Tennis winner's declaration / MON 4-18-11 / Distance on Erie Canal in song / Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 / Theater backdrop / Rod-shaped bacteria
Monday, April 18, 2011
Constructor: James Tuttle
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: GAME SET MATCH (57A: Tennis winner's declaration)— theme answers begin with tennis scores: LOVE, FIFTEEN, THIRTY, FORTY, ending with GAME SET MATCH!
Word of the Day: SIVA (58D: One of the Hindu trinity) —
Shiva ([...] meaning "auspicious one" ) is a major Hindu deity, and the Destroyer or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God. Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas (Sanskrit Śaiva). Shaivism, along with Vaiṣṇava traditions that focus on Vishnu and Śākta traditions that focus on the goddess Shakti, is one of the most influential denominations in Hinduism. (wikipedia)
Did this untimed on the couch during commercials while watching DVR'd Thursday sitcoms. Felt easier than usual, but with a handful of specialized answers and a couple odd theme answers to give it a tiny bit of bite. It's a cute little theme, though FIFTEEN MILES isn't great as a stand-alone answers. FIFTEEN MINUTES (unit of fame) or FIFTEEN PERCENT (common tip) would've been great, but those are both 14, and 14s are Hard to make work, especially in a five-theme-answer grid. Other answers seem fine, and FIFTEEN MILES is certainly gettable (if you know the old song), so no big loss. STELA (23A: Inscribed pillar), SIVA (58D: One of the Hindu trinity), and SCRIM (55D: Theater backdrop) are slightly advanced, as Monday fare goes, and THANE was clued in such a way (56D: Feudal baron) that I needed several crosses to see it (no "Macbeth" clue today). Think of Hasbro and Fisher-Price as TOY companies or TOY brands. Think of elves as TOY MAKERs (speaking of elves, Will Ferrell was in "Elf," and Will Ferrell was in the episode of "The Office" I was watching while solving this puzzle—top that for meaningless coincidences!).
- 20A: Tricky romantic relationship (LOVE TRIANGLE) — I think of a TRIANGLE as involving at least two relationships, plural.
- 28A: Distance on the Erie Canal, in song (FIFTEEN MILES)
- 38A: One approaching middle age (THIRTY-SOMETHING) — how in the World was this not clued as the '80s/'90s TV show???
- 46A: "Arabian Nights" band (FORTY THIEVES) — clue makes it sound like we're looking for a musical group that had a hit with the song "Arabian Nights"
- 9A: Karate schools (DOJOS) — Yes. Yes. Not TAI chi schools (21D: ___ chi (martial art)). Karate schools. Glad that's clear now.
- 19A: English P.M. William and others (PITTS) — this seems a slightly advanced Monday clue as well. This one is Pitt the Younger.
- 25D: Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 (EL CID) — had -LCI- and filled it in without looking. Risky? Not very.
- 31D: Rod-shaped bacteria (E. COLI) — I did not know rodlikeness was its distinguishing characteristic.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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