGOUT-for-DUGONG issues.
- 52A: Put off retirement? (STAY UP LATE) — phrase that reminds me of only one thing:
- 11D: Troubadour's creation (LOVE POEM) — had the POEM part and thought "TONE POEM? That's pretty modern for a troubadour..."
- 41D: Il Poeta (DANTE) — Nice fat Dante gimme, two days in a row! Nice literary complement to its neighboring "Hamlet"-related answer, ARRAS (42D: Decoration for Gertrude's room in "Hamlet")
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