Feldshuh of Brewster's Millions / THU 10-7-10 / Outdoor retail promotion / Cartoon 23 best-selling books / Carrier overseer / Nimbus launcher 1964
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Constructor: Patrick Blindauer
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: HEXAGON (40A: Figure that shares a property with this puzzle) — there are six SIDEs in this puzzle, all of them arranged along the SIDEs of the grid, as part of answers that feature 90-degree turns
Word of the Day: TOVAH Feldshuh (3D: Feldshuh of "Brewster's Millions") —
Tovah Feldshuh (born December 27, 1952) is an American actress, singer and playwright. [...] Feldshuh appeared on the stage under the name Terri Fairchild before deciding to incorporate her Hebrew name and her original surname as her professional name Tovah Feldshuh. She made her Broadway debut in the short-lived 1973 musical Cyrano starring Christopher Plummer. She appeared in the title role in Yentl both off-Broadway at the Chelsea Theater Center and later on Broadway. Both productions are detailed in the book, Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater, which describes tensions between Feldshuh and director Robert Kalfin over the play's interpretation. [...] Feldshuh has a recurring role as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on Law & Order. Feature film appearances have included The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal, A Walk on the Moon, Happy Accidents, Brewster's Millions, The Idolmaker, The Blue Iguana, A Day in October, The Believer, Just My Luck, and Kissing Jessica Stein. (wikipedia)
- 1D: Outdoor retail promotion (SIDEWALK SALE)
- 7A: Cartoon featured in 23 best-selling books ("THE FAR SIDE")
- 30A: In America (STATESIDE)
- 34D: Graze, in way (SIDESWIPE)
- 58A: Where marmots and chamois live (MOUNTAINSIDE)
- 55D: Southwestern rattler (SIDEWINDER)
Got a slow start, mostly because of TOVAH, but also because of SLEWS ("a slew of something," yes; "SLEWS," awkwarder); oh, and that point I hadn't figured out the theme, so a four-letter word for outdoor retail promotion just made no sense. Meandered through middle of grid (got HEXAGON before I knew how the theme was supposed to play out), and then finally, after struggling a bit in the east, I picked up the theme at STATESIDE. Puzzle went down quickly after that, and I thought it felt fairly easy overall, but my time was definitely higher than normal for me for a Thursday. Checked at the NYT site and some very fast solvers had some not-so-fast times, so ... I guess it did play on the tough side, though in retrospect, I don't really understand why (beyond the initial "WTF is the theme?" delay).
- 4A: Chinese dynasty at the time of Christ (HAN) — This was a guess based on knowing HAN as a Chinese ethnicity.
- 14A: 1983 Randy Newman song ("I LOVE L.A.") — Hated it. Loved "Short People," though:
- 38A: "Star Wars" surname (KENOBI) — I had no idea "Star Wars" characters had surnames and given names or family names or whatever. It all just sounds so made up. I figured OBI-WAN KENOBI was like JAR-JAR or YODA. I mean ... what's Yoda's "surname?"
- 6D: Nimbus launcher of 1964 (NASA) — Most of your "launcher" clues are gonna be NASA.
- 7D: Number that looks like the letter yogh (THREE) — hey, my specific grad school training finally got me a crossword answer. About time.
- 10D: Carrier overseer, for short (FAA) — first thought was that "carrier" had something to do with the post office. Oh, and I messed up the postal clue at first too (65D: Rural env. abbr.). I had RPO and then RFD before realizing that the "R" stood for "rural," which is in the damned clue (answer is RTE). Also, RPO is an initialism that I apparently made up. If anyone asks you, it stands for "rural post office."
- 40D: Uto-Aztecan language (HOPI) — "UTO" is an word part you (mercifully) rarely if ever see in the grid. Let's hope it stays in the clues, where it belongs (if it belongs anywhere).
- 57D: Palio di ___ (Italian race horse) (ASTI) — tough clue; thankfully, I never saw it. SW was my fastest section.
- 60D: "The ___ Game" (1965 Shirley Ellis hit) ("NAME") — one last musical interlude
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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