1973 Jim Croce album / SAT 5-28-11 / C ration replacer / Counterpart of Selene / Issuer of 1986 report on pornography / Funicular alternative
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Charro is a term referring to a traditional horseman from Mexico, originating in the central-western regions primarily in the state of Jalisco including: Zacatecas, Durango, Guanajuato, Morelos, Puebla. The terms Vaquero and Ranchero (Cowboy and Rancher) are similar to the Charro but different in culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing, tradition and social status. // The traditional Mexican charro is known for colorful clothing and participating in coleadero y charreada, a specific type of Mexican rodeo. The charreada, or corrida, is the national sport in Mexico, and is regulated by the Federación Mexicana de Charrería. (wikipedia)
I experienced no significant hold-ups. Plugged "I" into the beginning of 1A: "Shhhh!" follower, figuring it would be some variant on "I'm workin' here!" or "I'm trying to sleep!" I was wrong, but that "I" immediately got me "I GOT A NAME" (1D: 1973 Jim Croce album => tip of the hat to my dad on that one), and that gave me a Lot of first letters in the crosses. Struggled a teeny bit with LE HAVRE (27D: City on the Seine), but followed ED MEESE (42D: Issuer of a 1986 report on pornography) easily into that SE corner and then back up around to the NW, which was the toughest part of the grid for me. Thought 18A: "The Eighth Wonder of the World," informally was K-TWO. Then I thought it was K-ONE (there's a K-ONE, right?), which is *very* close to KONG. So I had -NEER at 14D: Inflame and thought "SNEER? That's terrible." Indeed. Tried LUNA at 11A: Counterpart of Selene (correct), and got ANEER. Bah. Not right. Finally pulled the "E" in K-ONE and there was ANGER, and that was that, except for the little SW corner, which I somehow drove right past on my first lap around the grid. UTTER for ULTRA (49D: Extremely) slowed me down a bit, but not much.
Found a couple parts of the puzzle, er, puzzling. Shouldn't the clue for ABE LINCOLN in some way signal that you're going for the familiar, abbreviated form of his name? (58A: Political leader who patented a system to alter the buoyancy of steamboats). All the crosses said "LINCOLN," but I hesitated for a bit because of this cluing issue. I was going to ask what a SIT-BESIDE was (!?), but then I realized that "neighbor" in the clue 3D: Neighbor in the bleachers, say was being used as a verb. Glad that's sorted out.
- 20A: Dwellers in the Southern Carpathians (SERBS) — did my typical "Slavs or SERBS?" teetering before making the right choice.
- 25A: Longtime Disney name (EISNER) — might have proven tough if I hadn't had the first three letters in place before I saw the clue.
- 50A: C ration replacer (MR. E) — people think the phrase is "mystery meat." They are mistaken.
- 25D: Home to a famous geodesic sphere (EPCOT) — crossing EISNER, nice.
- 54D: Funicular alternative (T-BAR) — seems I have no idea what a "funicular" is. I thought it was something to do with interior decoration, like a newel post or curtain rod or something. But no. It's a sort of inclined railway.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]