Attendee of fictional Lowood Institution for girls / WED 10-24-12 / Now in Nogales / Shipboard punishment / Western accessory / What tosspot fantasizes clouds would do / Entries in two Oscar categories slangily / Stalactite producer
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: GLOSS (37A: Some makeup ... or a hint to 17-, 26-, 43- and 58-Across) — theme answers are all phrases beginning with "G" where the "G" has been dropped, resulting in wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: BAY (35D: Triple Crown winner Citation or Gallant Fox) —
Bay is a hair coat color of horses, characterized by a reddish brown body color with a blackmane, tail, ear edges, and lower legs. Bay is one of the most common coat colors in many horse breeds. (wikipedia)
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FRAT ROW (42D: Where many Greeks are found) and BIG TOE (45D: Part that may be pinched). I had almost every letter in FRAT ROW before that one became clear, and BIG TOE was very hard to see because the clue was so vague. "Part" tells me nothing. "Body part" tells me something. Befuddling. IN A STIR (48A: All riled up) is not a phrase I ever hear, though it's crossword-familiar. Clues on BEGOT (54A: Conceived), TONE (64A: Paint swatch choice), and HAT (58D: ___ in hand) were none of them very precise. Tense on the clue for RERAN (51D: Put on again) was ambiguous. Not that I really minded any of this, but it really was out of sync with the rest of the puzzle, which had no tough clue clusters.
I've seen this theme done before, with FLOSS. I remember thinking "oh, you could do that with GLOSS." And now someone has. That should do it for -LOSS puzzles, unless someone is bold enough to try a PANGLOSS puzzle.
I thought FRAT ROW a pretty good answer—original-feeling—and I liked the clue on PAYPHONES (11D: There used to be a lot more of these on corners). Otherwise, this one is well put together but kind of insubstantial. Lots of shortish answers, not a lot of zippy fill, average cluing.
I posted the grid for this past Sunday's puzzle — the contest one — a few hours ago, in a separate post, so if you are still at a loss for answers, check it out.
- 17A: Actor Norris, after gaining weight? (ROUND CHUCK)
- 26A: What a tosspot fantasizes the clouds would do? (RAIN ALCOHOL)
- 43A: Thieves at an all-night dance bash? (RAVE ROBBERS)
- 58A: Someone responding to a party R.S.V.P.? (HOST WRITER)
- 19A: Attendee of the fictional Lowood Institution for girls (EYRE) — as in Jane. One of those books I never managed to get around to reading. Some day. Probably. Or not.
- 27D: Manhattan Project result, informally (A BOMB) — one of my least favorite crosswordeses, mostly because the first letter can be either A or H. See also [letter]-TEST, where letter can be either H or N.
- 8D: Entries in two Oscar categories, slangily (DOCS) — this clue just didn't compute as I was solving, and neither did its neighbor, 7D: Bad fit (AGUE). I think of AGUE as a fever, not a "fit," but it's both, I guess.