Capital city on Daugava River / THU 4-26-12 / Oto neighbors / Hebdomodally / Doggie old cartoon pooch / 1970 Hugo Award-winning novel by Larry Niven / Indian sauce with coriander cumin / Group making billion-dollar loans /
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Constructor: Julian Lim
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: "IT'S / A SMALL [WORLD] AFTER ALL" (1A: With 40-Across, a chorus line ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) — a [WORLD] rebus, with 5 [WORLD] squares
Word of the Day: "RING[WORLD]" (50D: 1970 Hugo Award-winning novel by Larry Niven) —
Ringworld is a 1970 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, set in his Known Space universe and considered a classic of science fiction literature. It is followed by three sequels, and preceded by four prequels, and ties into numerous other books set in Known Space. Ringworld won the Hugo Award in 1970, as well as both the Nebula Award and Locus Award in 1971. (wikipedia)
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OLD [WORLD]. Never heard of "RING[WORLD]". Did not know THIRD had anything to do with yellow ribbons (49D: Place for a yellow ribbon), which I associate with oak trees.
NROTC (29A: Campus org. for ensigns-in-training) all the way east (theme matter excepted). That Down sequence of CRT / RAITA (37D: Indian sauce with coriander and cumin) / OL' MAN / PLEUT is particularly unlovely. One or two of those answers, fine; jammed together like that, suffocating. ROOT CROP made me wince (35A: Turnips, e.g.), as ROOT VEGETABLE is the far more common phrase—but it's validish, so no big problem. But having TOSS DOWN instead of TOSS BACK was a huge letdown. It always sucks when an answer is defensible, OK, but not really the mot (or phrase) juste. It's like soy cheese. Maybe passable, but just ... not right.
UNHINGE is a fantastic word (55A: Drive mad). HAB ... isn't (60D: Old Testament book before Zephaniah: Abbr.).
- SEA [WORLD] / [WORLD] BANK
- "REAL [WORLD]" / FIRST [WORLD] WAR
- "IT'S A SMALL [WORLD] AFTER ALL" / [WORLD] WIDE WEB
- "A WHOLE NEW [WORLD]" / [WORLD]LY
- OLD [WORLD] / "RING[WORLD]"
- 19A: Capital city on the Daugava River (RIGA) — total lucky guess. Four-letter capitals FTW!
- 27A: Hebdomadally (A WEEK) — kind of an ostentatious clue for not-so-great fill. Still, that is a good (insane) word.
- 7D: Result of rampant inflation? (POP) — cute
- 12D: ___ Doggie (old cartoon pooch) (AUGIE) — just not happening today. No idea where this name disappeared to, but I had a lot of trouble getting it back. Deputy Dawg, sure, but AUGIE Doggie was nowhere to be found.
- 22D: Arizona and Arizona State joined it in '78 (PAC-TEN) — a most welcome gimme.
- 34D: Plum look-alike (SLOE) — this helped me change TOSS BACK to TOSS DOWN (an answer I had to choke down ... while I choked back tears ... not really, but it's interesting that "back" and "down" can (it seems) follow both "toss" and "choke")