Early Windows underpinning / FRI 4-15-11 / 2007 film featuring heavily tattooed main character / But wait there's more company / One tenth microjoule
Friday, April 15, 2011
- Finely pulverized gypsum used in making paper and paints and as a nutrient for growing yeast.
[New Latin : Latin terra, earth + Latin alba, feminine of albus, white.]
• • •A couple of absolute puzzlers ("EASTERN PROMISES," TERRA ALBA) didn't slow me down here. Loads of gimmes and predominantly smooth, in-the-language fill made this one both very doable and very enjoyable. Only negative for me was CREATION SCIENCE. What the hell is that? Science? I don't think so. You can be a creationist, OK, but you do not get to have the word "SCIENCE" anywhere near you. Creationism is the opposite of "SCIENCE." Clue should have signaled the general ridiculousness of the concept. From wikipedia:
The scientific community states that Creation Science is a religious, not a scientific view, and that Creation science does not qualify as science because it lacks empirical support, supplies no tentative hypotheses, and resolves to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes.Creation science has been characterized as a pseudo-scientific attempt to map the Bible into scientific facts.
I can't fault the puzzle—CREATION SCIENCE is a ... thing, and the clue didn't take a stance on its validity. But yuck. Thankfully, though, as I say, the rest of the puzzle is delightful. Names like P.D. JAMES and JOSEY Wales and HERMIONE GRANGER helped me open this one up fairly easily. Actually, I refused to budge from 1A: "The Children of Men" author because I *knew* that I knew her, but couldn't remember her name—and man, was it irritating me. "Unexpected author ... normally writes in totally different genre ... you own books by her ... Gah!" Once I changed DAVID to PIETA, P.D. JAMES leapt straight to mind. Favorite moment of puzzle was a wrong answer—Off the initial "S" at 7D: Typical tabloid writers, I wrote in SLEAZE MERCHANTS. It fits. And it's awesome. Sadly, it's not right. I believe "EASTERN PROMISES" is a movie with that guy from "The Road" in it, possibly about ... something Russian. Yes, Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, Russian mafia, etc.
Wanted DIG for PIT (18D: Mine), and "It's a SNAP" instead of "It's a SIGN" (20A). Just polished off the entire run of "Arrested Development," where one of the highlights was Scott BAIO playing lawyer Bob Loblaw. So much ridiculous name-based humor, which probably shouldn't have made me laugh as much as it did.
Final letter was the "B" in SUBPART / TERRA ALBA. Neither word wanted to be discovered.
- 5D: Bully in "Calvin and Hobbes" (MOE) — Did not know. I've always liked the comic, but was in college when it was big, and I didn't read the funnies anymore at that point, so I don't know the strip as well as I might have had I been slightly younger (or a good deal younger—didn't get a local paper with comics in it again until my late 30s).
- 46D: "But wait, there's more!" company (RONCO) — I don't remember anything they sold, but boy do I remember that slogan and the RONCO name. Oh, RONCO is Ron Popeil's co., the co. behind Mr. Microphone!
- 51D: Where the 2003 true-life film "Touching the Void" is set (PERU) — Never heard of it. "True-life" strikes me as a weird qualifier. That's different from a documentary how? Hmm, it seems there is documentary footage (interviews) mixed in with reenactment performed by actors. Main question: why have any qualifier? Why not just "2003 film?"
- 58A: Kind of jam in a sacher torte (APRICOT) — Something I learned recently. And then forgot. Until just now.
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PS here's a new puzzle for you: "Ides of April" (.pdf or .puz version available here). Enjoy! (to see solution or make comments, please go here)
Ides of April