Monday, November 7, 2011
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: P.Blank. Something — theme answers begin with two initials, the first one "P"
Word of the Day: Eric LINDROS (39D: Retired hockey great Eric) —
Eric Bryan Lindros (pronounced /ˈlɪndrɒs/; born February 28, 1973) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. Lindros played junior hockey in the OHL for the Oshawa Generals prior to being selected first overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques. Lindros refused to play for the Nordiques and was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in June 1992 for a package of players and draft picks including Peter Forsberg. [...] Lindros started his NHL career with the Flyers during the 1992–93 season. Lindros was an exemplary power forward, and averaged more than a point per game. His hard-nosed style caused him to miss significant time with injuries, and he had many problems with concussions. Lindros captured the Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award after the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season. In August 2001, Lindros joined the New York Rangers via trade. He signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 2005–06 NHL season. He finished his career in 2006–07 with the Dallas Stars. (wikipedia)
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I thought this was oddly thorny for a Monday, though my time ended up being something close to normal. It took me Forever to get the theme, because PECLASS was nonsense to me (couldn't even see it at first) and then PSI- at beginning of the Beatles clue just looked wrong so I abandoned it (mind you I'm doing all this at breakneck speed). I get P.T. BARNUM easily but have no idea how it's thematic. Not until PhLEVEL do I see a pattern. Then, of course, it's not so tough, except for LINDROS. Actually, I knew LINDROS, but he's not a name I expected to see on a Monday, i.e. far from a household name (except maybe in Canada—who knows?). Also, if I ever knew illustrator Edward SOREL, I totally forgot him (30A: Illustrator Edward). Another non-Monday guy. Speaking of names, the puzzle loves ANYA Seton when it comes time to clue ANYA, but apparently not when it comes time to clue SETON (32A: Determined to do). I blame sexism.
- 17A: 1964 Beatles hit ("P.S. I LOVE YOU")
- 19A: Part of school that includes push-ups and situps (P.E. CLASS)
- 23A: Showman associated with the quote "There's a sucker born every minute" (P.T. BARNUM)
- 23D: U.S. mail holders (P.O. BOXES)
- 44A: Chinese restaurant chain (P.F. CHANG'S) — is this national? I know about this restaurant only because of one I went to in the Flatirons Mall in Colorado.
- 48A: Acidity or alkalinity (Ph LEVEL)
- 52A: Rating of "Avatar" (PG THIRTEEN) — not a big fan of the numeral being written out like this, but I'll allow it
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld