Compound in Agent Orange / WED 11-28-12 / Toby filler / Poet with fanatic's heart / Fictional Flanders Devine / Gumbo thickener / Young newt
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Constructor: Adam G. Perl
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: Random algebra problem —
- X PLUS Y IS SIXTEEN
- X MINUS Y IS FOUR
- X IS TEN AND Y IS SIX
Word of the Day: BIX Beiderbecke (1D: Beiderbecke of jazz) —
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer. // With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s. His turns on "Singin' the Blues" (1927) and "I'm Coming, Virginia" (1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. With these two recordings, especially, he helped to invent the jazz ballad style and hinted at what, in the 1950s, would become cool jazz. "In a Mist" (1927), one of a handful of his piano compositions but the only one he recorded, mixed classical influences with jazz syncopation. Beiderbecke also has been credited for his influence, directly, on Bing Crosby and, indirectly, via saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, on Lester Young. (wikipedia)
• • •I have no idea what this is. Or, rather, I do, but don't understand *why* it is. Is this a famous equation? It appears that this equation is in the grid only because it somehow manages to fit into the grid in three symmetrical segments. I didn't even have to do any algebra. The grid just filled itself in, and I'm left with the ... pleasure? ... of reading the world's easiest algebra equation. Yup, it checks out. Now what? Where's the twist? The zing? The "here's why you've been entering an equation into the grid for the past five minutes or so"? Nowhere. Not that I can see. Someone needs to fire the IDEA MAN (50A: Think tank types).
One thing this grid has going for it is Xs. Granted, two of them are wasted on the horrid crosses XED and XOX, but DIOXIN is lovely (probably the only time you'll hear someone say that) (45D: Compound in Agent Orange), and, well, now I have heard of this BIX guy, so I learned something, at least. Love the long Downs, but the fill in general is mostly short and mostly trite (perhaps not the TRITEST, but not fresh, at any rate). Contains two of my least favorite bits of crosswordese: AH ME (which is exactly one tick worse than AH SO), and IRED, which no one has ever said in the history of the world. There was some occasionally interesting cluing, like 68A: Kind of day for a competitive cyclist for REST and 30A: Poet with a "fanatic's heart" for YEATS, but overall this was mostly fairly dull.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld