Enlightened Buddhist / FRI 11-30-12 / Wir leben Autos sloganeer / Hybrid tea's ancestor / Subject of 2007 youtube sensation / Longtime headlines reader / L Word producer Chaiken / Rotarian relative / Friend of Frodo
Friday, November 30, 2012
Constructor: Gary Cee
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: ISADOR Coriat (25A: Early psychoanalyst Coriat) —
Isador Henry Coriat (December 10, 1875, Philadelphia – May 26, 1943, Boston) was an American psychiatrist and neurologist. He was one of the first American psychoanalysts.He was born in Philadelphia in 1875 as the son of Hyram Coriat and Clara née Einstein. He was of Moroccan-Spanish descent on father's side and German on mother's side. He grew up in Boston and attended Tufts Medical School, graduating in 1900.He was one of the founders of Boston Psychoanalytic Society, the first secretary in 1914 and president in years 1930-32. Coriat was the only Freudian analyst in Boston during the period after James Jackson Putnam's death.Coriat worked with the Rev. Elwood Worcester, served as the medical expert for the Emmanuel Movement and co-authored Religion and Medicine; The Moral Control of Nervous Disorders.Coriat married Etta Dann in 1910. He died on May 26, 1943, after a brief illness. (wikipedia) (this is the entirety of his wikipedia entry, excluding bibliography)
• • •Even though I finished in a perfectly normal time, I never felt like I got traction with this one. Very choppy solving experience. Took me a very long time to get any of the 15s. I think CLAIRE MCCASKILL was the first one I got (a gimme), and I had traversed the grid completely at that point. Never got on to the puzzle's wavelength. [Order confirmation?] = SECRET HANDSHAKE because ... people in fraternal orders have secret handshakes? Is that it? No idea what BIG A is or means (it's Aqueduct Racetrack, whatever that is). Never heard of CHINA / ROSE and don't even know what "hybrid tea" is, let alone what its ancestor might be (5A: With 1-Across, hybrid tea's ancestor). Thought the grid too chock full of those weird names that seem only to exist to be in crosswords. your ILENEs (34D: "The L Word" producer Chaiken) and your SADAs and your LENAs and GENAs and MATA Hari and that ISADOR guy (???). When I look at the grid, I see very nice long answers (15s) and kind of ugly everything else. I mean, while I wasn't getting the 15s, I was busy picking up stuff like OPEL (14A: "Wir leben Autos" sloganeer) and TERN and ARHAT (51A: Enlightened Buddhist) and ENOS (54D: 1961 space chimp) and TRE and EELED and N TESTS—not fun, I assure you. The 15s offered some payoff, finally, but not as much as I'd've liked.
AS A SET is depressing me, for some reason. It just seems so inadequate and makeshift and not up to the task up actually being crossword fill. AS A FRIEND, AS A FAVOR, AS A JOKE ... those seem borderline, but passable. There's something just not-quite-tight enough about a random adverbial phrase like that. I never did care about the PIANO-PLAYING CAT, a reference which might at one point have seemed fresh, but in internet time now just feels dated (36A: Subject of a 2007 YouTube sensation). I did have one good aha moment in this puzzle—with STEVIE Nicks at 23A: Nicks producing cuts? Not a fan of partials, but if you gotta do it, why not go with Keanu (34A: "There ___ spoon" ("The Matrix" line) (IS NO))?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld