Princess loved by Hercules / THU 10-21-10 / Certain 1920s faddist / Cabinetmaker's hardware / Reddish-brown gem / Fraternity benefactors for short
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Constructor: Dan Naddor
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: BLOCK (48D: The 2x2 black square near the middle of this puzzle's grid, e.g., which is part of eight answers)— black square in center represents the word BLOCK in Across and Down answers that either run into it or emerge from it
Word of the Day: PIANO HINGE (3D: Cabinetmaker's hardware) —
- Piano hinge
- a long hinge, originally used for piano lids, but now used in many other applications where a long hinge is needed. (wikipedia)
I liked this puzzle. I like the BLOCK. I got the trick before ever seeing the BLOCK clue down in the SE. I wish the puzzle didn't even have that clue. It's unnecessary, and makes the puzzle easier than it needs to be. The grid is weird for many reasons, not least of which is all the long answers that have nothing to do with the theme. Never heard of a PIANO HINGE or BOTTOM ROUND (tried BOTTOM ROAST before realizing ROAST was in the clue) (21A: Butcher's roast cut). Wait ... what the ... this puzzle doesn't have rotational symmetry! OK, I like it less now. I guess it couldn't very well be symmetrical, with a 2x2 black square in the "middle." But ... yaargh, I'm getting a little woozy just trying to figure out the black square pattern.
- 6D: What a hammer may hit (AUCTION-)
- 7D: Author's bane (WRITER'S-)
- 39A: Neighborhood get-togethers (-PARTIES)
- 41A: It displays the connections between system components (-DIAGRAM)
- 43D: Smash hit (-BUSTER)
- 44D: Bit of comic strip text (-LETTER)
- 38A: Temporary lapse of memory (MENTAL-)
- 40A: Metal casting housing automotive cylinders (ENGINE-) — "METAL" is in the grid, but whatever ... (2D: Rock music genre)
- 15A: 1944 murder mystery directed by Otto Preminger ("LAURA") — one of the original film noirs. Good stuff.
- 16A: Jazz pianist with 16 Grammys (COREA) — I think Pat Metheny is playing at the University tonight. He and COREA may as well be the same person, as far as I'm concerned.
- 32A: O's overseas (OMICRONS) — these are Greek, right? Yup, 15th letter of Greek alphabet. Only just now noticed contrast between O-MICRON and O-MEGA. Small. Big. Weird.
- 1D: Fraternity benefactors, for short (ALUMS) — pretty specific clue for a pretty general group of people. Tough.
- 53D: Princess loved by Hercules (IOLE) — supercrosswordesey. I always forget her name, thinking it's IONE, or even IOLA ...
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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