Business TV newsman Ron / THU 2-3-11 / 1980s hairstyle long strand in back / Excellence as virtue ancient Greeks / King international prominence 1922
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Constructor: Matt Ginsberg
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: What's next ... ? Blank clues are supplied by the clue that follows (either Across or Down), e.g. with 17A: -- / 18A: Held up, [Held up] works for both clues; instructions for solving are in the grid itself: IF A CLUE / IS MISSING USE THE / NEXT ONE (Advice for solving this puzzle)
Word of the Day: Ron INSANA (35A: Business TV newsman Ron) —
Ron Insana (born March 31, 1961) is a reporter for Market Score Board Report with Ron Insana, syndicated by Compass, and a former Senior Analyst at CNBC. He was Managing Director of Insana Capital Partners from inception to collapse. He was the anchor of CNBC's "Street Signs", which aired weekdays during stock market hours. Until December 5, 2003, he and Sue Herera co-anchored CNBC's then flagship nightly financial news program, Business Center. He is a resident of Tenafly, NJ. (wikipedia)
I actually got the NW corner pretty quickly despite the blank clues. I had no idea why RAKES and BORNE were there, but they fit, so I just moved on. Then there was just stoppage, all over the place. North was almost empty, even after I got SPONGE. Middle, as I say, not happening. I know the hair style as a RAT TAIL, not RAT'S TAIL (44A: 1980s hairstyle with a long strand in the back), so I was all messed up over there. It was very late in the game before I even looked at the clues for STYX (40D: Frightful river to cross) and TYS (46A: Baseball's Cobb and others), both of which were gimmes. Not sure what took me so long to see them—they really would've helped get the "USE" part of the instructions, which was a mystery to me for a while. Had CASTE for NASTY (49D: Rank). Wanted AIR for SOW (43A: Broadcast). TANS for SUNS (48A: Goes for the bronze?). ATTAR for ESTER (67A: Perfume ingredient).
Got APERTURE before I ever had the theme. Thought I might have to solve almost the whole damn thing by just intuiting the answers, but I finally broke the post-MISSING part of the instructions and then things weren't so bad.
- 10A: Longest river entirely in Switzerland (AARE) — Educated guess / gimme. Crosswordese. Comes in handy.
- 19A: Slaughter who dashed home to win the 1946 World Series (ENOS) — another gimme. This is how I pieced together APERTURE.
- 32A: There is a "super" one every four yrs. (TUE.) — Nice clue, though I want "Super" to be capitalized...
- 58A: Earl of ___ (Sir Anthony Eden) (AVON) — no idea ... but guessed correctly.
- 1D: Official traditionally seen in a black hat (RABBI) — no idea why, but this was the first answer that popped to mind (when REF and UMPIRE came and went, that is).
- 21D: Like the poem "Tam o' Shanter" (BURNSIAN) — Easy, but weird. Why does he get his own adjective? I mean, that's some Shakespeare / Chaucer STATUS right there. You'd never say a poem was ANGELOUSIAN. In fact, do any women have adjective status? AUSTENIAN? No. DICKINSONIAN ... I think that's a word. Not as common as DICKENSIAN, but real nonetheless. I think. Moving on.
- 33D: "Choice" agcy. (USDA) — Tricky. Beef! Had to get "Pro-Choice" out of my head.
- 45D: King who gained international prominence in 1922 (TUT) — stupid TANS kept me from seeing this for Far too long.
- 22A: Excellence as a virtue, to ancient Greeks (ARETE) — that's going pretty far out of your way to hide your crosswordese...
- 4D: Harem guard, typically (EUNUCH) — good-looking word. Do harems still exist and are they still guarded by EUNUCHs? Seems like something I learned from western caricatures of eastern potentates. No idea about historical validity or persistence. I do, however, know that ODA is the name of a harem chamber. You don't see it that much any more, thankfully, but it's still handy to know.
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