Tureen accessories / TUE 7-3-12 / Jewel box contents / Darling of baseball / Italian fashion house / Figure in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera / Hockey player Bobby / Princeton Review coursework
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Constructor: Robyn Weintraub
THEME: INSTERTION — that is, creating a new phrase by adding [STER] to the middle or end of a well-known phrase or name
The term thegn (or thane or thayn in Shakespearean English), from OE þegn, ðegn "servant, attendant, retainer", is commonly used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves. It is also the term for an early medieval Scandinavian class of retainers. (wikipedia)
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Hello there! =0
Marvin here, filling in for Rex while he's on the other side of the world, in New Zealand.
This puzzle didn't strike me as particularly hard for a Tuesday; I cruised right through without any stumpers or overwrites, and the most likely words to cause a logjam (i.e. the three-letter sports names ORR and RON) were adequately crossed.
Gimmes were legion, from ARLO (16A: Singer Guthrie) all the way down to DORA (55D: Animated "Explorer").
- GO TEAM[STER] (17A: Cheer to an interstate trucker?)
- WEB[STER] BROWSER (28A: One who peruses the dictionary?)
- MINI[STER] COOPER (45A: Newsman Anderson with a theology degree?)
- YO-YO MA[STER] (59A: One who's very good at rocking the cradle?)
That said, today did feel a little flat with the cluing, with so many words clued in an 'obvious' way (cf. DOG (1D: Toto, for one), CART (41D: Golfer's vehicle)) that felt like missed opportunities, even by Monday standards. I had visions of Siem REAP (not far from LAOS) and Fort TRYON Park dancing in my dreams soon after finishing.
On a better note, the fill was surprisingly straightforward, with only ATRA (20A: Razor brand) and AFIRE (35D: Burning) meriting a raised eyebrow.
- 25A: "Sometimes you feel like ___" (A NUT) — "...sometimes you don't." From the Almond Joy/Mounds ads. A gimme if you remember the commercials, a possible head-scratcher if you don't.
- 27A: Word repeated in both James Bond and Justin Bieber film titles (NEVER) — My first thought was BABY but that didn't line up with Bond or the five-letter blank.
- 58A: Commotions (ADOS) — This, crossed with the Macbeth-clued THANE, lent a decidedly Shakespearean flavor to the SW corner.
- 6D: Jewel box contents (CDS) — Initially thought GEM, but I didn't trust it and the clue suggested a plural. Had to get it on crosses; I usually think of the CD holders as 'jewel cases', not boxes.
- 10D: Tureen accessories (LADLES) — Notable mainly for the five-dollar word in the clue; I only learned it a couple months ago from reading The Hunger Games, which, oddly enough, has a disturbing fascination with tureens.
- 29D: U-turn from NNE (SSW) — A departure from the usual geographical compass clues, but as noted above, one requiring much less brain power than usual.
- 36D: In medias ___ (RES) — One of those where you either know it or you don't (or you know enough Latin to BS your way through). I mostly remember it from Alan W. Pollack's musicological analysis of the Beatles' "Girl".
See you soon, hopefully!
Signed, Marvin, THANE of CrossWorld
(because Governor General was taken)