Ritz look-alike of old / WED 8-15-12 / Hale telescope's observatory / Cadillac model unveiled 2012 / Sound like banshee / Old county of Northern Ireland / Edinburgh's locale in poetry
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: TOWN SQUARES (35A: What the six groups of circled letters represent) — reading clockwise starting from the NW circled square, each set of squares spells out a word that can precede "TOWN" in a common name, word, or phrase:
- HOME town
- BOYS town
Bibi Andersson (born 11 November 1935) is a Swedish actress. [...] Her intense portrayal of the nurse Alma in the 1966 film Persona led to an increase in the number of cinematic roles offered her, and she appeared that same year opposite James Garner andSidney Poitier in the violent western Duel at Diablo. More Bergman collaborations followed, as well as working with John Huston (The Kremlin Letter: 1970) and Robert Altman (Quintet: 1979). She made her debut in American theatre in 1973 with a production of Erich Maria Remarque's Full Circle. (wikipedia)
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BUSTIERS to boot (47A: Close-fitting women's garments). Brilliant. My only complaint is that it was so damned easy. A couple proper nouns that I probably should've known (BIBI, TYRONE) (1A: Andersson of "Persona"; 46D: Old county of Northern Ireland), a bad guess at [Words of denial] ("AM NOT!" instead of "I DON'T"), and a total inability to process Roman numerals quickly and efficiently (let alone accurately) (see 22-Across) were the only things between me and a Monday-like time. Even with those snags, my time was solid Tuesday. But difficulty level is always at least a little subjective, whereas the technical merits of the puzzle ... I don't think they are.
PEACH TREE) was thrown in there to slow folks down, because who the hell would know that outside Atlanta, but the answer's highly gettable (with some crosses) via Atlanta's location in Georgia and Georgia's being the Peach State. Maybe the PALOMAR observatory is new or unfamiliar to some people. I know PALOMAR best as a fictional Central American town in Gilbert Hernandez's stories for "Love and Rockets." I learned about the observatory (operated by CalTech in the Palomar Mtn. Range, in S. California) from crosswords, I think, and the answer came pretty easily for me today. I hope I don't end up seeing a lot of ATS, which seems slightly desperately clued at 31D: Cadillac model unveiled in 2012. I don't think that's a thing, that people know, the way they know, say, GTO or ALERO. Valid, but not what you'd call quality fill. But I'm nitpicking here, as ATS and SOOTS (33A: Blackens with chimney grime) were the only answers that gave me any queasy feeling whatsoever.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld