Member 1990s pop quintet / THU 5-19-11 / Brinded cat hath mewed Macbeth / Beverage Luau flavor / Queen in Shelley's poetry / White House pair in 60s
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Constructor: Paula Gamache
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: CRUSHED [ICE] (66A: Drink cooler ... or a hint to six squares in this puzzle's answer?) [that phrasing can't be right ...] — an ICE rebus, with six ICE squares
Word of the Day: BONAIRE (5D: Neighbor of Aruba) —
Bonaire ([...] Dutch: Bonaire, Papiamentu: Boneiru) is a special municipality (officially "public body") of the Netherlands, consisting of the Caribbean island of Bonaire and, nestled in its western crescent, the uninhabited islet of Klein Bonaire. Together with Aruba and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles. The name Bonaire is thought to have originally come from the Caiquetio word 'Bonay'. The early Spanish and Dutch modified its spelling to Bojnaj and also Bonaire, which means "Good Air". (wikipedia)
Two tricky parts for me. The entire PUBLICENEMY section, since there is nothing in the clue or in the cross-referenced clue to indicate what you're after (weird to do that with a long, rebus-containing answer). My struggle is at least somewhat ironical, as I was listening to PUBLICENEMY earlier this evening. Anyway, GROH (52D: Actor David of "Rhoda") and HANNAH (31D: Mrs. Van Buren) were proper nouns that were well and truly off my radar (though GROH rings a very faint crossword bell). Only other real hold-up came at the ELECTRICEYES / PRICE crossing. Neither clue was helping me at all. Finally just stuck a rebus square in there, which jogged my memory about the meaning of "C.P.I." (Consumer PRICE Index).
The ICE theme has been done before (ICE-containing words, incl. ATOMICENERGY and PUBLICENEMY, in an LAT puzzle a few years back), but not in rebus form (not that I could find, anyway). Seems a fine puzzle overall—unremarkable as rebuses go, but still entertaining, in its way.
- 3D: They're not laid in a cage (ORGANICEGGS) / 27A: Member of a 1990s pop quintet (SPICEGIRL)
- 21A: Nuclear power (ATOMICENERGY) / 8D: Black-and-white (POLICECAR)
- 41A: Canine command (SIC'EM) / 34D: Touch-and-go (DICEY)
- 36D: See 35-Across [i.e. Any member of 36-Down=>RAPPER](PUBLICENEMY) / 58A: "___ the brinded cat hath mew'd": "Macbeth" (THRICE) // — for the record, there are members of PUBLIC ENEMY who are not RAPPERs, so the RAPPER clue is wrong. Terminator X, for instance, was a DJ (not the same thing — for the distinction, see, for instance, the D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince album, "He's the D.J., I'm the RAPPER"). FYI, "Terminator X quit the hip-hop scene in 2003 and has been running an ostrich stud farm in North Carolina" (wikipedia), though he appears to be releasing some kind of comeback album in '11.
- 59A: Photocells (ELECTRICEYES) / 50D: Part of C.P.I. (PRICE)
- 66A: CRUSHED ICE / 64D: Fine point (NICETY)
- 23A: Beverage that once offered a Luau flavor (NEHI) — my first and only guess for a flavored beverage in four letters.
- 48A: Dribble guard (BIB) — briefly thought this was a basketball clue.
- 51A: White House pair in the 1960s (BEAGLES) — took me way longer than it should have. Really wanted people, and even though B-names didn't fit any president from that decade, I still didn't tumble to Johnson's BEAGLES til quite late.
- 18D: Compressed video file format (MPEG) — Had MP-, nearly went MP3s (thinking some kind of number rebus...), but the "video file" part of the clue stopped me and I adjusted.
- 42A: Queen in Shelley's poetry (MAB) — took an entire Romantic Poetry class in college. Don't remember whatever poem this is at all. Know Queen MAB from Shakespeare.
- 55D: Messing on the screen (DEBRA) — of "Will & Grace" and nothing else that I know of.
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