2001-02 Nickelodeon sitcom / SUN 9-23-12 / Soviet author Ehrenburg / Onetime Time competitor / 1965 title role for Ursula Andress / Dweller along Volga / Actress Martha who played Sinatra's love interest in Some Came Running / Most excellent modern slang
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Constructor: Matt Ginsberg
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Breath-Taking" — dedicated to ELIZA / DOOLITTLE (28A: With 78-Down, character commemorated in the answers to this puzzle's starred clues). Clues are for wacky phrases that contain words that start with "H"—in the grid, a la Eliza's pre-tutored speaking style, the "H" is dropped, and the result is ... just a familiar phrase.
Word of the Day: ENOUNCE (20A: Set forth) —
tr.v., e·nounced, e·nounc·ing, e·nounc·es.
- To declare formally; state.
- To pronounce clearly; enunciate.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/enounce#ixzz27F4mLFCC
• • •
INRE = one ERSE = one ROIL = any four-letter word. No sense of craft or discrimination. Take virtually Everything on a diagonal from ANET down to HYER (89D: Actress Martha who played Sinatra's love interest in "Some Came Running"). There's just so much rot. And I thought I hated ALIENEE more than any word that length—and then I met ENOUNCE. You'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to let that thing into my grid. There's just a [shrug] "sure, whatever" attitude in the fill. "Well ... it's a word. Good enough—next!" It's dispiriting. When corners are hard, you want the work to be worth it. When the payoff involves ENOUNCE and/or ALIENEE, then you are left feeling badly ripped off.
- 24A: *Male pattern baldness? (AIRLINE TRAVEL)
- 32A: *Baying? (NIGHT OWLS)
- 51A: *Cardiologist's concern? (STATE OF THE ART)
- 67A: *Caries? (ARM TO THE TEETH)
- 83A: *Marriage in 2004, divorce in 2011? (SEVEN-YEAR ITCH)
- 102A: *Conduct classes? (OLD SCHOOL)
- 113A: *Petrified wood? (FOREST OF ARDEN) — this doesn't make sense in wacky mode (the Forest of Harden!?!?), so boo.
- 14D: *Stable hands? (ALTAR BOYS)
- 3D: *Endless bagpipe tune? (LONG ISLAND SOUND)
- 48D: *Gold-plated forceps? (EYEBROW TWEEZERS)
- 13A: Most excellent, in modern slang (BADDEST) — Hmm. Stretching the meaning of "modern" pretty thin here. In related news, Michael Jackson's "Bad" just celebrated its 25th anniversary (Aug. 31).
- 75A: Occupants of the lowest circle of Dante's hell (TRAITORS) — I like to keep about half a dozen copies of "Inferno" on hand at all times, 'cause ... you never know.
- 91A: Inventor after whom a Yale residential college is named (MORSE) — Because there aren't enough Yale-oriented clues in the world. Insane clue for a very familiar answer. See also the clue on JUNEAU (95D: Gold prospector Joe with a state capital named after him).
- 93A: Soviet author Ehrenburg (ILYA) — oh, sure, who could forget ... that thing ... he wrote.
- 8D: Kellogg offering, briefly (MBA) — so, some university's b-school is named "Kellogg" ... aha, Northwestern. I did not know that. My only associations with Kellogg are cereal-related. Or basketball analyst-related.
- 39D: French composer of "Vexations" (SATIE) — no one really expects you to know what he composed (though I recommend "Gymnopédies"). You just need to know French composer, 5 letters, boom: SATIE (maybe someone else too, but I'd try SATIE first).
- 43A: Extinct emu-like birds (MOAS) — in the plural. You don't see that too often. I only wish "emu-like" could've been in the grid instead of just the clues.
- 50D: Onetime Time competitor, briefly (US NEWS) — ... and World Report. It seems to still exist in some form—online, and as a ranker of colleges and universities. I guess it just isn't in Time's league any more?
- 64D: 1965 title role for Ursula Andress (SHE) — I know the H. Rider Haggard novel. With the answer at three letters, I just made an educated guess here.
- 70D: Dweller along the Volga (TATAR) — Oddly easy. Had the "T" and just thought "what's the crosswordesiest thing I can think of?"
- 76D: 2001-02 Nickelodeon sitcom ("TAINA") — the biggest "WTF!?" of the day, by far. Never heard of it, which is stunning given its longevity and lasting cultural resonance.