Wild banana / SUN 4-15-12 / Italian holiday / Small-runway aircraft briefly / Saverin who co-founded Facebook / Rafael to friends / Shalom * hebrew greeting / Palais Garnier star / Some buggy drivers / Silence indicator / Implement with spatula-like blade
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Constructor: Kevin G. Der
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
[Click to enlarge]
Word of the Day: PAPAW (70D: Wild banana) —
- A deciduous tree (Asimina triloba) of the eastern and southeast United States, having flowers with three sepals, three petals, and numerous stamens and fleshy, edible fruit.
- The fruit of this tree.
- See papaya.[Ultimately from Spanish and obsolete Portuguese papaya, papaya; see papaya.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/pawpaw#ixzz1s4Jcx5WB
• • •
AGN? SGS? DAFE?
Doesn't help that I really, really disliked this movie, and its cloying soundtrack.
- 33A: Iconic line shouted in "56-Down" ("I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD") — this is the point (at WORLD, actually), where I first understood the subject of the puzzle. Before that, I assumed (given the rectangular shape of the grid, and the title) that football was involved.
- 29A: Where 56-Down embarked (SOUTHAMPTON) — this feels familiar. Didn't we already have a TITANIC puzzle this year? Or maybe there was one in another publication?
- 35A: With 37-Across, #1 song from "56-Down" ("MY HEART / WILL GO ON")
- 125A: "56-Down" co-star (WINSLET)
- 128A: "56-Down" co-star (DICAPRIO)
- 141A: Record-tying achievement for "56-Down" (ELEVEN ACADEMY AWARDS)
- 152A: 56-Down, e.g. (LUXURY LINER)
- 5A: Anjou relatives (BOSCS) — there's an odd-looking plural. This was one of the first answers I got. I started badly/slowly. You can see why. Didn't know the theme, didn't know there were rebus squares, and then even the straightforward stuff was like BALT and ALLOK and EASER (?!).
- 24A: Peace Nobelist Root (ELIHU) — gimme! Grateful for this one, even though I'd rather never see this odd name again. I always feel oddly guilty when I'm struggling and then get a gimme like this. Feels like the puzzle is patronizing me. "Here ya go, slugger."
- 43A: Italian holiday (FESTA) — I assume this is just the Italian word for "holiday," 'cause I got no idea what FESTA is if it's a proper noun. And crossed with STOL (44D: Small-runway aircraft, briefly)? If I didn't do a lot of crosswords, I'd've been screwed right there.
- 64A: Rafael, to friends (RAFE) — so ... the first, second, third, and fifth letters, then? OK ...
- 78A: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum site (SANTA FE) — TAOS didn't fit. Then neither did SANTA FE ... picked up the rebus at LIFESPAN and things got a lot easier after that.
- 53D: Saverin who co-founded Facebook (EDUARDO) — I've booted his name before. And I booted it again today. &%(*%ing POUFFE!? Man ... so many hurty answers.
- 54D: Shield bearer, typically (LEFT ARM) — by far my favorite clue / answer in the grid. Frustrating, but then I got it, and it seemed perfect. An oasis in a Great Answer desert.
- 92D: "Shalom ___" (Hebrew greeting) (ALEICHEM) — needed every cross and flat-out guessed at the "I" in AIRE (119A: Yorkshire river).
- 128D: Palais Garnier star (DIVA) — I assume this Palais Garnier place is a famous opera house. . . yes, in Paris. To me, Garnier is a hair car company with annoying ads.
PS SYNDICATED READERS—I'm supposed to be on the CBS News tonight (Apr. 22) at 6pm (or check local listings) [UPDATE: just got official word—the piece is, in fact, airing tonight] [UPDATE: just got MORE official word that it is not, in fact, airing tonight] [I give up—just know that some Sunday in the near (or distant) future, CBS News will air a story about crosswords, featuring me. Maybe by Christmas?]