Balrog slayer, in fiction / FRI 3-16-12 / Billy famous for informercials / Bowser in the Super Mario series, e.g. / Big list maker / 10-Down, e.g.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Pretty Easy, but maybe only if you're young or at least think you are like I do because I sometimes find these teenagers relatively easier than some others do even though they probably think of me as really old
Word of the Day: (Fugitate) (FLEE) —
Speaking of, RAMEN (47A: Dish often served with soy sauce or miso)! I think ramen often gets a bum rap when it's in the puzzle--there's a world of difference between good ramen and the 22¢ packets of Maruchan. If you don't think all Italian food is like cans of Beef-a-roni, you should reserve your judgement about ramen if you're unfamiliar.
While I'm in a lecturing mood, HI MOM is a (2D: Stadium shout-out) because the Hi-er specifically wants to acknowledge his or her mother. HILARY (15A: Swank in Hollywood), for example, may be a shout-out to a specific Hilary if Joel knows one, or maybe it's even his mom, but it's not a shout-out to me just because I used to play ultimate for a team called Swank.
HI MOM was my second answer. A-MINUS (17A: Low 90s, say) was first. Then BANANA SLUGS, then ELI MANNING, the whole NW was done in no time.
Moving into the middle, Jill just started her job as a Clinical Case Manager yesterday but ABA was still a gimme for (32A: Case workers' org.). More smooth sailing down and to the right--I even entered TOE LOOPS without first checking how many letters were in (49A: See 42-Across).
First bit of thorniness was in the SW, where I couldn't think of FORBES as a (45D: Big list maker) and (54D: "___ told often enough...") wasn't much help for A LIE. Finally figured out MACH (53D: Physicist Ernst who invented the razor blade), changed PESKY to PETTY (50D: Inconsequential), and that corner was done.
NE, more gimmes but more fun with SPACE JAM and Billy MAYS. POKING still sorta makes me giggle. (GAG GIFTS do not, but that's still a good answer.) And there was more stuff, but it's getting late.
A few of my favorite things:
- COCA COLA over OKAY OKAY.
- Really, every single one of the 8/9 letter acrosses in the upper right/lower left was good.
- Really clean fill overall.
- Great clue, though I've seen similar, for EASEL (34A: Stand for something). Not as big a fan of that for EASE (43A: Well-being).
- Made-up wordsies in the middle, with HORSY and TECHY.
- MEANIE is (48D: Bowser, in the Super Mario series, e.g.). Well, I guess it's not so much dislike as do not understand. Is he blue?
Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld