Bell tower instrument / TUE 8-14-12 / Large African antelope / Flat item to cook on / Title character in Sega game / Roman septet
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: INNER CITY (63A: Densely populated area ... or what 17-, 24-, 32-, 43- and 51-Across each have) — names of cities can be found embedded in the theme answers:
- TefLONDON (17A: John Gotti's nickname, with "the")
- YuRIGAgarin (24A: First human in space)
- HAVANAgila (32A: Folk song played at Jewish weddings)
- ELIMAnning (43A: Giant who was the Super Bowl XLVI M.V.P.)
- BaKINGSTONe (51A: Flat item to cook food on)
Word of the Day: TINEA (54D: Skin woe) —
[Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, a gnawing worm.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/tinea#ixzz23U4SXt5B
• • •
TEFLON DON without looking at the clue. It was that kind of day ... until. Until BAKING STONE. I had the front end, or part of the front end, and quickly and confidently threw down BAKING SHEET (which fits the clue Just Fine). And then all the wheels came off. Just ... came off. Had me doubting SHEET pretty quickly, but then the "S" cross proved right, so I had renewed confidence in SHEET ... ugh. I also could Not dredge up TORPID (brain: "Tepid? ... do you want tepid? ... look, I've got tepid and that's all I got. Stop looking at me funny!") (48A: Sluggish). Further, while I've heard of TINEA, and it's a valid answer ... no. That word is not exactly in my vocabulary. I thought maybe EGGS were 70A: Food items catapulted with a spoon, maybe (PEAS). So, yeah, I was like guy who's cruising to an easy win in [insert sport here] and then bites it on the final turn, for no good reason. Meanwhile, my wife got killed up north, having no idea about JAX (23A: 1995 N.F.L. expansion team, for short), which apparently seemed so improbable to her that she couldn't believe ORYX was right (13D: Large African antelope). Also, she walked in here looking slightly confused and asked: "Is it the GIG or the JIG that's up?" I'll confess to having a flash of the same thought while solving.
- 30A: Like an excited puppy's tail, old-style (AWAG) — my puppy wags his tail old-style. None of this new-fangled wagging for him. (AWAG is the worst thing in the grid; but you knew that)
- 9D: Bed with wheels (ROLLAWAY) — this is nice, although it also one of the primary reasons AWAG exists.
- 36D: Italian writer Primo (LEVI) — I was once a grader for a course that was Entirely on Primo LEVI—my very first semester in grad school #RexFacts
- 29D: Many an illustration in The Economist (CARICATURE) — excellent, accurate clue.
- 40D: Bell tower instrument (CARILLON) — learned this from xwords many years ago. The power of failure! The word was there when I needed it again. I like it because it kinda looks like CARRION. I'm easy that way, word-wise.
- 45D: Pontiac model discontinued in '74 (GTO) — GTO felt right, but honestly I get GTO and GTE confused. (Another reason I didn't emerge from my BAKING SHEET mire for what felt like ages)