New York City suburb near Yonkers / MON 11-19-12 / 1980 Kool Gang Hit / Like bialys lyonnaise sauce / Pharmaceutical giant that makes Tamiflu / Spanish doubloon material / Janis's spouse in comics
Monday, November 19, 2012
Constructor: Paul Guttormsson
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: CHOCK-A-BLOCK — theme answers all have first syllable ending "-CK" and second syllable "A"
- 16A: "My little ___" (W. C. Fields phrase) (CHICKADEE)
- 24A: Broncobuster (BUCKAROO)
- 37A: Lazy (LACKADAISICAL)
- 51A: New York City suburb near Yonkers (TUCKAHOE)
- 62A: "I Heart ___" (2004 film) ("HUCKABEE'S")
- 23D: Nutso (COCKAMAMIE)
- 15D: Early Elvis Presley style (ROCKABILLY)
Word of the Day: TUCKAHOE (51A: New York City suburb near Yonkers) —
Tuckahoe is a village in the town of Eastchester in Westchester County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the village's population was 6,486. [Is that a new low for "tiny place that has no business being in a crossword"?]
• • •
TUCKAHOE's being today's CECILIAANDROBBIE (see yesterday's puzzle for that one). This has a "We don't need no stinkin' theme" quality about it, in that the theme feels very thin, conceptually, but in practice it's a slew of bouncy, entertaining words, and I really can't ask for much more on a Monday. Took about 20% longer to complete than a normal Monday puzzle, partly because of HAR HAR for HEH HEH (hate those "laugh syllable" clues because they're always ambiguous), partly because of not knowing ROCHE (4D: Pharmaceutical giant that makes Tamiflu), somewhat more partly because of TUCKAHOE, but generally (probably) just because of the theme density. Oh, and also because I don't closely associate Toyota and SCION (or, rather, because I was thinking "model" and not "make") (33A: Toyota make).
SENECA is not going to be a straight-up gimme for most people, though the name itself should be reasonably familiar (22A: Roman philosopher who originated the phrase "What fools these mortals be"). Also, because of &$^%ing TUCKAHOE, I had trouble picking up the 1980 Kool & the Gang hit (a mistake / hesitation like that is very depressing to me, as it doesn't get much closer to the Rex Parker pop cultural sweet spot than [1980 Kool & the Gang hit]). I didn't know there was such a thing as an "evolutionary ladder," so my brain transformed it to "food ladder" (or "food chain," I guess), which made APE something of a surprise. I was thinking maybe SHARK? "Doubloon" always makes me think of the Brasher Doubloon, the missing coin at the center of the Raymond Chandler novel "The High Window" (65A: Spanish doubloon material => ORO). There is a film noir adaptation of that novel from the late '40s called "The Brasher Doubloon." Thus concludes today's doubloon lesson.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld