Hardy red hog / FRI 7-29-11 / Item in lick race / Bygone theaters / Old Civil War eagle mascot / Princess Disney duck / Lethally poisoned ruler
Friday, July 29, 2011
Duroc pig is an older breed of American domestic pig that forms the basis for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Duroc pigs are red, large-framed, medium length, and muscular, with partially drooping ears, and tend to be one of the most aggressive of all the swine breeds. (wikipedia)
• • •This puzzle basically has one answer in it: EDIBLE UNDERWEAR (3D: Tasteful bedclothes?). Every other answer may as well call it a day and go home. Bonus points for driving that answer straight through both TAIL and CHERRY. Good thing STICK and MOUNTER (54A: Tire shop employee, at times) are way over on the other side of the grid, or my delicate sensibilities might have been offended. Small amount of difficulty with the OPEN TOE (43D: Showing some polish?) / MOUNTER section, and somewhat greater amount of difficulty with most everything in the vicinity of DUROC (which I've seen before, but not for years; I certainly didn't remember it at first). Some of the longer answers are nice. AUDITOR'S REPORTS (40A: Opinions about books) and INTEREST RATE CAP (6D: Borrower's protection) are zzzzzzzzzzz but CHERRY CHAPSTICK is pretty kicky (58A: It can make for fruity kisses) , and I do like TOULOUSE LAUTREC (as an artist and an answer) quite a bit (33A: Capturer of fin-de-siècle France). I had to hunt down a stupid error: had NTRB instead of NTSB (10A: Pipeline accident investigator: Abbr.). I think I had NLRB in my head. And possibly NRBQ.
Started very fast, with CLEO (1A: Lethally poisoned ruler, familiarly) and CATS coming instantly. Got EDIBLE UNDERWEAR off just the ED- and tore up the west coast from there. SW corner is a thicket of ugliness that took a little effort to sort out, but CHERRY CHAPSTICK came quickly thereafter, and then it was just a matter of running short stuff through the long stuff until the long stuff fell.
- 16A: Item in a "lick race" (OREO) — "What is 'EDIBLE UNDERWEAR,' Alex?"
- 30A: Princes ___ (Disney duck) (OONA) — there really is no good way to clue OONA, one of my least favorite xword answers.
- 36A: Barker who pitched a perfect game in 1981 (LEN) — on my short list of "Guys I Know Of Named LEN"; see also LEN Deighton.
- 39A: ___ poco (soon in Sorrento) (TRA) — TRA, like OONA, never good. Sometimes necessary, but never good.
- 44A: Singer with a wide range (WREN) — didn't know range was a WREN thing. Nice not-clearly-avian misdirect with "Singer."
- 60A: Elaine ___, first female Asian-American cabinet member (CHAO) — astonishingly, the Best of the four four-letter answers down there.
- 9D: Parker who was one of the original faces at Facebook (SEAN) — I really can't be bothered to care about or remember anyone except Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe the Winklevoss twins.
- 24D: Old ___ (Civil War eagle mascot) (ABE) — news to me. Assume he was named after the Pres.
- 57D: Bygone theaters (RKOS) — studio had its own chain of theaters.