Style guru Gunn / SAT 10-2-10 / German equivalent of Time / Millennio divisions / Alberto VO5 rival / Chimera in part
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Der Spiegel (German pronunciation: [deːɐ ˈʃpiːɡəl], "The Mirror") is a German weekly magazine, published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind with a weekly circulation of more than one million. // The first edition of the Der Spiegel was published in Hanover on 4 January 1947, a Saturday. Its release was initiated and sponsored by the British occupational administration and preceded by a magazine titled, Diese Woche (This Week), which had first been published in November 1946. After disagreements with the British, the magazine was handed over to Rudolf Augstein as chief editor, and was renamed Der Spiegel. From the first edition in January 1947, Augstein held the position of editor-in-chief, which he retained until his death on 7 November 2002. [...] Der Spiegel is similar in style and layout to American news magazines such as Time or Newsweek. In terms of the breadth and amount of detail in its articles it is comparable to the Atlantic Monthly. It is known in Germany for its distinctive, academic writing style and its large volume—a standard issue may run 200 pages or more. Typically, it has a content to advertising ratio of 2:1. // As of 2010, Der Spiegel was employing the equivalent of 80 full-time fact checkers, which the Columbia Journalism Review called "most likely the world’s largest fact checking operation" (wikipedia)
• • •A smooth, interesting puzzle—a decent way to end a very rough week of puzzles. Pretty easy overall, though compared to yesterday's puzzle, it was a bear. I had never heard of NO SUCH AGENCY (9D: Organization nickname that plays off the group's secrecy) as a nickname of the NSA, but other than that, there was nothing strange or new to me in this grid—which is just fine. Better to end with a completely familiar grid filled with solid, recognizable words and names than a grid with a lot of nutso names, weird short words, odd abbrevs., etc. AN ARM (43A: "Hast thou ___ like God?": Job 40:9) was the only thing in the whole grid that felt a bit ugly. The rest was was creamy peanut butter. Not my favorite kind of peanut butter, but it'll still make a satisfying sandwich.
Got off the ground easily with SSTS at 1A: Onetime J.F.K. visitors and PEEK (14A: Furtive look) (later changed to PEEP) and RANI (16A: Eastern dignitary). Those gave me SPRIG (1D: Garnish amount) and TEN DOLLARS (3D: Value of a U.S. coronet head coin, minted from 1838 to 1907), and then the DER gave me SPIEGEL instantly, which gave me plenty of crosses to pick up GOOGLE SEARCH (21A: Producer of hits). BLAST FURNACE (19D: Coke product maker) also went in easily, meaning that I had cut deep into the heart of the puzzle inside of a couple minutes. PRIMAL SCREAM (44A: Supposed aid in curing neurosis) took just a few letters to pick up too, but, as I said, NO SUCH AGENCY didn't fall nearly as easy as those other three 11s—got the entire NO SUCH part from crosses. This made the NE generally the toughest part of the grid. Made a rookie mistake by plunking down EVADE and not considering ELUDE at 6D: Get around. This held up the otherwise obvious CALIFORNIA (15A: Orange's place), clued via a city where I actually lived for a year or so of my very young life. Once ELUDE fell, everything up there became as easy as the rest of the puzzle. Only other (brief) struggle involved wondering what a GOOT was. Turns out I'd misspelled MAID MARIAN (as MARION) (27D: Legendary outlaw's companion), and the beast I was really looking for was a GOAT (56A: Chimera, in part).
- 30A: She's a problem that needs to be solved, in song (MARIA) — a gimme. For me. I thought this was from "West Side Story," but whatever—I got it right.
- 32A: Need for des poissons (EAU) — if they want to live, yes, fish NEED water.
- 34A: Activity for folks in the pits? (TRADING) — wanted a racing term here.
- 36A: Style guru Gunn (TIM) — made recently famous by his recurrent role on "Project Runway," as well as his role in a recent Marvel comic.
- 2D: Irish playwright who wrote "Cock-a-Doodle Dandy" (SEAN O'CASEY) — I think I know his name only from xwords. Had the SEAN, and the O'CASEY just came floating out of my brain somehow.
- 11D: Millennio divisions (ANNI) — tried to end this with an "S" at first. Quickly fixed.
- 28D: Product of some relief pitches? (TUMS) — got it instantly. Or, rather, guessed it instantly, and it ended up being correct.
- 30D: Words to live by (MAXIM) — Besides EVADE, my one persistent wrong answer: off the "M," I confidently wrote in MOTTO.
- 31D: Commercial ending with Power (ADE) — I like this better than [Summer quaff] or whatever the going clue for ADE is now. ADE is far more familiar (in the non-xword world) as a suffix than as a stand-alone word.
- 44D: Alberto VO5 rival (PRELL) — I don't know enough about shampoos to know why one should be any more a "rival" of VO5 than another, but I had the "P" so I didn't have to think too hard.
- 46D: Newswoman Logan and others (LARAS) — learned her from crossowords, and committing her name to memory has paid off big.
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