Company concerned with automobile history / THU 2-17-11 / Andy's dinosaur in Toy Story / Radioactive enemy of Captain Marvel / Cutesy in London
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Constructor: Mike Nothnagel
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: WAR & PEACE (33D: What's broken out of the answers to the starred clues? & 40A: Opposite of 30-Down) — WAR is removed from familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: ASHLAND (4D: Henry Clay's historic Kentucky estate) —
Ashland is the name of the plantation of the nineteenth-century Kentucky statesman Henry Clay, located in Lexington, Kentucky, in the central Bluegrass region of the state. It is a registered National Historic Landmark. // The Ashland Stakes, a Thoroughbred horse race at Keeneland Race Course run annually since the race course first opened in 1936, was named for the historically important estate.
- 18A: *Photogenic athlete from Cincinnati? (HANDSOME RE
- 22A: *Cozy rooms for playing? (GAME
- 56A: *Social gathering for auction participants? (BUYER BE
- 61A: *Diatribes from captured criminals? (ARREST
- 3D: *Commercial for a private school? (ACADEMY A
- 35D: *Expose oneself to a former U.S. president? (FLASH FOR
There were several answers about which I had no clue, but they fell easily from crosses. These included ASHLAND, which I know much better as the site of an annual Shakespeare Festival, and Lew AYRES, whose name I've seen before, but only in crosswords (53D: 1948 Best Actor nominee for "Johnny Belinda"). Love the way the puzzle steered around a partial at AND ... GO! (7D: "Start ... now!"). That could so easily have been [Touch ___]. It's funny how dated PRETEENS looks now (39D: Much of Nickelodeon's target audience). That word has been largely supplanted by TWEENS. They're the same group of kids, right? I'm not criticizing PRETEENS; it's a fine word. Just observing how quickly language can change.
- 29A: Food made from fermented beans (MISO) — ugh, embarrassing how long this took me. Wanted TOFU, then had the M and S and wanted ... I don't know, MASH? I'm pretty sure we have a container of MISO in our fridge...
- 43A: Indian city now known as Chennai (MADRAS) — I did not know that. CHENNAI seems like a word that wants to be in crosswords, but I've never seen it (to my knowledge). Got this answer easily from just a cross or two.
- 24D: Halloween costume, maybe (CORPSE) — I don't get this clue at all. Even after getting CORP- I refused to write in the answer. A CORPSE is not a costume. A sheet—that's a costume. But a CORPSE? And plus, don't you mean "zombie?" A CORPSE would not be much of a costume. You'd just ... lie there. If you are animated (ambulatory, etc.), then you are not a CORPSE; you are undead. This distinction is important.
- 25D: Cutesy, in London (TWEE) — got this right away. This was a word I had never seen or heard used before 2008, when I first encountered it as a genre of contemporary music.
- 37D: Marked, as a questionnaire (X'D IN) — this answer looks wrong, but feels right, so ... I'll allow it.
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