Sed quencher / THU 6-21-12 / Dawson's Creek girl / Mongolian dwellings / Weird Al specialty / 1956 million-selling album / Fish whose name comes from Old English for spear
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Constructor: Caleb Emmons
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Clue numbers are part of six answers — Note: "Parts of six answers have been entered in the grid for you."
Word of the Day: TESSERAE (44A: Mosaic squares) —
n., pl., tes·ser·ae (tĕs'ə-rē').
One of the small squares of stone or glass used in making mosaic patterns.
[Latin, from Greek, neuter of tesseres, variant of tessares, four.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/tessera#ixzz1yOLZAUII
• • •
see here). This coincidence is no one's fault. Gaffney tells me BEQ did the same theme back in 2009, but you have to give constructors a little slack. It's sometimes hard to find out if your idea has been done before, especially if it hasn't been in a major publication (something in the cruciverb database). As I say, this is just bad luck. Mainly for me. I like this theme idea. If I'd never seen it before, I'd think it was clever. I don't think the puzzle needed a note. It's Thursday—if I can sniff out a rebus (and I can), then I can figure out what's going on with the clue numbers. Because the gimmick was transparent, and the cluing Tuesday-easy, I finished with my fastest Thursday time in several months. The only problem I had was in the SE. Jack Benny!?!? Wow, there's a bone for ... someone. Not me. Even if I'd realized it was part of the theme (I didn't), I still would have had trouble. Waaaaaaaaay before my time. "21 JUMP STREET"—now *that*'s my time (a movie version of the show came out earlier this year). Only other hiccup, besides that SE corner, was understanding what the hell 11D: Sed quencher meant. I'm guess "Sed" = "thirst" in Spanish (?). Like Jack Benny, Sed was beyond my ken. But none of this mattered much. Clever idea, so-so execution. Now go join the throng of Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest (MGWCC) solvers already.
- 4D: Apocalyptic figures (4 HORSEMEN)
- 19D: A dystopian novel (19 EIGHTY-FOUR) — slightly awkward numbers-to-letters shift
- 21D: 1980s-'90s police drama (21 JUMP STREET)
- 39D: Like Jack Benny, as he always said (39 YEARS OLD)
- 18A: Standard golf outing (18 HOLE ROUND) — "HOLE ROUND" was not at all intuitive to me. I got HOLE easily, but then ... ?
- 57A: Heinz offering (57 VARIETIES)
- 21A: "Dawson's Creek" girl (JEN) — played by 3-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams
- 52A: Fish whose name comes from the Old English for "spear" (GAR) — One of my sweet spots is the intersection of Old English and crosswordese, so this was no trouble.
- 59A: Weird All Yankovic specialty (POLKA) — wanted SPOOF at first.
- 62A: 1956 million-selling album ("ELVIS") — ALVA got me "ELVIS," which is how I dug myself out of the SE corner.
- 28D: Mongolian dwellings (YURTS) — as I'm sure I've said before, my sister's super-crunchy college had a central meeting space called "The Yurt." I don't think it resembled a Mongolian dwelling in the slightest, but I could be wrong.
- 52D: Many a Comicon attendee (GEEK) — this puzzle speaks truth. In case you somehow don't know, there are tons of "Comicons" all over the country—comic book conventions that draw the whole world of scifi / superhero / supernatural / comic art geekery into their orbit. Daughter and I keep talking about going to one, but haven't yet got there. I am a very half-assed comic book geek.