Jocular term for fear of palindromes / WED 5-4-11 / Argonaut who slew Castor / Pole tossed in Scottish competition / Phrase inspired by Napoleon
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Constructor: Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: U-TURN (65A: Maneuver required five times to finish this puzzle) — five Downs appear to end in a single, unchecked letter, but make sense if you read Down and then (making a U-TURN) read back up again
Word of the Day: REDLINING (8D: Discriminatory insurance practice) —
Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, or even supermarkets to residents in certain, often racially determined, areas. The term "redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a Northwestern University sociologist and community activist. It describes the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate the area where banks would not invest; later the term was applied to discrimination against a particular group of people (usually by race or sex) no matter the geography. During the heyday of redlining, the areas most frequently discriminated against were black inner city neighborhoods. For example, in Atlanta, through at least the 1980s, this practice meant that banks would often lend to lower-income whites but not to middle- or upper-income blacks. (wikipedia)
- 2D: Lionized (DEIF[IED])
- 7D: Phrase inspired by Napoleon (ABLE WAS I ER[E I SAW ELBA)
- 12D: Kind of cuff (ROTA[TOR])
- 25D: Classic introduction (MADAM, I'[M ADAM]) — here's one thing I don't like: two of the theme answers are famous palindromes, phrases that exist only because some palindrome-lover invented them. This makes them unlike DEIFIED and ROTATOR, which are ordinary words that just happen to be palindromes, and AIBOHPHOBIA, a "jocular" term I've never seen before (30D: Jocular term for fear of palindromes)
Had trouble in the west with the Obscure IDAS (35A: Argonaut who slew Castor), and the odd SAN, which seems like it should have some Spanish-word-indicator somewhere in the clue (39A: Gabriel, for one). I went to school in the San Gabriel Valley. My graduating classes motto was ... palindrome. No fooling. I was class of 1991. Never heard of YATES (56A: Eastwood's "Rawhide" role), but most everything else seemed gettable. ORNE and ATTU and IRANI represent some unfortunate exotic crosswordese, but the BLESS YOU / YES, MASTER (49A: Genie's affirmative) / DR. WATSON (37D: Noted literary narrator) trifecta means that I hardly notice the garbage.
- 21D: Pardner's mount (HOSS) — If you have enough Rs in you to say "Pardner," then you can damn sure say "horse."
- 31D: Swing accompanier (SLIDE) — Me: "What's a 'swing & slide'? ... *oh*, like on a playground. OK."
- 32A: Exchanges (MARTS) — as in "my wife and I marted vows 8 years ago..."
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