Big maker of smoothies energy bars / SUN 5-13-12 / Forerunner of euchre / Where to conform per expression / Dead Sea Scrolls writer / Grammy-winning Radiohead album of 2000 / Dallas pro baller / World leader beginning December 2011
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Constructor: Ben Tausig
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: ODWALLA (90D: Big maker of smoothies and energy bars) —
Odwalla Inc. ( //) is an American food product company that sells fruit juice, smoothiesand food bars. It was founded in Santa Cruz, California in 1980 and is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California.The company experienced strong growth after its incorporation in 1985, expanding its distribution network from California to most of North America, and went public in 1993. A period of decline occurred as a result of a fatal outbreak of H7 in 1996 that was caused by using bruised fruit that had been contaminated. Odwalla originally sold unpasteurized juices, claiming that the process of pasteurization altered the flavor of the juice. Following the E. coli outbreak, Odwalla adopted flash pasteurization and other sanitization procedures. Odwalla recalled its juices and experienced a ninety-percent reduction in sales following the event. The company gradually recovered, and, after a few years, was making a profit again. (wikipedia)
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WEED SHALL OVERCOME certainly qualifies. Also always good to close with one of your stronger entries, and WHOLE NUDE BALLGAME definitely qualifies. Ben edits the Onion A/V crossword and has his own weekly syndicated crossword as well—I have the latest book collection of these puzzles, "Crosswords from the Underground," and the puzzles are uniformly entertaining, moderately challenging, and very, very current. Plus he has a great puzzle book for kids called "Mad Tausig vs. the Interplanetary Puzzling Peace Patrol." Which is all to say he's an old pro who knows his stuff. Younger than me, but still an old pro.
- 23A: Slogan for medical marijuana activists? (WEED SHALL OVERCOME)
- 36A: Persians who protect their feet? (THE SHOD OF IRAN)
- 50A: Entitlement to cross the stream first? (RIGHT OF WADE) — my least favorite
- 69A: "If you can't behave on this tour, I swear you'll be sorry!"? ("NO MORE MISTER NICE GUIDE!")
- 88A: Big part of the dairy business? (CHEESE TRADE)
- 104A: Lost subject of a hit Beatles song? (WANDERING JUDE)
- 115A: Clothing-free version of the national pastime? (WHOLE NUDE BALLGAME)
I think I know C.W. POST as a cereal magnate, not as a school name (82A: Largest campus of Long Island Univ.). I had JARGON at first instead of PIDGIN (125A: Simplified language form). Not much else in the way of problems for me. Oh, except, -EUSE, which I am ready to declare the single worst piece of crossword fill I've ever seen anywhere ever (123A: Feminine suffix). Ever. Please recall my earlier declaration about [Feminine suffix] clues and how I hate them because a. they're suffixes, so already not great, and b. they can be ENNE *or* ETTE. Or, now, apparently, -EUSE. EUSE! It's as lovely as it sounds.
- 1A: One waiting in France (GARÇON) — I've really got to get a better print-out system on Sundays. This clue *still* looks like [One wailing in France] to me.
- 28A: More than a quarter of academic circles? (CEES) — not great fill, but fantastic cluing.
- 90A: Like much of Pindar's work (ODIC) — I know I'm not supposed to like this word, but somehow I can't bring myself to hate it. It's like ODIN and ODIE had a baby and someone wrote a poem about it.
- 10D: Dallas pro baller (MAV) — wow, NYT is working "Baller" hard this week. Almost as hard as ELWES (105D: Cary of "Robin Hood: Men in Tights").
- 41D: Obama's birthplace (HAWAII) — Me: "KENYA!" D'oh! That's his dad. Stupid brain.
- 52D: Jason who's a five-time baseball All-Star (GIAMBI) — non-baseball-fans might have trouble here, esp. as this crosses OMBRE. I assume most people still remember Paul REISER (79A: Hunt's co-star on "Mad About You")
- 100D: Grammy-winning Radiohead album of 2000 (KID A) — I think Ben's studying ethnomusicology at NYU. His puzzles tend to be music-heavy, which I enjoy.
- 103D: Dead Sea Scrolls writer (ESSENE) — One Of Those Words. All common letters. Useful to know. You'll see it again (and again).
I should probably also mention that I was on national television last night—CBS Evening News finally ran the segment on me that they interviewed me for back in February. All the wintery parts are edited out and there are blog visuals from just yesterday. Contains very rare footage of me in the wild (i.e. teaching). I don't know if I can embed the video, but I can certainly link to it. You can also watch it at my Facebook page.
[PuzzleGirl sent me this photo of her TV screen, somewhere in sunny Southern California (where she was participating in the Crossword LA tournament). Made me laugh.]
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld