Ewing DeBusschere Frazier / TUE 7-19-11 / Cleanser with old slogan Nothing can hold can to / Sci-fi blockbuster 2009 / Meshlike / Banks daytime TV
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Constructor: Mark Feldman
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Knew beginnings — "K" is added to front of "N" words in common phrases, creating wacky homophonic phrases, which are clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: RUCTION (46A: Noisy fight) —
A riotous disturbance; a noisy quarrel.
[Possibly alteration of INSURRECTION.]
My favorite fact about this puzzle is that the base phrase of the first theme answer means "hooker." The add-a-K thing is cute in a remedial, must've-been-done-before kind of way. Thumbs down for inconsistency—one last word, three first words? All one way, or two and two, none of this 1 and 3 baloney. Inelegant. And speaking of inelegant, was there really no way to build that SW corner without RUCTION? Were all other possibilities exhausted? SUCTION and SECTION and FACTION and DICTION etc.? Because I'd have switched the first and last theme answers here, or done whatever it took, to keep sore thumb RUCTION out of my grid. People are already gonna be a little peevish from having had to endure NETTY. You really don't want people doing what I did: ending on RUCTION.
- 17A: Guinevere to Lancelot? (LADY OF THE KNIGHT)
- 26A: Shopper for woolen goods? (KNIT PICKER)
- 44A: Ewing, DeBusschere and Frazier? (KNICK NAMES)
- 59A: Universal tie? (KNOT FOR EVERYONE)
- 21A: Cleanser with the old slogan "Nothing can hold a can to ..." (COMET) — Must be pretty damned old. Don't remember it at all. Hey, did you know TV ads used to be really terrible:
- 41A: Sci-fi blockuster of 2009 ("STAR TREK") — most people associate "STAR TREK" with a much earlier TV show, so this *might* have caused a mild slow-down for some.
- 63A: Not-so-big big bird (EAGLET) — nice clue. Had me wondering for a split second "what kind of bird is Big Bird?"
- 36D: Cost in dollars of world's first TV ad (NINE) — Seems like a bargain, even if hardly anyone is watching.
- 55D: Banks of daytime TV (TYRA) — Formerly of daytime TV. "The TYRA Banks Show" aired its last new show in May of last year.
[The following announcement will be up all week]
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 also interested in ordinary everyday solvers. 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!