French department in Pyrenees / THU 3-10-11 / Country US goes to war Wag Dog / 1973 nonfiction best seller about woman with multiple personalities
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Constructor: Matt Ginsberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: WORDS PRONOUNCED / DIFFERENTLY / WHEN CAPITALIZED (16A: With 36- and 58-Across, what the answers to the starred clues are) — four theme answers fit the bill:
- READING (1A: *Poet's performance)
- RAINIER (65A: *Like Seattle vis-à-vis Phoenix)
- MOBILE (22D: *Not fixed)
- POLISH (31D: *Shine)
- [Update: when originally submitted, the puzzle had an asterisk on the clue for DIFFERENTLY as well ...]
Ariège (French pronunciation: [aʁjɛʒ]; Occitan: Arièja) is a department in southwestern France named after the Ariège River. // Ariège is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4th, 1790. It was created from the counties of Foix and Couserans. // Foix is the administrative capital of the Ariège. It is an ancient medieval town with a fortress Chateau de Foix perched on a hill overlooking it. The fortress has been attacked many times without capture, including an attempt by Simon de Montfort. It has also been used as a prison, and the names of English Prisoners of War can still be seen on the cell walls. Another famous chateau in the Ariège is Montségur, located on a rocky outcrop at a height of 1200 metres (3,900 ft). During the Albigensian Crusade and siege of 1244 AD the chateau was largely destroyed, with more than two hundred Cathar priests burnt at the stake as heretics. The chateau was gradually rebuilt by Royalists over a period of the next three hundred years.
- 14A: Country with which the U.S. goes to war in "Wag the Dog" (ALBANIA) — I'd completely forgotten this. Took a while to see, as I had THE BAY instead of the correct RAW BAR at 1D: Seafood lover's hangout for a while.
- 19A: 1973 nonfiction best seller about a woman with multiple personalities (SYBIL) — "SYBIL" was a term to be defined on the midterm I just gave. Not this SYBIL.
- 40A: Figures on the ceiling of la Cappella Sistina (ANGELI) — didn't take the time to notice that this was in Italian, so had ANGELS to start with...
- 54A: Bette's "Divine" stage persona (MISS M) — Gimme. A nice five-letter answer.
- 2D: Nancy Drew's aunt (ELOISE) — uh ... OK. Guessed it from the -ISE. Figured it wasn't Gary SINISE ... although I guess both DENISE and LOUISE were more plausible possibilities.
- 12D: Flower that shares its name with a tentacled sea creature (ANEMONE) — used this word in a puzzle once and have never forgotten it. My daughter asked me about a sea creature today. Specifically, her question was: "What's a Kraken?"
- 34D: Burglar in detective stories (YEGG) — one of the all-time great bits of olde-timey crime slang.
- 15A: Who "saved my life tonight" in a 1975 Elton John hit ("SOMEONE") — I love this clue, and this song. "Sugarbeeeaaaar"
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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