Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Constructor: Daniel A. Finan
Relative difficulty: medium
THEME: Connect the dots — The numbers one to seven are spelled out throughout the grid, each clued to a postage stamp denomination and containing a circled letter. When you connect the circles numerically you draw the BACK OF THE ENVELOPE (39A Location for some quick calculations).
Word of the Day: ROCHE (47D Swiss pharmaceutical giant) —
Swiss global health-care company that operates worldwide under two divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. Its holding company, Roche Holding AG, has shares listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
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Ultimately, opinions on this will probably split along the lines of those who like gimmicks and those who don't like to draw on their puzzles. For my part, I solved without seeing the notepad; I scratched my head a bit trying to figure out what to do with the circles until I looked it up. My best guess was some kind of origami project, so the five-line drawing was a bit of a letdown. Anyway, as I was solving, this it seemed like an oddly shaped themeless that had a few answers that were just some semi-random low number.
As such, I liked it pretty well, though it seemed a little uneven. Like yesterday, the short corner fill was serviceable, at best. A few words seemed a little out of Tuesday's league, like HEMATOLOGY (12D Study of blood), but overall it was a peppy, fun solve with fair crosses. I liked the phrases: RAN RIOT, IT'S OPEN, START IN ON, NOT SO FAST. I was less enthralled with UNSOCIAL, RESOURCE, and POUNDERS.
Theme answers: I am not going to type all these.
- 1D, 11A, 16A, 18A, 44A, 51D, 69A all ask for the price in cents of a stamp based on the year of release and the president appearing on it. FOUR, THREE, ONE, SEVEN, TWO, FIVE, SIX. I will leave the discussion of postage rates for the comments.
- 39A Location for some quick calculations BACK OF THE ENVELOPE
- 4A High beams BRIGHTS — I liked the colloquial nature of both clue and answer. Sensitive listeners should probably skip Evil Doug's comments today.
- 37D "The Phantom Menace," in the "Star Wars" series EPISODE I — I only mention it to re-post this review, which some of you will remember from when Rex linked to it a few years ago. NSFW language
- 56A Chihuahua, e.g. TOY DOG — I had to replace "lap" DOG. Whenever I see the word "chihuahua," I hear Les Nessman saying it in my head.
- 32A Do some logrolling BIRL — I had to look this one up after I was done. It has no business being in a Tuesday puzzle.
Signed, treedweller, on behalf of
Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld