Late marathoner Waitz / TUE 5-31-11 / Paparazzo's target briefly / Holy Roman emperor dubbed Great / Potter pal Weasley
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
- BLACKJACK (17A: Something to play at a casino)
- SPOTS ON A DIE (25A: Pips)
- FIFTIES GAME SHOW (41A: Jack Barry once hosted a rigged one)
- NEW YORK CLUB (51A: Place for Manhattanites to drink and dance)
Grete Waitz (1 October 1953 – 19 April 2011) was a Norwegian marathon runner, who won nine New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988, more than any other runner in history. She also won a silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Finland. (wikipedia)
• • •Not a fan of this one at all. Never have liked definition-answers, which is essentially what these are, and this set felt both wobbly and awkwardly clued. Pointlessly vague clue on BLACKJACK (17A: Something to play at a casino). Oddly general FIFTIES GAME SHOW (only sensible answer to that clue—41A: Jack Barry once hosted a rigged one—is GAME SHOW; "Hey," said Jack Barry, "I host a FIFTIES GAME SHOW." Uh, no). Depressingly anticlimactic (and also oddly general) NEW YORK CLUB ("Hey, Manhattanites, let's go out to that NEW YORK CLUB everyone is talking about!" Uh, no). The reason I say that NEW YORK CLUB is "depressingly anticlimactic" is because I really Really wanted the answer to be THE STORK CLUB, both because it's a perfect answer for the clue—51A: Place for Manhattanites to drink and dance (*much* better than the baloney we end up with)—and because it's just a great answer, period, one that would make any grid proud. But alas, not today. Non-theme fill was fair to middling—a nice answer here and there, but mostly ordinary or gunky stuff (ODIST, OTTOI, NACHT, etc.) (27D: Keats or Wordsworth; 20A: Holy Roman emperor dubbed "the Great"; 7D: After-dark time in Germany).
Only part that gave me any trouble was THREEFOLD, again because the cluing felt clunky (38D: Like a $6 return on a $2 bet). Also took me a few passes to get IDIOT BOX, though that struggle was at least worth it (42D: Boob tube). Also enjoyed "THAT'S LIFE" (3D: "Win some, lose some").
- 39D: Potter pal Weasley (RON) — This has become a favorite RON clue of late. RON Jeremy you somehow see far less often. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing RON Swanson in the grid.
- 14A: Nobelist Niels (BOHR) — I always want to spell his name BOER. He's Danish. The Boers were Danish. It makes a kind of sense. [I was trying to tweak a Dutch person I know by pretending not to know the difference betw. Danes and Dutch; too insidery; sorry; carry on]
- 63A: Paparazzo's target, briefly (CELEB) — I like that this answer bends 90 degrees south to make CELEB OX, since [Celebes ox] is a klassic klue for the klassic krosswordese answer ANOA. That may be the nerdiest, most insidery crossword thing I've ever said out loud.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]