90s-00s Britcom / TUE 10-23-12 / Menu item often accompanied by wasabi / Biblical land on Arabian peninsula / Roman sun god
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Constructor: Jules P. Markey
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: USPS (5A: Org. suggested by the starts of 17-, 31-, 41- and 62-Across) — beginnings of four theme answers are types of MAIL (70A: 5-Across's business):
- FIRST-CLASS CABIN (17A: Pricey accommodations on a ship)
- REGISTERED NURSE (31A: Ward worker)
- PRIORITY SEATING (41A: What disabled people are entitled to on a subway)
- EXPRESS CHECKOUT (62A: Quick way to pay)
Word of the Day: ANENT (25D: Regarding) —
Regarding; concerning: "This question remains a vital consideration anent the debate over the possibility of limiting nuclear war to military objectives" (New York Times).
[Middle English, from Old English onefn, near : on, on; see on + efn, even.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/anent#ixzz2A5TSsdkN
• • •USPS MAIL—are they finite? Are these all of them? These themes tend to work best / feel tightest when the set that appears in the theme answers is complete, or nearly so. I can't think of many other types of MAIL, which is why I ask the question. OVERNIGHT? NEXT-DAY? REGULAR? CHAIN? Anyway, all the answers are 15s, which is cool. Beyond that, I don't have anything interesting (or otherwise) to say about this theme.
I do have something to say about ANENT, though. Man, I hate that word. I am prejudiced against it, as I see it as a pretension, something that only the most faux-scholarly person would say or write. I remember seeing notes one of my grad school advisers had taken on some article, and she had something like "Oh come on" written in the margin next to where the author had used the word ANENT. So, to be clear, a medievalist thought the word was preposterous. If a medievalist thinks you are being preciously archaic with your language, you probably are. If I had to clue ANENT, it'd read something like [Enemy of an orc].
- 6A: Roman sun god (SOL) — see, this is weird, 'cause I read a bunch of Roman writing, and there were lots of gods in it, and SOL was not one of them. I imagine he is Jove's younger brother and his name is pronounced "Saul" and he owns a garage or something.
- 4D: Menu item often accompanied by wasabi (SASHIMI) — well now I'm hungry. Thanks, puzzle.
- 1D: '90s-'00s Britcom ("ABFAB") — No love for this answer, but would love to see BRITCOM in the puzzle.
- 35D: Hitter's stat (RBI) — Misread this as [Hitler's stat]. Not an answer I really wanted to contemplate.
- 50D: Biblical land on the Arabian Peninsula (SHEBA) — Isn't this also a girl's name. "Come Back Little SHEBA?" See also SHEENA and SHE-RA, not to mention SHEB Wooley.
- 55D: Rhône feeder (SAÔNE) — double-screwed up in this section, with SEINE here and EVADE in the adjacent answer, where ELUDE was supposed to go (56D: Avoid).