Wall Street Journal ___ / Gang woman / Naughty Goose and Moose Drool / The Allegheny and Monongahela join to form it / CBS series for 17 seasons / Something of interest to Miss Marple / Cy Young's was 2.63, in brief
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Constructor: John Guzzetta
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: A Twenty Dollar Bill — Four long answers describe... stuff about a $20 bill.
Word of the Day: CLEW (6-D: Something of interest to Miss Marple) —
• • •Hello everyone! This is us:
The two supercool kids in that picture up there! You know Caleb Madison because he's had like a million amazing puzzles in so many publications He can't even remember them all. And you WILL know his BFF Alex Blum because he WILL have a million puzzles that'll be okay somewhere. Just kidding. He has already had a puzzle accepted to Ben Tausig's 20 Under 30 Contest. We are both in Yale's most crosswordy improv group, The Viola Question
But enough about us. On to the puzzle! We're young folk, so this puzzle was a bit of a struggle for us. We assume that our word of the day CLEW is referring to an archaic form of the word "clue"... but who knows? Perhaps Miss Marple is a closeted sailing enthusiast? Either way, Alex put it in not quite believing it was right. Caleb put it in because he knows there's no such thing as a DUNT... yet. Also, CONJ. (7-D: "And" or "or": Abbr.) isn't our favorite and CADENT (5d: Rhythmic), while accurate, isn't particularly familiar. A version of that section with more proper nouns and fewer unsavory entries would look something like this:
That said, it's really hard to construct a puzzle with four 13-letter entries, because you need to put those big ugly blocks around two of them. This leads to less-than-ideal grids that force solvers through the middle (in this case, the only connection between the top and bottom halves is that cross of EMPTY (29d: Evacuate) and HYPER (35a: Overexcited). Nevertheless, the fill had some bright spots.
SHAKES (9d: Drinks with straws), for instance, got us really excited because a Shake Shack just opened in New Haven and we've been there more often than we'd like to admit.
[A window into our futures.]
- 20a: On the front (ANDREW JACKSON) - yes, yes it is.
- 27a: On the back (THE WHITE HOUSE) - well spotted.
- 43a: On both sides (TWENTY DOLLARS) - true fact.
- 51a: 20-, 27- and 43-Across locale, slangily (DOUBLE SAWBUCK) - ...................................................................................................................
- 38d: Establishment that might sell 9-Down and 53-Downs (SNACK BAR) — We've never been to a snack bar, but it sounds fun! And we liked the cross-referencing and the consonant cluster (c.f. WIDTHS (14d: C, D and EEE)
- 23d: White dwarf, e.g. (STAR) — Alex is taking an Astronomy class called Life in the Universe so this was right up his alley. Shout out to Debra Fischer.
- 62a: The thought that counts? (IDEA) — We see where the clue is coming from, but it seems a tad forced. However the clue for EMPTY (29d: Evacuate) was super tricky. Total aha moment after staring at E ____ for a bit.
- 44d: Not stable (WOBBLY) — what a fun word! And a potentially misleading clue! We kept thinking INSANE, VOLATILE... or BARN. This song Caleb likes has WOBBLY in it [caution: NSFW]:
Signed, Caleb Madison and Alex Blum, SLOBs (9a: Neatnik's opposite) of the CrossWorld
P.S. If any readers are in the New Haven area, they should come to the Viola Question's Parents' Weekend Show this Saturday, October 13th, in the Davenport Common Room at 8pm!