Out of Silence novelist Cox / SAT 2-12-11 / Leopard runner / Fabulous slacker / Cousin of avocet / Fifth-century capital of Visigoths / Piece of hood
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Erle Cox (15 August 1873 – 20 November 1950) was an Australian journalist and science fiction writer. [...] Out of the Silence, his best known novel, is set in Australia, and involves the discovery of a gigantic, buried sphere, containing the accumulated knowledge of a past civilization. It was published by The Argus in weekly instalments over a six month period in 1919. The first Australian edition in book form was published by Vidler, in 1925. The same year a British edition appeared (Hamilton), and in 1928 an American edition (Rae D. Henkle). In 1934 the book was adapted to a comic-strip format by an artist identified only as Hix. This pictorial version was published daily in The Argus in 120 episodes. In the same year the novel was dramatised for radio presentation as a 25 part serial. (wikipedia)
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The grid is mostly decent, but the cluing on this one rubbed me the wrong way over and over. It's as if every clue was trying So Hard to be tricky and misdirectional—and not in fun ways, but in forced ways. "Geneva-based org."? Oh, Geneva, NY!
Katy Perry had a #1 hit last year with "California Gurls." Much as I hate the song, I would've loved to see it in the grid. "In 2010, the song sold 4,398,000 digital copies in the US alone" (wikipedia).
But back to the grid—it's pretty nice. STATUTE LAW (25D: Result of bill-passing) and STATE TAXES (58A: Education supporters) are a bit soporific, but most of the other longish stuff is lovely. Really liked the WELL part of WELL, LA DI DA (56A: "Ooh, aren't you special!"), as well as the put-down pairing of YO MAMA JOKE and "WHAT A LOSER" (15A: All-purpose putdown). Also loved the full OREO COOKIE, as well as its clue, which took me a while to crack despite my having -OOKIE in the grid (12D: Its outsides are ornately embossed). Biggest problems for me today were in opposite corners of the grid. Didn't know COLORADO had a PLATEAU (17A: Region with the highest concentration of national parks in the U.S.) and so went with ROCKIES. Later, in the far SW corner, I used the "C" from CALIFORNIA GIRLS to get ICEE (not the correct TCBY, 44D: Tastee-Freez alternative). This mistake made "THE MISFITS" really hard to see (44A: 1961 film scripted by Arthur Miller). Lots of success early on in the NW corner, but getting YO MAMA, WHAT A, and COLORADO didn't help me get any of those answers completed right away. I also thought the "bearded" thing was a GNU (not a TIT).
- 40A: Fifth-century capital of the Visigoths (TOULOUSE) — interestingly, this answers is one letter off from a Robert Burns title: "TO A LOUSE"
- 21D: Leopard runner (MAC) — transparent (to me). My MAC runs Snow Leopard.
- 45D: Fabulous slacker (HARE) — more of the forced-misdirection-type cluing, though this one, in retrospect, I didn't mind so much. So what if no one associates "fabulous" with fables any more. . .
- 49D: "Another Pyramid" musical ("AIDA") — I love this clue (a gimme) because it sounds like something a very bored tourist would say. Musical (or opera) + Egypt + four letters = "AIDA."
- 43D: Cousin of an avocet (STILT) — that makes two "alternatives" and a "cousin" in this puzzle's clues. Maybe mix things up a little more. Speaking of the other "alternative" clue, I thought Honeycomb (the cereal) was plural, so TRIX didn't leap to mind as a [Honeycomb alternative]. "Honeycomb's big / yeah yeah yeah / It's not small / no no no!" Ah, the poetry of 70s TV commercials.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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