1991 Jackie Chan film / FRI 3-30-12 / Actress Watson / First name in 1970s tyranny / Tell Me More broadcaster / Pirates hangout
Friday, March 30, 2012
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: EMMA Watson (13D: Actress Watson) —
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is an English actress and model.Watson rose to prominence playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series. Watson was cast as Hermione at the age of nine, having previously acted only in school plays. From 2001 to 2011, she starred in all eight Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Watson's work on the Harry Potterseries has earned her several awards and more than £10 million. She made her modelling debut for Burberry's Autumn/Winter campaign in 2009. (wikipedia)
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If I never saw another quad stack again in my life, that would be fine. Ideal. It's been done many times, and the whole set-up usually doesn't allow for very interesting fill—though this stack is not bad, by any means. In fact, this is as much as I've enjoyed a Krozel puzzle in a Long time (amazing what you can do when you're not stunting or going for a super low word-count). I think the puzzle might actually be Easy—I was somewhat faster than my average, but I see now that this puzzle is super-sized (15x16), so that makes my fast time even faster (relatively speaking). Took many of the small crosses to bring down a lot of those 15s, but in the end there were only a couple points of any significant struggle:
- Couldn't figure out 30D: Formed another congress. Had RESAT, and then REWED (stupid ETHS can be spelled EDHS, as well, hence the D/T confusion) (40A: Old English letters). Got to REMET only after I somehow figured out IMITATION BUTTER (38A: Promise, e.g.). To do that, I had to change SEWN ON to SEWN IN (22D: Like many monograms on clothing).
- My John Paul II was a POPE before he was a POLE. I can't be the only one who made that mistake. I also wrote in EPIC instead of EPOS at first (53D: "Beowulf" or "Gilgamesh").
Every other part of the grid, I moved through steadily. Stuff like DOMES and ISTH. and ARRESTEE took some pondering, but not too much. My favorite part of the grid, by far, is TRIPLE WORD SCORE (29A: Great red spot?). Great answer, even greater clue—and I despise Scrabble.
- 17A: Dubious claim after crying wolf ("I MEAN IT THIS TIME") — took a lot of work, esp. since I came at it backwards.
- 56A: 1991 Jackie Chan film ("OPERATION CONDOR") — Wow. Talk about your wayback machine. This is several years before Chan became a star in America.
- 61A: Megillah book (ESTHER) — "Megillah" is a new word for me. I'm guessing it's not meant to be followed by the word "Gerillah."
- 6D: First name in 1970s tyranny (IDI) — first thing in the grid.
- 31D: N.B.A. great Thomas (ISIAH) — another significant gimme.
- 32D: Pirates' hangout (PITTSBURGH) — "Hangout"'s a bit of a stretch, but PITTSBURGH's a good-looking answer.
- 46D: Starbucks has one (AROMA) — virtually everywhere has one. :(
- 57D: "Tell Me More" broadcaster (NPR) — they really like shows with "Tell Me" in the title, apparently.
- 58D: Runner with a hood (CAR) — another semi-strained clue, but very gettable, nonetheless.
P.S. Here's a birthday / tribute puzzle for you. Warning: it revolves around the lyrics to a song. If you don't know the song, the puzzle will be doable, but at least partially mystifying. The song was very popular, so I'm hoping it resonates with at least some of you. You can get the .pdf or .puz file here (at Amy's place). And here's the SOLUTION. And (spoiler alert) here's the song it's based on.