Father victim of Oedipus / MON 6-6-11 / 1836 battle site / 1971 Jane Fonda/Donald Sutherland film / Poem with exactly 17 syllables
Monday, June 6, 2011
Constructor: Gary Whitehead
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: WEST POINT (56A: School whose motto consists of the last words of 17-, 25- and 45-Across) — last words of theme answers are, in order, DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY; CADET sits in the middle of the grid (38A: Enrollee at 56-Across); bonus theme answer of USMA (1A: Initials for 56-Across).
Word of the Day: LAIUS (53A: Father and victim of Oedipus) —
In Greek mythology, King Laius, or Laios of Thebes was a divine hero and key personage in the Theban founding myth. Son of Labdacus, he was raised by the regent Lycus after the death of his father. (wikipedia)
I wonder if there was really no possible theme answer that could have symmetrically balanced out USMA. Or if there isn't a thematic way to clue ALTO (65A: Sax type).
- 17A: Serving on a jury, e.g. (CIVIC DUTY)
- 25A: Bride's attendant (MAID OF HONOR)
- 45A: Rural area (BACK COUNTRY)
There's some bonus military answers in the puzzle, which I suppose you could count as thematic were it not for the fact that they are answers that appear in puzzles all the time (NO SIR, SGTS, TROOP). I had TESTY for NASTY (19A: Mean-spirited), but other than that, and the mini-struggle with LAIUS, no trouble anywhere to be found.
- 48D: 1971 Jane Fonda/Donald Sutherland film ("KLUTE") — on my To-Watch list for this summer, my To-Watch list consisting of every crime movie, mystery, and thriller from 1960-1976, i.e. "Psycho" to "Taxi Driver." I've only just started with 1960, but I can already tell you that "Never Let Go" (w/ Peter Sellers in a non-comic role as a sadistic garage owner) is Brilliant. My first great accidental discovery.
- 42A: Jug band instrument (KAZOO) — great answer, great clue, though I have to admit that my first thought was "... jug?"
- 31D: Poem with exactly 17 syllables (HAIKU) — apparently today's "Bullets" are devoted exclusively to five-letter K-answers. Love them all.
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