Creation director Jon / SAT 11-10-12 / Friday Night Beauty airer / Protein powder purveyor / Council city 1545-63 / TV title role for Toni Collette / 1997 Spielberg epic /
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Constructor: David Quarfoot
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: Jon AMIEL (62A: "Creation" director Jon) —
Jon Amiel (born 20 May 1948) is an English film director who has since the early 1980s worked in film and television in both the UK and the US. [...] After having worked as a story editor for the BBC, he directed the documentary The Silent Twins, and was chosen to direct the Dennis Potter serial The Singing Detective. He made his feature film debut in 1989 with Queen of Hearts. (wikipedia)
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TRENT [Council city of 1545-63] was a gimme in the NE, so I didn't get nearly so bogged down there). I have no memory of this puzzle now. The only thing I remember is the roughly 4x5 section in the SW, which took me much longer than the entire rest of the puzzle. Only way in was through two answers that start and end with "E," respectively. Not a lot to go on. Further, both answers had "?" clues. Ugh. Es and "?" clues on both!? And then it was a combination of vagueness, obscurity, and (I think) inaccuracy. Do real dealers say "YOU IN?" (50D: Dealer's query) Sounds like something you'd ask your roommate i.e. getting a pizza. Jon AMIEL is who now? KREME!? The clue on KREME is ridiculous (49D: Part of some sundae shoppe names). I've literally never seen that word on a "sundae shoppe." Ugh. Krispy KREME is a thing, but "sundae shoppe?" Is that a thing? "I'm going to the sundae shoppe, pa." No. Ice cream shoppe, maybe. Go ahead and Google ["sundae shoppe"]. The results are Dismal. TROI or SULU? Maybe KIRK? Who can say? (54A: Name on the Enterprise) Why is EPIPEN clued with a "?" (45D: Shot of adrenaline?). Seems pretty literal. I had REUPS (58A: Avoids a service interruption) and SLY (59D: Feline) written in, and kept entertaining the idea of PENNY (64A: Copper), but couldn't pull the trigger because it made all the Downs look wrong. *Finally* got SKYPE after just mulling the clue over and over and over (48A: Make a call to see someone nowadays?). That seems to be the key to that corner: SKYPE.
The rest of the puzzle—5 minutes, tops. A gimme at 1A: Facebook purchase of 2012 (INSTAGRAM) and hardly a hiccup thereafter. Felt like a Wednesday.
- 10A: Site of the world's largest single reservoir of natural gas (QATAR) — I live on top of the Marcellus Shale here in the NE. Lots of natural gas just waiting to be fracked. Very controversial issue. Pro-fracking County Executive just won re-election in a landslide.
- 15A: Subject of a civil-rights investigation (HATE CRIME) — Good clue. Having INSTAGRAM, I threw down TEN, ACOW, and GRAIN in quick succession, and those crosses made HATE CRIME obvious.
- 34A: Protein powder purveyor (GNC) — never saw the clue—not a common occurrence in a Saturday puzzle. Tells you how fast I was blowing through it.
- 53A: TV title role for Toni Collette (TARA) — We are currently watching (and loving) this show on Netflix. She's an exceptional actor.
- 9D: ___ mal (tort reform topic, briefly) (MED) — what an ugly way to clue MED. Thankfully, never saw the clue.
- 8D: 1997 Spielberg epic ("AMISTAD") — future constructors of Spielberg tribute puzzles, take note: "AMISTAD" has the same number of letters as "LINCOLN."
- 36D: Singer with the double-platinum album "Measure of a Man" (CLAY AIKEN) — would've been tough had I not had the -KEN part before reading the clue. Given that, CLAY AIKEN was the first and only answer to cross my mind.
- 10D: "Friday Night Beauty" airer (QVC) — impossible without the "Q," piece of cake with it.
- 11D: Literary sextet (AEIOUY) — erp. Didn't like. Not without ANDSOMETIMES.