Feature of many Judd Apatow films / MON 2-21-11 / 1971 Gay Talese title derived Ten Commandments / 1950s-60s TV studio / Flavorful citrus parts
Monday, February 21, 2011
Constructor: Ed Sessa
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: NWES (64A: Compass points (seen spelled out in 20-, 26-, 43- and 53-Across))— EAST, WEST, SOUTH, and NORTH, respectively, are found embedded in four theme answers
Word of the Day: PHINEAS T. BARNUM (20A: He's famous for the words "There's a sucker born every minute") —
Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. (wikipedia)
- NSEW is a wreck of a revealer, a nonsense letter combo that has no business posing as legitimate fill; further,
- The directions don't even appear in that order in the grid! I mean maybe, Maybe if NSEW represented the order of appearance of the directions, I would tolerate it. But as you can see, the directions appear not in the order NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST, but EAST, WEST, SOUTH, NORTH; further,
- Only one theme answer has the ideal structure for a theme of this nature, where the embedded word touches every element of the theme answer—GROSS-OUT HUMOR works, whereas the others leave words hung out in mid-air (BARNUM, UNITED, and FATHER don't have any part of the directions inside them)
- No one calls him PHINEAS T. BARNUM. He's P.T. BARNUM, or, I suppose, PHINEAS TAYLOR BARNUM. To write out the P. but not the T. feels arbitrary and preposterous.
Wife thinks it should have been CAB FARE and not BUS FARE, and my friend Donna doesn't like [Baby's headgear] as a clue for BONNET. "It's disturbing imagery. When I think of "headgear," I think of things that support the head or protect the head or adjust the teeth ... or things for people who fall a lot. Babies just don't do that." Her alternative clue: [Something nobody wears except Laura Ingalls Wilder].
- 20A: He's famous for the words "There's a sucker born every minute" (PHINEAS T. BARNUM)
- 26A: Words of solidarity (UNITED WE STAND)
- 43A: Feature of many a Judd Apatow films (GROSS-OUT HUMOR)
- 53A: 1971 Gay Talese title derived from one of the Ten Commandmenets ("HONOR THY FATHER")
I think GROSS-OUT HUMOR is going to give people mild trouble today—it's not something that leaps to mind when I think of Apatow's movies, though it's perfectly accurate. Also, perhaps people aren't that familiar with the Talese title. I'm sure there are some who didn't know P.T. Barnum's first name was PHINEAS. Hence my rating it on the tough side of average for a Monday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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