Elemento número 79 / THU 7-5-12 / 1985 N.L. M.V.P. Willie / Like some observant Brooklynites / Poet Teasdale / Toyota model beginning in 1984 / Red Roof Inn competitor / Asian nurse / Hide's partner
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: DEAL WITH IT [edit: or Medium-Challenging if you're anon]
THEME: SHIFT KEY (68A: Something that's pressed, which helps explain this puzzle's theme) — The Down answers include the numerals 2 through 6, and the respective Across answers use the symbols that you get when you hold down the SHIFT KEY while typing the numbers on a keyboard
Ossobuco (pronounced [ˌɔsːoˈbuːko]) is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese.There are two types of ossobuco: a modern version that has tomatoes and the original version which does not. The older version, ossobuco in bianco, is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. The modern and more popular recipe includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Gremolata is optional. (wikipedia)
• • •Hello again! =0
Marvin here, filling in for Rex while he's on the other side of the world, in New Zealand. (Isn't that where they filmed that movie with ENTS?)
I know Thursday is when the dirty tricks come out, but today's puzzle felt more like a barrel of Thursday jungle juice, with numerals, symbols, squares that read differently Across and Down, and a slew of tricky tricky clues everywhere else.
Though it was quickly apparent some kind of rebus was involved, the dual nature of the squares kept me from figuring out the theme's schtick until I'd gotten around half of the grid filled. (In particular, the E section got me barking up the wrong tree, thinking 5 AGES had something to do with the classical Ages of Man.)
- 2PAC (6D: Big name in 35-Across [RAP MUSIC])
- 3DTV (11D: Reason to wear glasses at home?)
- 4RUNNER (26D: Toyota model beginning in 1984)
- MAROON 5 (28D: Band with the 2004 hit "She Will Be Loved")
- MOTEL 6 (44D: Red Roof Inn competitor)
- SASQU@CH / SASQU[AT]CH (1A: Mysterious figure)
- EX#ING / EX[POUND]ING (9A: Stating in detail, with "on")
- SAND$ / SAND [DOLLAR] (22A: Potential beach find)
- %AGES / [PERCENT]AGES (51A: Portions)
- ^AKERS / [CARET]AKERS (67A: Nurses, e.g.)
ELIAS / AMAH in the SE was the weakest cross I encountered; I wasn't familiar with either one.
A bit eerie that today's theme came after the keyboard-themed ESC in yesterday's SW corner.
All ten(!) theme answers make sense with little to no stretching, there's symmetry with the numbers on top in the northern half and numbers on the bottom in the southern half, and as with this Tuesday's puzzle, the final theme answer is a bit of a sucker punch (in a good way). Fun solve, and the theme is executed well enough to forgive a few cracked-out moments in the fill (esp. in the SE).
Random: HASIDIC crossed with RAP MUSIC in the W/NW reminded me of Matisyahu, though he's actually reggae and not rap.
- 17A: Do-overs at a card table (NEW DEALS) — First thought MULLIGANS (too long). I guess it sort of makes sense, but it also feels like a joke missing part of the punchline. Maybe it could have been Roosevelt's card table.
- 18A: Maestro Toscanini (ARTURO) — Crossword fans probably only know his first name because his full name happens to be 15 letters.
- 48A: Elemento número 79 (ORO) — Not sure if anyone's ever done chemistry and Spanish in one clue before. If it weren't ORO I suspect we'd be seeing chairs through windows at breakfast.
- 65A: Neighbors, in a way (LIES ON) — ...Maybe? This was one of the shakier clues/answers today.
- 66A: One with a lap cat, maybe (CARESSER) — Legitimate, but a grand misdirection; I was thinking of types of VILLAINS or Ernst Stavro Blofeld until I had enough crosses.
- 3D: Put in stitches (SEW) — Thought CUT at first (as in "I'll cut you"), but later realized the pun was on "Put in" and not on "stitches".
- 7D: Cooler part (CELL) — Turns out 'cooler' is a slang term for prison, though it could also refer to the closed-cell foam in a styrofoam cooler (but I'm pretty sure that wasn't intentional).
- 14D: Hulled grain (GROATS) — Surprised to learn this was a word. (Before I got the theme I was suspecting [QUAKE]R OATS.) It sounds more like something out of Jabberwocky.
- 43D: Sign holders (ZODIACS) — Got ZODIAC_ early on; suspected the final square was a rebus and only got the S from SHIFT KEY. The clue seemed obtuse enough that it probably should have had a question mark.
- 45D: Head cases? (CRANIA) — Had CRANIi at first. I felt like Tony Guida up against Rex on the CBS Evening News; "my Latin... my Latin."
(don't TASE me BRO)