Philatelist George / SUN 6-5-11 / Ancient Cretan writing system / French river department / Biblical breastplate stones / Ike Billy OK Corral
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Constructor: Yaakov Bendavid
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Cagey Answers" — Gs (following Ns) in familiar phrases become Ks, resulting in wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: GUSSET (42A: Reinforcing bracket) —
In sewing, a gusset is a triangular or square piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing. Gussets were used at the shoulders, underarms, and hems of traditional shirts and chemises made of rectangular lengths of linen to shape the garments to the body. // Gussets are used in manufacturing of modern tights or pantyhose to add breadth at the crotch seam; these gussets are often made of breathable fabrics for hygiene when wearing pantyhose without panties. (wikipedia; perhaps the first WOTD related to not wearing panties—another milestone!)
- 24A: How organized philosophers deal with ideas? (ONE THINK AT A TIME)
- 30A: Highway S-curve? (KINK OF THE ROAD)
- 51A: Countess bankrupts St. Louis N.H.L. team? (LADY SINKS THE BLUES)
- 67A: Warning before driving past the town dump? (THIS MAY STINK A LITTLE)
- 85A: Wayne Gretzky? (THE LORD OF THE RINKS) — a pun I've seen before, specifically in a WSJ puzzle from earlier this year
- 103A: Being too large to fail? (BIG BANK THEORY)
- 116A: Singles bar pickup strategy? (A WINK AND A PRAYER)
There was some stuff that I loved, including not one but two ampersandwiches (RANDR, XSANDOS), DUKAKIS (4D: Loser of 1988) curled up with a SPY NOVEL, and the not-heard-from-in-25-years PAM DAWBER (110A: Onetime Robin Williams co-star) (I like that the clue doesn't throw you the "Mork & Mindy" bone but forces you to use crosses to go hunting through *all* Williams's co-stars). ASTHMATIC is nice too (29A: Bronchodilator user). But there was just too much little junk. Everywhere, gunking up the system: EAN, ABRA (99D: Incantation opener), LINN, AIN (93A: French river or department), LINEARA (!?) (98A: Ancient Cretan writing system), ASOK (!!!), ADAIR, TMS, NTS, ADE, ISE, EASER (...). Etc. I do like "OH, GEE" crossing OGDEN, as "O" and "G" are the first two letters, and OGDEN seems like a place where an expression like "OH GEE" might still have some currency ("O.G." also stands for "Original Gangster," which I'm guessing there are precisely none of in OGDEN).
- 57A: Actor Wilson (OWEN) — FLIP!? Is it FLIP!? No? Dang.
- 114A: So-called Mother of Presidents (OHIO) — "Mother of Presidents" sounds almost like a slur.
- 119A: Flying monster of film (RODAN) — always want to spell this guy like the sculptor.
- 6D: Animals with black-tipped tails (STOATS) — wanted OKAPIS, which, when you think about it, makes almost zero sense. I knew STOATS were weasels, but black-tipped tails—that, I did not know.
- 90D: Wives in São Paulo (SENHORAS) — One of my few Portuguese gimmes.
- 100D: Hybrid clothing for women (SKORTS) — one of the great modern portmanteaus.
- 102D: Actresses Best and Purviance (EDNAS) — Purviance? Really? Let's see ... what era, what era? I'm gonna guess she was big in the '40s ... [Googling] ... whoa, off by 20 years. She was in a bunch of Chaplin films in the teens and '20s. She would have fit right in in Friday's puzzle ...
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