Newsman Roger / SUN 5-6-12 / 1920s Olympic track gold medalist Paavo / Sister 1920s-30s evangelist / Old country name from Portuguese for beautiful / Savanna grazer / Protector of dead in Egyptian myth / Air Force college athlete
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Constructor: Alex Vratsanos
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: A-V Club — theme answers are two-word phrases (or names), first word starting with "A," second word starting with "V"
Word of the Day: Sister AIMEE (86A: Sister ___, 1920s-'30s evangelist) —
Aimee Semple McPherson (October 9, 1890 – September 27, 1944), also known as Sister Aimee, was a Canadian-American Los Angeles, California evangelist and media celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s. She founded the Foursquare Church. McPherson has been noted as a pioneer in the use of modern media, especially radio, which she drew upon through the growing appeal of popular entertainment in North America. (wikipedia)
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Not much of a theme, but who cares? It's Sunday, so all I ask is that the grid not suck and the theme not be tiresome, convoluted, or otherwise annoying. This one's so simple, it can hardly offend. And the constructor gets to indulge his amazing vanity. It's win-win.
- 23A: Have, say (AUXILIARY VERB) — by far the hardest of the theme answers to pick up. Because of its placement, and the general vagueness / toughness of clues in the N and NW, it took me a good while to really get started. Once I got going, though the cluing seemed thorny at times, the puzzle most felt normal, difficulty-wise.
- 38A: They're likely to blow (ACTIVE VOLCANOES)
- 65A: Not seeing eye to eye (AT VARIANCE) — one of three AT phrases in the puzzle (see also AT MOST and AT PEACE).
- 68A: End of the main part of the Constitution (ARTICLE VII) — "VII" isn't really a word ... I mean, that's a five, not a "V"
- 89A: Electrical pioneer (ALESSANDRO VOLTA)
- 114A: Common houseplant with colorful blooms (AFRICAN VIOLET)
- 50D: Brandy, for one (AQUA VITAE)
- 46D: Some succulents (ALOE VERAS)
- 26A: Protector of the dead, in Egyptian myth (ISIS) — just a guess, off the "I"
- 63A: Decidedly eligible, in a way (ONE-A) — about the toughest ONE-A clue I've ever seen.
- 105A: Two-finger keyboard shortcut in Windows (ALT-TAB) — not a Windows user, but could infer the answer easily enough with a few crosses.
- 118A: Speaker of the line "He thinks too much: such men are dangerous" (CAESAR) — To be clear, Shakespeare's CAESAR says this, not real CAESAR. For the third Shak-related clue of the day, see 41D: Romeo's "two blushing pilgrims" (LIPS).
- 4D: Record label for the Kinks and Pink (ARISTA) — this is how I confirmed LENTO (31A: Slowly). I get LARGO and LENTO confused.
- 51D: 1920s Olympic track gold medalist Paavo ___ (NURMI) — I partially remembered this, somehow, though the first two letters needed crosses for me to be certain.
- 112A: Old country name from the Portuguese for "beautiful" (FORMOSA) — formerly "Taiwan"; that was tough. SE corner gave me a minor scare there at the end, but a correct guess of WAFTS helped me pry it open (94D: Drifts).
- 91D: It might go up via an escalator (SALARY) — I'm not familiar with this concept, though, again, it wasn't too tough to infer.
- 56D: Newsman Roger (O'NEIL) — Dude does not have a wikipedia page, what the hell? He was "the reporter of record" for the JonBenet Ramsey story, according to his bio page at MSNBC. And the world is better for it, I'm sure.