Vamp Negri / WED 9-28-11 / Root used as soap substitute / Player of TV junkman / Eighth-inning hurler often / 1960s Bye
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Constructor: Steve Salitan
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: CLOUT (65A: Influence ... and a hint to 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across) — "CL" is taken OUT of four familiar phrases, creating four wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: SETT (59D: Paving stone) —
A badger sett or set is a badger's den, usually consisting of a network of tunnels. The largest setts are spacious enough to accommodate 15 or more animals, with up to 300 metres (980 ft) of tunnels and as many as 40 openings. It takes many years for the animals to dig these large setts. Setts are typically excavated in soil that is well drained and easy to dig, such as sand, and situated on sloping ground where there is some cover. (wikipedia) [I realize this isn't the definition that was clued, but I like this one better— thanks to Chicago sports radio talk show host Dan Bernstein for pointing it out to me recently]
- 20A: Iodine in a barber's first-aid kit? (EAR CUT SOLUTION)
- 26A: Doofus given a pink slip? (ASS DISMISSED)
- 46A: One modifying goals? (AIMS ADJUSTOR) — extremely vague (and dull) clue made this one the hardest to get.
- 56A: Cronus and Rhea's barbecue remains? (ASH OF THE TITANS) — easiest one to get, by far.
You know who's a big fan of serpents (by which I mean "snakes")? Dana Delany. You can see her discuss her herpetological interests here, in this interview with Jimmy Kimmel. She also discusses crosswords, including her experience co-constructing a Sunday NYT puzzle with Matt Ginsberg this past summer (interview starts around the 16 min. mark, in show's second segment). I want to thank her for saying such kind things about this blog, and for giving Jimmy the opportunity to ridicule my name, repeatedly, on national television. A huge thrill and honor on both counts.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld