Magazine opposed to Cuban trade embargo / WED 1-26-11 / 2000 election scrap / Rapper Combs a k a Diddy / River in 1914 battle
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Constructor: David Murchie
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: NEAR / MISS (1A: With 65-Across, the starts of 20-, 26-, 43- and 51-Across taken together) — first words of four theme answers spell out the phrase "CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR"
Word of the Day: GATT (53D: Intl. commerce pact replaced by the W.T.O.) —
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (typically abbreviated GATT) was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). GATT was formed in 1949 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995. The original GATT text (GATT 1947) is still in effect under the WTO framework, subject to the modifications of GATT 1994. (wikipedia)
- 20A: Alien abductions, e.g. (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS)
- 26A: "All kidding aside ..." ("BUT SERIOUSLY...")
- 43A: Unwelcome sign for a sales rep ("NO SOLICITING")
- 51A: Magazine opposed to the Cuban trade embargo ("CIGAR AFICIONADO")
- 15A: "Double" facial feature (CHIN) — that's about as polite as that clue, with that frame of reference, could've been.
- 39A: Ring around the collar, say (DINGE) — somehow I much, much prefer this word in adjectival form. This is perhaps because "DINGE" is a dated racial slur. "Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a black person." I know this from reading lots of old crime fiction, I think.
- 40A: Chamonix setting (ALPS) — Chamonix was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924
- 51D: 2000 election scrap (CHAD) — thought "scrap" meant "tussle" or "fight" ...
- 31D: River in a 1914 battle (YSER) — a pretty standard YSER clue, I think. YSER and ST. LO are two ultra-common four-letter xword words brought to us (or made famous to us, at any rate) by World Wars (I and II, respectively). Actually, they were made famous to me by crosswords.
- 26D: Low man at the Met (BASSO) — and not, as you suspected, the guy who has to hand-wash Pavarotti's sweat-stained costumes.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]