1942 Preakness winner / SAT 8-25-12 / Captain Hook's alma mater / Modern drag / Mariposa's close relative / Chard cab alternative / Hawks old haunt / Teen series title character never seen / Old revolutionist
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Constructor: Caleb Madison
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: Bobby LAYNE (18A: Football Hall of Famer Bobby) —
Robert Lawrence "Bobby" Layne (December 19, 1926 – December 1, 1986) was an American footballquarterback who played for 15 seasons in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears in 1948, the New York Bulldogs in 1949, the Detroit Lions from 1950–1958, and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1958–1962. He was drafted by the Bears in the first round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Texas.
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ICOSA, ALSAB, APNEAL, SEGO). Mainly, the cluing was simply very tough. The worst part of it all, for me, was that as I was solving, I kept thinking "I've seen this grid ... Caleb must have showed this to me a while back ... so ... Why Can't I Solve It More Quickly?!" My current theory is that he showed me a version that had some of these long answers but otherwise different fill. At least I hope that's true. Anyway, that long stuff is mostly stuff I'd've gotten immediately either way. TAYLORSWIFT? Gimme (11D: 2009 Grammy winner for "Fearless"). "THEHANGOVER"? Gimme (24D: 2009 comedy whose tagline is "Some guys just can't handle Vegas"). "GOSSIPGIRL"? Well, not a gimme exactly, but a gimme once a couple of letters were in place (28A: Teen series whose title character is never seen). I love all those answers, plus BUZZKILL (1A: Modern drag) and GOOGOO EYES (though the latter gave me fits as I cycled through GOOGLY, GOOGLE, GOOGIE, and even considered GOOGOL ("She had a hundred eyes?") before finally hitting on GOOGOO) (28D: Kitten's look).
ZIN but couldn't get anything to confirm it (3D: Chard or cab alternative). Wrote in AM SO and LIEN instead of IS SO and LOAN, so, yeah, that Hurt. Convinced myself that LIEN didn't fit the clue, then realized IS could work instead of AM. This allowed me to see -SOUP, and that "U" allowed me to see/guess LUC (8D: Jacquet who directed "March of the Penguins"). That was all I needed. Finished in the SE, which was much, much easier. But the part of the puzzle that took me the longest was the area around MALINGERED. This is because a. I thought the "feigned" in [Feigned incapacity] was an adjective, not a verb; b. I didn't know LAYNE, so I kept trying a "K" there and getting MAKING ... something (MAKING ERE- ... what?); and c. I didn't know that's what MALINGERED meant. I think I thought it meant something more MALicious. Like ... loitering with malicious intent or something. How sad for me.
- 9A: Founding need (METAL) — I had SMELT ... which is ... not right. SMELT is a fish. But you can see, kinda, that my brain was in the right place. A METAL-ish place.
- 19A: Captain Hook's alma mater (ETON) — I had no idea *and* it was a gimme. Chew on that.
- 20A: "Tropic Thunder" director and co-star (STILLER) — still needs about a million more grid appearances before he catches his mom.
- 40A: Altar adjunct (PRIE-DIEU) — Here's a place where knowing some French helped. Didn't help me at 2D: ___ fois que (as soon as, in Arles) (UNE). I never would've considered UNE. That is one rough clue for UNE. French also didn't help much at 10D: Even, in Évreux (EGAL). I wrote in MÊME. Different meaning of "even."
- 49A: Hawks' old haunt (OMNI) — another (potentially) very tough clue. A gimme for me, but only because I know something about basketball (and have done enough crosswords to see OMNI clued as a sports arena before).
- 4D: Defenders' assignments (ZONES) — I *think* this is a basketball clue. Seems like it could apply to a bunch of sports. I had CASES here (one more reason the NW ate me alive a little).
- 25D: Yupik lang. (ESK.) — ouch.
- 37D: She hailed from the planet Alderaan (LEIA) — not so hard if you are a "Star Wars" fan and/or you have done a lot of puzzles. Like ETON, this answer seemed the only plausible one for its clue.
- 54D: Old revolutionist (RED) — I wrote in REB with little thought, until I considered the resulting BEEN THERE, BONE THAT ... which has a certain ring, but ultimately doesn't work (59A: With 61-Across, "nothing new to me!").