Disc-shaped vacuum cleaner from iRobot / TUE 3-27-12 / Bit of pirate booty / Separator of syllables in many dictionaries / ___ bodkins! / Midwest city representing average tastes / Lava lamp formation / City where Peer Gynt premiered
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Constructor: Todd McClary
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (pushing Wednesdayish)
THEME: FEATHER ONE'S NEST (62A: Gather wealth by exploitation ... as hinted at by this puzzle's circled squares) — circled squares have a bird name sitting directly on top of its feather ... type?
- ROBIN on PLUME
- LOON on DOWN
- HERON on QUILL
Word of the Day: 'ODS bodkins (35D: "___ bodkins!") —
• • •
FEATHER ONE'S NEST meant what the clue says it means. None. I think I had it confused with "a feather in one's cap," which I don't think has anything to do with "exploitation." Mostly I've never really heard anyone use FEATHER ONE'S NEST, with this clue's meaning or any meaning. Don't like that PLUME (20A: Smoke column) and DOWN (45A: Depressed) get different, non-bird meanings in their clues, but QUILL ... well, not really (67A: Declaration of Independence signer?). You can call it a writing implement, but I still see a feather. There were parts of the grid I liked—most notably ROOMBA, which I briefly thought was going to be ZOOMBA (sp?) which is some kind of workout / dance fad thing. I think. But ROOMBA I like better. ON THE Q.T. is good too. Those two almost make up for ERUPTIVE (?) and the insane non-drug cluing on ODS. Wobbly. That is the general feeling I got from solving this one.
- 1A: Insignificant one (TWERP) — that clue just doesn't say TWERP to me. It's accurate enough, but there's something much harsher, tone-wise, about TWERP. Also, had trouble seeing it because I went with MACH over WARP at 2D: Measure of speed in "Star Trek"
- 16A: Talent agent Emanuel (ARI) — No idea, but I figured ARI Gold is a talent agent, so ... why not?
- 32A: City where "Peer Gynt" premiered (OSLO) — never saw the clue. Saw OSL- and just dropped the "O" and kept going.
- 48A: Poker legend Ungar (STU) — learned from crosswords. Alternative to Disco STU.
- 58A: Separator of syllables in many dictionaries (DOT) — again, accurate enough, but just not a Tuesday clue. See also 39D: Word usually abbreviated on timelines (ANNO). Yes, it's a "word." Just not an English word. Surprise!
- 47D: Midwest city representing average tastes (PEORIA) — in one expression, that I know of: "... but will it play in PEORIA?" I have no idea if PEORIA really represents anything about "average" America.