Tiny hollow cylinder / MON 4-2-12 / Virginia site of two Civil War battles / 2009 British singing sensation Susan / Big series name in auto racing
Monday, April 2, 2012
Constructor: Lynn Lempel
Relative difficulty: Medium
- PORCH SWING (16A: Relaxing spot on a veranda)
- SMASH HIT (23A: Huge success at the box office)
- BULL RUN (37A: Virginia site of two Civil War battles)
- MUDSLIDE (46A: Hillside threat after a heavy rain)
- PIANO SCORE (56A: Sheet music for Van Cliburn, say)
Word of the Day: TUBULE (31A: Tiny hollow cylinder) —
A very small tube or tubular structure.
[Latin tubulus, diminutive of tubus, tube.]
• • •TUBULE or not TUBULE? If that is the question, I'm voting not.
The MLB season officially started in March. In Japan.
It is true that my daughter started middle school this year, and she is in SIXTH GRADE (10D: Traditional start of middle school), but I don't know about this "traditional" stuff. My middle school started in seventh.
This theme feels like something from a long time ago. Can't believe a ends-of-these-phrases-relate-to-baseball theme hasn't been done a billion times before. Felt harder than normal, but my time fell almost exactly between my times for the last two Mondays, so, though it's a very small sample size, we're going with an average difficulty rating. Feelings lie. Numbers don't. The middle of this puzzle was more T/W than M. Big white space with the super-odd TUBULE and the slightly toughish BULL RUN (37A: Virginia site of two Civil War battles) and the "could-be-lotsa-things" SUBLIME (23D: Glorious). I had trouble with ANY OLD TIME (though it's now my favorite answer in the grid) (27D: "Whenever you feel like it"), and even more trouble with INDYCAR (41D: Big series name in auto racing). My brain was like "NASCAR? .... try NASCAR? ... is it NASCAR yet? ... how about iNASCAR, like ... from Apple?" Stupid brain.
- 6A: Girls with coming-out parties (DEBS) — because "confident and proud lesbians" was way, way too long.
- 37D: 2009 British singing sensation Susan (BOYLE) — so not my thing. I'll take AMY Winehouse (36A: Late singer Winehouse) over Susan BOYLE any day.
- 58D: State north of La. (ARK.) — why in the world would you clue this as a state abbrev. (that nobody uses)???
- 34D: Bassoon relative (OBOE) — I'm listening to an OBOE version of Bach's "Partita in A Minor, BWV 1013" right now. Seriously. It was originally composed for flute:
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld