Honshu city devastated by 2011 tsunami / SUN 11-18-12 / Summer ermine / Tentacled Spider-Man meanie / Department north of Paris / Deposer of Milton Obote / Late comic Richard / Stripped-down laptop / Canonized Norwegian king / Moniker for Netanyahu / Subject of 1982 best seller on sexuality
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Star-Crossed Lovers" — theme answers are "famous" couples from the movies. Each character name in the couple is "crossed" by the "star" that played him/her. ("Famous" is in quotation marks because CECILIA AND ROBBIE are not famous)
Word of the Day: OLIN (113A: Ammunition giant) —
The Olin Corporation is a major manufacturer of ammunition (through Winchester Ammunition) and chlorine and sodium hydroxide (Olin Chlor-Alkali Products). Based in Clayton, Missouri, it traces its history to two companies, both founded in 1892: Franklin W. Olin's Equitable Powder Company ofEast Alton, Illinois and the Mathieson Alkali Works of Saltville, Virginia into which Olin merged, although keeping the Olin name first. After being headquartered for many years in Stamford, CT, it is now headquartered in Clayton, Missouri. (wikipedia)
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ILSA AND RICK, SCARLET AND RHETT) or they are CECILIA AND ROBBIE, which belongs in this puzzle about as much as giraffe belongs in an aquarium. Who? Who? Four legendary film couples and ... two people I've never heard of (No, I haven't read "Atonement" ... I read "On Chesil Beach," mostly because it was short, and I liked that, but that's all the McEwan I've read) (And I didn't even know there *was* a movie version of "Atonement") (And I have no idea who JAMES McAvoy is). The severe outlier status of that answer is a massive distraction. Also made that NE corner very interesting ... much tougher than any other part of the grid (CRIB SHEET, HOOKAH, and DRAKE'S all took a while to turn up) (10D: Pony + 33A: Kind of bar + 21D: Coffee Cakes maker). There are a couple of obnoxious, fake past participles in here (BERRIED? TSKED?), but the rest is at least solid and occasionally exciting (SMART ASS! DOC OCK! MOB BOSS! GET THIS!).
If you want to amuse yourself, just re-parse DOCOCK (55D: Tentacled "Spider-Man" meanie). And you thought G-SPOT was edgy ... (99D: Subject of a 1982 best seller on sexuality)
- 3D: "Doctor Zhivago" (LARA AND YURI) — YURI definitely slipped my mind.
- 24A: "Atonement"(CECILIA AND ROBBIE)
- 64A: "Casablanca" (ILSA AND RICK)
- 67D: "Titanic" (ROSE AND JACK)
- 105A: "Gone With the Wind" (SCARLETT AND RHETT)
- 14A: John O'Hara's "Appointment in ___" ("SAMARRA") — nearly bought a copy of this today in Ithaca. Pulled a lot of vintage paperbacks out of that bookshop, but ended up leaving O'Hara behind.
- 79A: Canonized Norwegian king (ST. OLAV) — had the "V" and figured it was somebody the IVth or Vth.
- 108A: Late comic Richard (JENI) — I don't think I knew he was "late." Haven't seen his name in the grid for a while.
- 110A: Stripped-down laptop (NETBOOK) — nice, modern answer. See also TTYL (106D: Texter's "ciao").
- 7D: Vindictive one, in myth (HERA) — seems like it could've been any number of people "in myth" ... and yet I knew exactly who the clue meant.
- 34D: Department north of Paris (OISE) — Ugh, French department clues ... I had ORNE here at first.