Fish salted for bacalao / WED 3-28-12 / Splitsville resident / Bygone muscle car / American Leaguer since 1954 / 1974 John Wayne film
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Constructor: Joe DiPietro
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Stuff of People — familiar phrases following a "___ OF ___" pattern are clued as if the word following "OF" were someone's first name. Thus:
- WORK OF ART = 18A: Man's labor?
- CRACK OF DAWN = 23A: Woman's flippant remark?
- ARTICLES OF FAITH = 37A: Woman's journalism?
- BUNDLE OF JOY = 53A: Woman's package? (?!) [if you discovered the woman you picked up had a "package," I doubt you'd think of it as a "BUNDLE OF JOY" ...]
- BOARD OF ED = 59A: Man's plank?
Word of the Day: TINO Wallenda (41D: One of the flying Wallendas) —
The Flying Wallendas is the name of a circus act and daredevil stunt performers, most known for performing highwire acts without a safety net. They were first known as The Great Wallendas, but the current name was coined by the press in the 40s and has stayed since. The name in their native German, "Die fliegenden Wallenda", is an obvious rhyme on the title of the Wagner opera, "Der fliegende Holländer" ("The Flying Dutchman"). [...] Tino Wallenda, Karl's grandson, started on the high wire at age seven. He is the family patriarch of the Flying Wallendas and is still performing (2008) the Seven-Man Pyramid with his daughters and son, his brother-in-law Sascha Pavlata, son-in-law Robinson Cortes and family friend Jade Kindar-Martin. (wikipedia)
• • •
COIL); [Like some amusement park passes] (I had ALL-AGE not ALL-DAY); [Conk] (I had BEAT not BEAN); and the Wallenda clue (like I know all the damned Wallendas, come on—my TINO started out as a TINA). The best part of this grid is clearly IN A JIFFY (40D: Right away), though I also like EX-WIFE (6D: Splitsville resident)—something about the odd "XW" combo (also, great clue). Honestly, I can't think of a damned thing to say about this puzzle that I haven't already said, so maybe some bullets, and then goodnight.
- 15A: Added, in commercialese (XTRA) — "commercialese" is not a word I've seen much, if at all. Wonder if it would fly as an answer in its own right.
- 34D: 1974 John Wayne film ("MCQ") — would never have known this movie existed were it not for crosswords. Other grid regulars include RUHR, INCA, GTO, LUAU, and HEDY Lamarr.
- 45D: The Clash's "Rock the ___" ("CASBAH") — That's Monday-easy for me. You just handed me all those delicious first letters in the SW corner. Too easy to tear through a puzzle that's so generous with its cluing.
- 46D: American Leaguer since 1954 (ORIOLE) — mildly interesting, in that the clue sort of appears to want a specific human being, but the answer is instead a team mascot. [On second thought, as someone pointed out in Comments, that "specific human being" would have to be very, very old for a Major League ballplayer... maybe this hypothetical "human being" was a ballplayer who went directly on to coach and manage ... in the American League ... and is now roughly 80 ... ?]
P.S. because my mom will want to see it, here's a picture of me—yesterday's Binghamton University "Photo of the Day"