Roman emperor born in Spain / TUE 5-22-12 / Rapid in music / Lees material / 2004 movie with screenplay by Tina Fey / Austrian-made pistol / Terminus of famous trail
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Constructor: Kyle T. Dolan
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "ENIGMA VARIATIONS" (38A: Work by Sir Edward Elgar hinted at by this puzzle's circled squares) — consecutive circled squares inside theme answers are scramblings of the word "ENIGMA"
Word of the Day: MOSSO (4A: Rapid, in music) —
With motion or animation. Used chiefly as a direction.
[Italian, past participle of muovere, to move, from Latin movēre.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/mosso#ixzz1vYrmGzjD
• • •
MOSSO and can't recall seeing it in a puzzle ever, though I probably have) with an absolutely "&%^*-you!" music clue on SOLDAT (which is Fr. for "soldier"), then you have committed a kind of low-level crossword war crime. MOSSO would've slid right by as just some odd word I didn't know if not for SOLDAT (7D: Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du ___"). SOLDAT is ... truly unideal. If you're going to put it in your puzzle, *at least* give a clue that indicates what it means. Stravinsky? On a Tuesday, I'm supposed to just know everything Stravinsky did? Absurd. Bad editing there. That's a Saturday clue, though I don't recall ever seeing SOLDAT on any day of the week, ever. Shame to have such an ugly outlier in an otherwise nice grid. AVAUNT didn't thrill me either (35D: "___, and quit my sight!": Macbeth), but its only crime is being crosse with the ugly BAL. (a very gettable answer, eventually) (45A: Fig. on an A.T.M. receipt).
- 18A: 2004 movie with a screenplay by Tina Fey ("MEAN GIRLS")
- 24A: Carved figure used for rituals (GRAVEN IMAGE)
- 54A: Industrial Revolution-era power source (STEAM ENGINE)
- 65A: Family play time (GAME NIGHT) — inventive; like it.
- 29A: Lees material (DENIM) — yuck. It's LEE Jeans. "Lees" is some kind of colloquial hogwash. I get that you wanted some trickery with "lees," but no.
- 50A: Austrian-made pistol (GLOCK) — I remember reading a NYT book review earlier this year ... yes, here it is. "GLOCK: The Rise of America's Gun," by Paul M. Barrett. My first thought here was LUGER, but that's German, not Austrian.
- 3D: Roman emperor born in Spain (TRAJAN) — another roughie for a Tuesday.
- 51D: Terminus of a famous trail (OREGON) — ... and Hansel & Gretel's trail of breadcrumbs led them safely back to OREGON. The End.