Pioneering scientist Robert / TUE 3-20-12 / Jessica of Illusionist / Queen in speech by Mercutio / Locale of 1923 Munich putsch / Denizen of Endor world in Return of Jedi /
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Constructor: Will Nediger
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: One who engages in finger stuff — theme clues contain phrases "finger painting," "fingerprinting," and "finger pointing," in oder
Word of the Day: Robert HOOKE (1D: Pioneering scientist Robert) —
Robert Hooke FRS (28 July [O.S. 18 July] 1635 – 3 March 1703) was an English natural philosopher, architectand polymath. [...] Hooke studied at Wadham College during the Protectorate where he became one of a tightly knit group of ardent Royalists centred around John Wilkins. Here he was employed as an assistant to Thomas Willis and toRobert Boyle, for whom he built the vacuum pumps used in Boyle's gas law experiments. He built some of the earliest Gregorian telescopes, observed the rotations of Mars and Jupiter and, based on his observations of fossils, was an early proponent of biological evolution. He investigated the phenomenon of refraction, deducing the wave theory of light, and was the first to suggest that matter expands when heated and that air is made of small particles separated by relatively large distances. He performed pioneering work in the field of surveying and map-making and was involved in the work that led to the first modern plan-form map, though his plan for London on a grid system was rejected in favour of rebuilding along the existing routes. He also came near to deducing that gravity follows an inverse square law, and that such a relation governs the motions of the planets, an idea which was subsequently developed by Newton. Much of Hooke's scientific work was conducted in his capacity as curator of experiments of the Royal Society, a post he held from 1662, or as part of the household of Robert Boyle. (wikipedia)
• • •
MAB was my first answer) (7A: Queen in a speech by Mercutio). Then once I got going, I was on the east side of the puzzle, and so was only getting the back ends of the theme answers. Could see ANALYST but not what came before. Could see INFORMER but not what came before. And about INFORMER—I feel like "informant" is more common, and when I google, the predictive autofill search thingie agrees with me (when I type in "police inform..." at that point it's giving me only suggestions involving "informant" and "information"), but overall google returns come back slightly stronger for "POLICE INFORMER"—no idea what's behind this discrepancy, but I stand by my feeling that "informer" is more in-the-language.
- 20A: One who engages in finger painting (KINDERGARTENER)
- 37A: One who engages in fingerprinting (CRIME LAB ANALYST)
- 53A: One who engages in finger-pointing (POLICE INFORMER)
- 33D: Jessica of "The Illusionist" (BIEL) — after ALBA, I was dry. BIEL ... was she on some '90s show like "Party of Five" ... ? Ack, no, worse, "7th Heaven." I now have to try to reforget that that show ever existed.
- 58A: Van Gogh painting dominated by green and blue ("IRISES") — [Van Gogh painting] was plenty.
- 6D: Locale of a 1923 Munich putsch (BEER HALL) — good answer, grim subject matter. About as close as HITLER is ever going to come to being in a NYT puzzle, I imagine.