Drive-in theater in old slang / FRI 5-11-12 / Jai alai basket / Streaming video giant / Football Hall-of-Famer Marchetti / Moe Howard catchphrase / Dixon self-styled seer astrology book for dogs / Fictional narrator Legends of Old Plantation / Literary captain I am not what you call a civilized man
Friday, May 11, 2012
Constructor: Natan Last
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: TIE FIGHTER (61A: Craft in a "Star Wars" battle) —
TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the Star Wars universe. Propelled by Twin Ion Engines (hence the TIE acronym), TIE fighters are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire. TIE fighters and other TIE craft appear in the original Star Warstrilogy—Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)—and throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Several TIE fighter replicas and toys, as well as a TIE flight simulator, have been released by merchandise companies. (wikipedia)
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OPEN SOURCE, HULU) (15A: Like some freely available software, 16A: Streaming video giant), it's also very wide-ranging in its knowledge base. Feels like it was made by a reasonably young person, but I wouldn't call it "youth-oriented," by any means. I'm not so fond of how many little foreign words are in the Down crosses up top, and AUDI DEALER (while original) doesn't exactly stir the soul (12D: Where to see some German models), but "WHY I OUGHTA..." is genius (32D: Moe Howard catchphrase), most of the long answers are quite good, and most of the short stuff is solid. A very worthy effort.
PASSION PIT as a band, not "old slang" for a drive-in theater, so that took more than a few crosses to uncover, but I got OPEN SOURCE off the "P," so that first corner came together quickly. Off SNOW ANGELS (4D: What people waving their arms might produce), I threw down BANGS, EMCEE, and TELL, which opened the whole SW right up. CESTA (44A: Jai alai basket) is one of those words like ... like the names ELWES or GEER or O-REN, names that I just know from doing crosswords. I'm looking around for spots where I struggled, or even significantly paused, and I'm not finding any. I'm surprised I wasn't even faster than I was. I hesitated at 50D: "The Dark Knight" actor, having totally forgotten that Michael CAINE was in it, and I wrote in REEKS for SUCKS (14D: Is god-awful)—I don't think I've ever seen SUCKS clued in this common colloquial manner before. I doubted SUCKS for a few moments because I just couldn't believe the NYT would allow that usage. But there it is. We watch HULU (Plus) almost every day, so that confirmed the "U" in SUCKS, and I finished it off with FLINTSTONE.
- 39A: When repeated, response to "Who wants ice cream?" ("I DO!") — I clued "I DO" almost identically just this morning. Except my kids wanted cookies.
- 52A: First female dean of Harvard Law School (ELENA KAGAN) — had the "ELEN-" so, piece of cake. She's in the puzzle all the time (in first name form), so she sprang readily to mind.
- 56A: Football Hall-of-Famer Marchetti (GINO) — noooo idea. Needed every cross. The only Marchetti I know is Lou, and he painted paperback covers in the '50s and '60s.
- 66A: "The Case of the Demure Defendant" protagonist (PERRY MASON) — speaking of paperbacks of the '50s and '60s ... I own a lot of them, including this ERLE Stanley Gardner title. You can see it here, at my "Pop Sensation" blog.
- 1D: Offering from a Parisian butcher (PORC) — French for what it sounds like it's French for.
- 5D: It has more museums per capita than any other country: Abbr. (ISR.) — that is an odd stat.
- 28D: Fictional narrator of "Legends of the Old Plantation" (UNCLE REMUS) — had the -NCL- part, so no sweat, though I did briefly forget if it was REMUS or REBUS.
- 48D: ___ Dixon, self-styled seer who wrote an astrology book for dogs (JEANE) — HA ha. Great clue. Wish I'd read the whole thing while solving, but I only needed to get as far as "seer" to know whom I was dealing with.
- 53D: "Great" detective of kiddie lit (NATE) — missed this guy entirely when I was a kiddie. Learned him from crosswords.
- 58D: Literary captain who says "I am not what you call a civilized man!" (NEMO) — I love revenge stories, and "20,000 Leagues" is a good one.