Dolly matchmaker / WED 3-30-11 / Foreman portrayer House / Illness caused eating Cheetos / Newspapers read by royalty
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Constructor: Erik Wennstrom
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: RED-SHIFTED (47A: Lie light from stars moving away from us ... or like the answer to this puzzle's starred clues?) — familiar two-word phrases where first word is a color that is re-colored by the addition of red, i.e. BLUEPRINT becomes BLUE+red PRINT, or PURPLEPRINT
Word of the Day: Atacama (69A: Like the Atacama=SERE) —
The Atacama Desert is one of the few deserts on Earth that does not receive any rain. It is a plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains. The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world, due to the rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current. The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2) in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and felsic lava flows towards the Andes. (wikipedia)
Started out pretty easy as I moved diagonally through the grid, but the theme stuff just didn't make any sense to me for the longest time. Also, let me tell you that when you are looking at an answer that reads ---TNT, you are bound to doubt the accuracy of your answers. MUSTN'T, ugh. Clue did nothing for me, yet again (a theme!) (52A: "___ touch!"). I only hope that others liked this more than I did. My distaste is much more a matter of, well, taste than it is a matter of truly poor construction.
- 22A: Foreman portrayer on "House" (EPPS) — "How am I supposed to know the characters on ... oh, right, that's the one with Omar EPPS. Nevermind." He's the ESAI Morales of the 21st century (which will probably be news to ESAI himself, who is still working, as far as I know).
- 43A: Often-mocked cars of the past (YUGOS) — another clue that took me way too long to solve. My mocked car list had one model on it: EDSEL.
- 51A: Opportunities for discussion (FORA) — another toughie. Unusual plural.
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West-coasters should consider coming out and supporting the Crosswords L.A. Tournament on Sunday, May 1, 2011, at Loyola-Marymount University. It's a charity tournament that benefits "Reading to Kids." This year the tournament will feature all original puzzles commissioned specifically for the tournament by some amazing constructors (I know—I've seen/tested the puzzles). You can compete as an individual or as part of a pair, and those who would rather not compete can register as a spectator. But really, you should compete. Don't worry if you don't think of yourself as "competitive." Most people will be there to have fun, solve good puzzles, and socialize. The vibe is very laid-back (it's practically on the beach, after all). For more information, and to register, go here. Better yet, go here, to the "Frequently Asked Questions" page. Very thorough. And spread the word.