Late NPR newsman / TUE 4-10-12 / Physician Sir William / Adorn with jewels / Red-eyed birds / Railway encircling city / Bruce of Sherlock Holmes films
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Constructor: Gregory Philip Butler
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: ROLE REVERSAL (51A: Plot device used in "Freaky Friday" ... or a hint to the interior of 20-, 26- or 42-Across) — ROLE can be found reversed (i.e. as "ELOR") in three answers
Word of the Day: BLOATER (22A: Smoked herring) —
Bloaters are a type of whole cold-smoked herring. Bloaters are "salted and lightly smoked without gutting, giving a characteristic slightly gamey flavor" and are particularly associated with Great Yarmouth, England. Popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the food is now described as rare. Bloaters are sometimes called as Yarmouth bloater, or, jokingly, as a Yarmouth capon, two-eyed steak, or Billingsgate pheasant (after the Billingsgate Fish Marketin London). (wikipedia)
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BLOATER / SCHORR crossing. BLOATER!?!?! The second I had that in my grid, I would no longer have that in my grid bec. a. it's ugly and b. it's obscure. Redesign the grid. You've got a bunch of less-than-optimal stuff over there anyway; tear it down. SATIABLE!?!? Tear. It. Down. Even worse than BLOATER is crossing it with SCHORR (6D: Late NPR Newsman). First, it's some northeasternliberalelitist Bull*&$% to clue him without even a first name? On a Tuesday? Second, to cross him with BLOATER? Even if I knew SCHORR (and I knew it ... by sound ... 'cause he was on the *radio* ... you know, the R in NPR ...) there's no reason I know that it's two Rs at the end. I definitely considered BLOATEE / SCHOER. Silly, you say? Silly? Have you met BLOATER? Look at BLOATER and tell me BLOATEE is silly. Look at POOLER (!?!?!) (5D: Car ___) and tell me BLOATEE is silly. The entire NW quadrant of this puzzle is an utter disaster. The rest is just adequate-to-unfortunate.
- 20A: Longtime Nicaraguan president (DANIEL ORTEGA)
- 26A: Instrument that's played by turning a crank (BARREL ORGAN)
- 42A: Citrus fruit originally grown in Brazil (NAVEL ORANGE)
I like the part where TOS crosses RST. Genius.
OSLER and I are going to go BEGEM some VIREOS (48D: Physician Sir William) + 36A: Adorn with jewels + 43D: Red-eyed birds). Oh, that OSLER—he's A REAL POOLER with the BARREL ORGAN, I say. PSHAW! Etc.
A crosswording friend of mine just posted the following to the Facebook thread (that I opened when I first finished this puzzle and wanted to vent): "It's a 72-word themed puzzle; whoop-de-doo. The word limit is 78; if your fill is this bad, you should be using all of that." Why did I write anything tonight? I should've just let that quotation stand in for my whole write-up.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld