Leona Helmsley epithet / MON 9-10-12 / Start of a Ray Bradbury title / Queries on internet / Bill worth 100 smackers / zebra zebu / Rank below marquis / Words under monkey with his hands over his ears / 1956 #1 Elvis hit
Monday, September 10, 2012
Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: SOMETHING WICKED (36A: Start of a Ray Bradbury title ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 49- and 62-Across) — theme answers all end with synonyms of "wicked":
- QUEEN OF MEAN (17A: Leona Helmsley epithet)
- HEAR NO EVIL (26A: Words under a monkey with his hands over his ears)
- SID VICIOUS (49A: One of the Sex Pistols)
- DON'T BE CRUEL (62A: 1956 #1 Elvis hit)
Word of the Day: QUAI d'Orsay (58D: Paris's ___ d'Orsay) —
A wharf or quay ( //, US also // or //) is a structure on the shore of a harbor where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers. Such a structure includes one or moreberths (mooring locations), and may also include piers, warehouses, or other facilities necessary for handling the ships. (wikipedia)
The Quai d'Orsay is a quai in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The Quai becomes the Quai Anatole France east of the Palais Bourbon, and the Quai de Branly west of the Pont de l'Alma.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located on the Quai d'Orsay, and thus the ministry is often called the Quai d'Orsay by metonymy.The Quai (rue de Bac) has historically played an important role in French art as a location to which many artists came to paint along the banks of the river Seine.The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was developed between 1844 and 1855 by Lacornée. The statues of the facade were created by the sculptor Henri Triqueti (1870). (wikipedia)
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SOMETHING WICKED ("This Way Comes"). Revealers need to *snap*, and this one is ... well, just a partial. A long partial. Plus the fill on this one is on the wrong side of average. Overwhelmingly short and dull, with way, way too many partials (NOT TO next to A FREE next to AT ME!?!? Is that some kind of contiguous partial record?). Bit weird to have those two Acrosses that are just as long as theme answers in the NW and SE. Seems a bit of a design flaw. Rather have a couple long Downs than those oddly placed long Acrosses. And the theme in general is awfully straightforward. Where the revealer promises some*thing* wicked, what I got was just synonyms for "wicked." On the other hand, the theme yields some answers that are fantastic, particularly QUEEN OF MEAN and SID VICIOUS. And on a Monday, with such an easy puzzle, you don't need much more than that for a mostly good time.
- 1D: Queries on the Internet, for short (FAQS) — ironically (given that this blog has a FAQ; see link at top), I needed several stabs at this one before I realized what it was. It doesn't feel phrased right. It's true that FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, so if "Queries" is essentially a synonym for "Questions," it's technically right, but it hardly gets at the essence of what a FAQ is or does. The fact that "Queries" is also a verb is a further annoyance.
- 23D: Johnson who said "Ver-r-r-ry interesting!" (ARTE) — he used to be the commonest of crosswordese, but I feel like he's mostly been retired in recent years. Same with ASTA. Or maybe they are just as common as they ever were and I just don't notice anymore. This answer is typical of this puzzle's generally bygone cultural center of gravity (LEW Alcindor, Elvis, a Charo reference with the KOO clue (I think), Yoko, A Funny Thing Happened, etc.)
- 2D: His: Fr. (A LUI) — not common in crosswords. You see AMOI and ATOI a lot more. Not great in a Monday puzzle. Not great in any puzzle, but esp. in a Monday.