French-built rocket / FRI 7-27-12 / Undergoes liquefaction as gel / Wearer of triregnum crown / 1984 film based on 1924 novel / South Pacific girl / Actresses Kristen Graff / Tamid synagogue lamp
Friday, July 27, 2012
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: GERENTS (16D: Rulers or managers) —
• • •
GERENTS, SOLATES, CENCI) (16D: Rulers or managers; 30A: Undergoes liquefaction, as a gel; 39D: "The ___: A Tragedy in Five Acts" (Shelley work)) and "you can do that?" (LED INTO *and* LEAD-IN?) (Not to mention EASE INTO for another INTO ... not to mention MAP ONTO), I don't think you can call the grid "successful." As I was writing in "-ICIAN" I said, out loud, "man, I really hope that's not right" (26A: Suffix with diet) When ARIANE (19A: French-built rocket) went into the grid (grade A crosswordese, first thing I wrote in), I thought, "man, that doesn't bode well." More than one ILENE? OK (32A: Actresses Graff and Kristen). Will and I sometimes just have very different tastes. He seems to love this stuff. I'd sooner do a zippy Monday or even a run-of-the-mill Wednesday than sit through this again. If I have to chew on a puzzle for a (comparatively) long time, I'd like it to at least taste good.
A PASSAGE TO INDIA; 17A: Causes for some wars=DISPUTED BORDERS), DATAMINES feels fresh (6D: Finds customers from social media, perhaps), and CHOSEN FEW has a certain elegance (29D: Elite). EPISTEMOLOGICAL ain't bad either (2D: Like questions of what is knowable). It does repeat the five-letter EPIST- sequence in PASTORAL EPISTLE (3D: 1 or 2 Timothy), but the words are different enough that it hardly matters. I want to hate PHONE NO. but can't (31A: It may have an ext.). It's kind of inventive, fill-wise. LORES is LO-RES, btw (40D: Unlike HDTV screens). Someone asked me, so I assume there are others who aren't quite sure.
You've got a couple potential Naticks here, as far as I can see. I didn't know NER (!?) (24A: ___ Tamid (synagogue lamp)), so I had real I/E issues with EPISTE (I?) MOLOGICAL. Honestly, "I" looks more correct to me. If I didn't know the word "episteme," I would've screwed that up. As it was, I guessed. And I knew ARIANE from considering and rejecting it in puzzles I've made, so the cross with GERENTS wasn't an issue, but I'm guessing not everyone has heard of ARIANE, and I *know* not everyone has heard of GERENTS, so ... trouble.
I think that'll do.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld