Country singer Griffith / SUN 9-26-10 / Romance of 1847 / Bedouins trait / Large food tunas / Opening for aspiring leader
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Constructor: Pamela Amick Klawitter
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Location, Location, Location" — Note: Each set of circled letters is described by an answer elsewhere in the grid (e.g. ROOM AT THE TOP is represented by the circled letters "DEN" (a kind of ROOM) AT THE TOP of the grid...)
Word of the Day: Susan ANSPACH (37D: Susan who co-starred in "Five Easy Pieces") —
Susan Anspach (born November 23, 1942) is an American stage and film actress.
- The Landlord 1970 (with Beau Bridges, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr. and Lee Grant)
- Five Easy Pieces 1970 (opposite Jack Nicholson)
- Play It Again, Sam 1972 (opposite Woody Allen)
- Blume in Love 1973 (opposite George Segal and Kris Kristofferson)
- The Big Fix 1978 (co-starring with Richard Dreyfuss)
- Running 1979 (co-starring with Michael Douglas)
- The Devil and Max Devlin 1981 (opposite Bill Cosby and Elliot Gould)
- Gas 1981, a Canadian comedy film
- Montenegro 1981, a Swedish film (wikipedia)
But here's why the puzzle was so painful to solve: Everywhere you look—and I mean *everywhere*—short and often Awful fill abounds. Far west, for example, has SHER (?) next to IERE (!?) crossing ERN and RETIE. That's just scratching the surface. I could go on. And on. ATRI / DEES / ERST, anyone? Sorry but ... I mean, -ESCE?! When you've already subjected us to -IERE? And -ISH!?!? It's just mean. Then there are lots o' partials: AND I'M right next (!) to IN HER; plus BE NO, ME NO (at least they rhyme?), A DARN, ONE I ... stop!!! Then there are valid but ugly technical terms like RATEL and CASSIA. And then bizarro, utterly unintuitable names like ANSPACH or RESNIK or EGER or QING (how is that pronounced?). Or strange plurals like AHIS (76D: Large food tunas). And OLEOS. Then, to offset the suffixes, there are the prefixes (IDIO, MASTO), and —the cherry on top— a Random Roman Numeral (MCLI). All in all, unpleasant.
Flashback: Here's what I wrote the last time RATEL showed up (earlier this year): "RATEL (46D: Honey badger). As I was solving, I just stared at his answer. And stared. And stared, thinking, "That can't possibly be right..." Sounds like a pest control device: RAT + MOTEL = RATEL."
- 22A: Specification in a salad order (DRESSING ON THE SIDE) — MAYO appears on the "side" of the puzzle
- 34A: Unit in measuring population density (SQUARE MILE) — MILE appears in a square formation (NE corner)
- 57A: Opening for an aspiring leader (ROOM AT THE TOP) — the room is a DEN
- 75A: Diagonals (SLANTED LINES) — LINES appears in diagonally arranged circles
- 97A: Carp or flounder, typically (BOTTOM FISH) — EEL appears at the "bottom" of the grid
- 115A: Go-between (THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE) [uh... is that the same as "MIDDLE MAN?"] — AARON, who apparently was THE MAN, or ... is simply a man's name ... appears in "middle" of the grid
- 15D: Place for a date, frequently (CORNERSTONE) — STONE appears in SE "corner" of the grid
- 67D: Case of thoughtlessness? (MENTAL BLOCK) — MENTAL organized into a rectangular "block" up top
- 1A: When repeated, a resort near the Black Forest (BADEN) — BORA, PAGO ... and I ran out of 2xplacenames. Three crosses jogged my memory.
- 19A: Homeric hero (AENEAS) — I'm calling massive bull$#!* on this one. It is true that AENEAS is in Homer's "Iliad," but calling him a "Homeric hero" is kind of nonsense. He's pretty damned minor, compared to the (many) other "heroes" in that poem. Why the *&$! do you clue AENEAS via Homer and not Virgil?—Virgil named his damned epic after the guy, for pete's sake. Boo. Cheap. Bad. Etc.
- 59A: Fine and dandy, in old slang (OKE) — As a card-carrying member of the Raymond Chandler fan club, I'm kind of required to like this. And yet ...
- 63A: Writer/critic Trilling (LIONEL) — Highbrow! I would've gone Richie.
- 65A: Hit computer game with the original working title Micropolis (SIM CITY) — showing my crime fiction / comics leanings here: I wrote in "SIN CITY"
- 70A: President who said "I'm an idealist without illusions" (KENNEDY) — president during the "Mad Men" years. I'm only up to 1962 (Season 2) right now.
- 85A: Country singer Griffith (NANCI) — my dad, sister and I all discovered her at same time and Love(d) her. I've seen her live twice. Huge talent. Sweet voice.
- 89A: Romance of 1847 (OMOO) — oh the wrong answers I had: first DRED (?!), then EMMA ...
- 117: Rapper ___-A-Che (RIC) — I am usually happy to see rap names in my puzzle, but honestly, I've never heard a thing by this guy. Let's see...
- 122A: "Idylls of the King" lady (ENID) — Arthurian lady in four letters, yeah, it's always ENID
- 70D: Noted Bauhaus artist (KLEE) — he's an artist with many influences and affiliations, and for some reason I can't make this Bauhaus association stick.
- 85D: Bedouins' trait (NOMADISM) — come on. It's not a religion. Bedouins are nomads, they are nomadic, yes, but are they really practicing NOMADISM?? Someone should produce a show about Bedouin ad execs called "Nomad Men."
- 102D: Liechtenstein's western border (RHINE) — I get my RHINE and RHONE confused. Happened again today.
- @DrJohnHWatson My sister keeps asking me stupid crossword questions i told her to stfu im trying to watch tv "blank fear or blank canaveral" SHUT UP
- @DrJohnHWatson IF MY SISTER DOESNT STFU I WILL SHOVE THE CROSSWORD DOWN HER THROAT BECAUSE IM TRYING TO WATCH HOUSE HERE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUC-
- @parvdos Some guy who really needed to brush sat down beside me on the subway & asked if he could sleep with me if he helped on the crossword #fml
- @matthewchurch Some women sitting across from me are discussing/spoiling the #TGAM crossword...had to put on headphones w/loud music
- @coheednsambria just watched a woman do a fucking crossword puzzle while she was driving. she then proceeded to cut me off.
- @Steoph The woman adjacent to me is doing the Herald crossword with a pen that is also a comb. Why would you want a comb pen? #busnews
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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