1994 denis leary kevin spacey flick / SUN 7-17-11 / Monster of Norse myth / Article for Lil Wayne / Creator of Thidwick / Swan Lake maiden
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Constructor: Daniel A. Finan
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "The End Is In Sight" — familiar phrases where the last word appears to be missing, but is actually represented by the circled letter(s) in that same answer. Connect the circles to form a picture of someone mooning you ... or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; I can't tell which.
Word of the Day: NUNCIO (108A: Papal legate) —
n., pl., -os.
A papal ambassador or representative.
[Italian, from Latin nūntius, messenger.] (answers.com)
UPDATE: Some clarifying info from Mr. Shortz himself:
To clear up the confusion regarding 23x crosswords ...Kevin McCann misquoted me on Cruciverb. I never banned them. I simply discouraged them, because they're difficult for me to use in the downsized Sunday Times Magazine.A couple years ago the Sunday Magazine had its trim size significantly reduced. I can no longer print a 23x and KenKen and the KenKen answers from the previous week on a single page. The KenKen answers have to go elsewhere in the Magazine, for which I need to get approval, which is a pain and an uncertainty. So I just discourage 23s.But for a 23x (or any odd-size puzzle) I really like, I'll still take it. I'll find a way to use it.Note that a 22x21 isn't really affected by the above rule. By shortening the clues a little, I managed to fit everything into the usual space.
- 25A: Parting words from the busy type (PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO)
- 36A: Hans Christian Andersen story ("THE PRINCESS AND THE")
- 53A: Hardly breaking a sweat (WITH RELATIVE)
- 66A: End of a command at the Battle of Bunker Hill ("... THE WHITES OF THEIR")
- 82A: "Godspeed!" ("BEST OF LUCK TO")
- 93A: End of a Benjamin Franklin aphorism ("... HEALTHY, WEALTHY, AND")
- 111A: 2009 fantasy film based on a best-selling book ("WHERE THE WILD THINGS")
Had a little trouble with ALOU (12D: Jesús, for one) and GIPP (13D: Notre Dame football legend) up north, and had to think a bit about the clues on PEEP SHOW (86D: Something to watch when there's nothing on?) and TAP DANCERS (74D: Some clickers), but otherwise, a fairly uneventful solve.
- 31A: Area in a 1969 Elvis Presley hit (GHETTO) — and his mama cries ...
- 48A: Island known for having "the wettest spot on Earth" (450+" of rain per year) (KAUAI) — Had the "K" and "I," so once I read [Island] I knew what I was dealing with.
- 56A: Article for Lil Wayne (THA) — love this clue. It's an article for Lil Wayne in particular not just because he's a rapper, but because he has a series of albums called "THA CARTER" (number IV is set to be released next month)
- 65A: Monster of Norse Myth (KRAKEN) — I know this only from the movie "Clash of the Titans," thus I thought it was Greek.
- 73A: Granter of an honorary degree to George Washington in 1776 (HARVARD) — "Granter" is awkward, but this is an interesting bit of trivia.
- 89A: Pianist Albéniz (ISAAC) — I think I get this guy confused with Claudio ARRAU.
- 103A: Most clueless (DITSIEST) — Really really want this answer to have a "Z" in it.
- 117A: "Swan Lake" maiden (ODILE) — crosswordese! I know this only from crosswords. Very handy answer to have in your back pocket.
- 120A: Tree with fan-shaped leaves (GINKGO) — whoa. Back-to-back days for a word I (almost?) never see in the grid. Weird.
- 16D: Chicago mayor before Emanuel (DALEY) — He's completely dropped off my radar since the mayoral election. I realize now that he *kinda* reminds me of Anthony Weiner.
- 26D: Creator of Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (SEUSS) — not from any story I know, but that didn't matter because I never saw the clue.
- 38D: 1980s lightweight boxing champ (CAMACHO) — The Macho Man. Hector "Macho" CAMACHO. From back when people cared about boxing.
- 54D: They moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles in 1960 (LAKERS) — Somehow I always thought it was several years later than that.
- 96D: 2006 comedy title character from western 2-Down ("BORAT") — this is what I'd call an Extraordinarily weak cross-reference. ASIA? You use this clue to get to ASIA? Unnecessary and awkward. If cross-reference doesn't seem tailor-made, don't force it. I mean, GINKGO and ZEN are both better options if you really must have your cross-reference (and, let's be honest, you mustn't).
Announcement for New Yorkers:
I'm coming to NYC for the Lollapuzzoola Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 6 (you should go—info here). But you know that. What you don't know (yet) is that I'm coming several days early to do some interviews for a crossword project I'm working on, and I'm hoping to interview some of You (New Yorkers) about your xword habit. I'm especially interested in talking to people who think they are unlikely solvers, or who solve in weird / interesting / iconic places, or who have good solving anecdotes, or who are famous / prominent in their fields, or any combo of the above. I'm not looking for fast or accomplished solvers. Just interesting solvers. If you live in NYC, this (probably) means you! If you are going to be in town on Aug. 4-5 and are willing to talk to me for a few minutes, drop me a line at rexparker at mac dot com. I'll be exceedingly grateful. I'll see what kind of response I get and set up a schedule from there. If I don't hear from you, I'll just have to wander the streets harassing anyone I see solving a crossword, even though this may result in my getting punched, or worse. So help me out. Thank you!
P.S. Google still hates me and is not indexing individual pages (i.e. individual write-ups) from this website properly (grrr...). Still no idea what the deal is, esp. considering Google owns Blogger :( Let me know if you have a clue. Thx.