Vatican tribunal / WED 6-8-11 / Supermodel Wek / Hostess who inspired Call Me Madam / French city 1598 edict / Dudley's love old cartoondom
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: CRAPS / TABLE (37A: With 40-Across, casino fixture) — two theme answers are expressions related to a CRAPS TABLE. Then there's a note: "When this puzzle is done, connect the four V's with a square, the three K's with an upside-down L, and each K diagonally to the nearest V. Then draw a circle around the only X." This gets you a picture of a die with the one (pip) side facing you (51D: Snake eye (as this completed puzzle depicts)=>ONE)
Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet (July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a Canadian physician. (pronounced "oh-sler") He was one of the "Big Four" founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital as the first Professor of Medicine and founder of the Medical Service there. (The "Big Four" were William Osler, Professor of Medicine; William Stewart Halsted, Professor of Surgery; Howard A. Kelly, Professor of Gynecology; and William H. Welch, Professor of Pathology.) Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training. // He has been called the "Father of modern medicine." Osler was a pathologist, physician, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, and renowned practical joker.
Great if you like drawing on your grid, not so great if you like clean grids and tight theme execution. The "note" on the puzzle (which I didn't see until I was finished) is largely irrelevant to the solving experience—at least I imagine so; maybe it helped you get that damned NE "K," which I had to run the alphabet to uncover. I always thought KEN was a man, not a boy (toy), but maybe it's a close call. Anyway, the puzzle is weird for several reasons. First, the "X" that represents ONE (pip) is in the word meaning SIX (BOXCAR), while ONE sits oddly off to the side, all by its lonesome. Second, since when is the *side* of a die relevant? I have no idea what the roll was here; all I know is that it wasn't a SIX or ONE. The CRAPS part of this theme has precisely no relation to the visual representation of the die. And for this I had to endure ALEK (15A: Supermodel Wek) and OSLER and ATHS. and ROTA and *$&^ing AH, SO again? Not worth it.
- 20A: Cry heard at a 37-/40-Across ("SEVEN COME ELEVEN")
- 51A: Cold, at a 37-/40-Across (ON A LOSING STREAK)
- 42A: Six, at a 37-/40-Across (BOXCAR)
- 6A: Weekly reading for drs. (JAMA) — went looking for a plural like MRIS or something, but the terminal "A" straightened me out.
- 25A: French city with a 1598 edict (NANTES) — also the birthplace of Jules Verne, a fact which has stuck with me for reasons I don't know.
- 59D: Dudley's love in old cartoondom (NELL) — much better clue than that absurd-looking Jodie Foster movie. "Cartoondom" is a fine word.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]
P.S. if you like cryptics, you should try out the debut from the new cryptic writers for The Nation, Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto (here). Also, Andrew Ries does a fine "Rows Garden" puzzle every week at Aries Puzzles. If you've never tried one, give it a shot.