Soap actress Sofer / THU 10-11-12 / Verdi opera set in Aragon / Baal worshiper / Name shared by Broadway quintet / Toon with singing map / Massenet opera based on work of Goethe / Winston's biggest fear in 1984
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Constructor: Byron Walden
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: 3/2 — first three syllables are all the same string of letters; last two syllables are the same string of letters
CAN CAN CANTATA (19A: Bach work performed at the Moulin Rouge?)
CHI-CHI CHIHUAHUA (37A: One spotted at the Rodeo Drive Taco Bell?)
BERBER BERNINI (51A: North African counterpart to an Italian Baroque sculptor?)
Word of the Day: RENA Sofer (53D: Soap actress Sofer) —
Rena Sherel Sofer (born December 2, 1968) is an American actress, primarily known for her appearances in daytime television, episodic guest appearances, and made-for-television movies. In 1995, Sofer received a Daytime Emmy Award for her work in the soap opera General Hospital, for her portrayal of Lois Cerullo. (wikipedia)
• • •
APEDOM), and even though I temporarily invented the word TRAMSIDE at 33A: Pickup point at an amusement park (TRAM STOP), I put this thing away like it was Wednesday. The theme feels both slight and tired, which is really, really unusual for a Walden puzzle. Cluing is first-rate, and the grid has many points of interest (most notably EXECUTRIX and BLOW POP and THIN MINTS), but in terms of overall quality it feel somewhat below expectations. Certainly no worse than an average puzzle, but lacking any magic to speak of.
- 25A: Winston's biggest fear in "1984" (RATS) — I don't remember much about the book, but I remember RATS.
- 27A: Massenet opera based on a work of Goethe (WERTHER) — clue actually helped, as I was able to infer the answer from the Goethe title "The Sorrows of Young WERTHER." WERTHER is also a candy eponym. These ads used to creep me out:
- 48A: Toon with a singing map (DORA) — is DORA still working, or did she finally self-deport after work dried up?
- 50A: Name shared by a Broadway quintet (MOE) — "Five Guys Named Moe"—I know this song because of Joe Jackson:
- 8D: ___ Croft, comic book herione (LARA) — "comic book"? I think the clue means "video game." No, these are not the same things.
- 12D: Just before the top of the hour (ONE TO) — the worst. Who in the world would ever say "it's ONE TO!?" You're ___ talk!
- 20D: Area of Chicago where Wrigley Field is located (NORTHSIDE) — got the NORTH pretty easily. Could've guessed the SIDE part, but waited for crossing confirmation.
- 44D: Verdi opera set in Aragon ("ERNANI") — wherever lizard brain meets crossword brain, that's where this answer came from. More reflex than thoughtful response.