Building toy brand / THU 11-3-11 / Monarch moniker for short / Wood used in Voldemort's wand / Apt name for crime boss
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Constructor: Parker Lewis
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: idioms literalized — common phrases following the structure "___ IN A ___" are represented with the first part of the phrase "literally" inside the second part; thus, e.g., "Needle in a haystack" becomes HAYNEEDLESTACK
Word of the Day: MERC (11D: Chicago exchange, informally, with "the") —
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (often called "the Chicago Merc," or "the Merc") is an American financial and commodity derivative exchange based in Chicago. The CME was founded in 1898 as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board. Originally, the exchange was a non-profit organization. The exchange demutualized in November 2000, went public in December 2002, and it merged with the Chicago Board of Trade in July 2007 to become a designated contract market of the CME Group Inc. The Chief Executive Officer of CME Group is Craig S. Donohue. On August 18, 2008 shareholders approved a merger with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and COMEX. The Merc, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX are now markets owned by the CME Group. (wikipedia)
- 20A: Nearly impossible target, literally (HAYNEEDLESTACK)
- 25A: One who's enraptured, say, literally (CANDYKIDSTORE) — I was thinking "Left Behind" here ...
- 46A: Inadvertently destructive sort, literally (CHINABULLSHOP)
- 52A: Something rapidly deteriorating goes to it, literally (HANDHELLBASKET) — figured out this one without ever having to look at the clue.
- 1A: Certain lamp goo (LAVA) — Should've been a gimme. Wasn't. I wanted something sooty. I was thinking lampblack. I don't know what I was thinking.
- 16A: Monarch moniker, for short (QEII) — first guess. In four letters, it seemed probable. Placement of "Q" (in second position in the cross) also seemed auspicious.
- 26D: Wood used in Voldemort's wand (YEW) — in three letters, it could've been several woods, but I had the "E" from SEEN, and just guessed YEW. Seemed the only reasonable guess at that point.
- 56D: Building toy brand (K'NEX) — this brand falls into that uncanny valley of children's entertainment, between the time when kids' entertainment had fallen off my radar (college, roughly) and the time it came back on (A.D., Anno Daughter, 2000). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are in there somewhere too.