Flapper of old toondom / MON 9-13-10 / Wabbit's wival / Ending for female smurf / Scandalous 1919 Chicago baseball team
Monday, September 13, 2010
Constructor: Aimee Lucido, Brown University '13
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: BROWN (40A: Word that can precede the starts of 17- and 62-Across and 11- and 35-Down)
- BEAR WITH ME (17A: "I'll be through in a minute")
- SUGAR DADDY (62A: Husband of a trophy wife, maybe)
- BETTY BOOP (11D: Flapper of old toondom)
- NOSEDIVES (35D: Loses altitude fast)
Word of the Day: AUGIE March (66A: ___ March, Saul Bellow protagonist) —
The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman, tracing the development of an individual through a series of encounters, occupations and relationships from boyhood to manhood. (wikipedia)
• • •A very Monday Monday. I typically do not enjoy these "special week" puzzles. Usually, concessions are made in puzzle quality in order to accommodate whatever big idea is supposed to unite the week. Today, the puzzle is just fine, though I have heard several times, from several editors, some version of "I'm not keen on accepting 'word that can precede / word that can follow' puzzles any more; too trite a concept"—and yet, here we are. A straight-over-the-plate 'word that can precede' puzzle. As that theme type goes, this is a good puzzle. Many lively answers, and (god bless you, Aimee) almost zero crap. Rock solid, everywhere you look. Could've done without the EPSOM / EPSON pairing (and so close together), but other than that, no complaints. Love PORK CHOP (despite the awkward clue — 4D: Serving in Homer Simpson's favorite dinner — "serving in a dinner" is horrible phrasing) and and BETTY BOOP and BLACK SOX (40D: Scandalous 1919 Chicago baseball team). Nice work.
Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?I got mildly slowed down at 1A: Homes for hens (COOPS) (I wrote NESTS—idiot), and then 9D: What a paleontologist reconstructs (SKELETON) (confused paleontologist with archaeologist), and 55D: Freak (out) (FLIP) (no idea what I was thinking, but I had to hack at crosses to see answer). Those slow-downs were pretty minor, and I ended with a pretty average Monday time (very low 3s). I really should be solving on paper now—that's how it's done at tournaments, and on fast puzzles I swear I spend a good chunk of my time fixing my own stupid typos. Whatever time I'm gaining by typing (fast), I'm losing by clumsily navigating the grid with these lummoxy fingers of mine. Ugh.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Heh heh heh... ooh... yeah... right, Lisa. A wonderful... magical animal.
I think Natan Last, who was (I think) Will's assistant this past summer, is also at Brown, so I'd be shocked if we didn't see a puzzle from him this week. . . I'd also be at least mildly surprised if it wasn't the best puzzle of the week. We'll see. . . we will see. No pressure, Natan.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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