Walrus-skin boat / TUE 11-13-12 / NFL Hall-of-Famer Yale / Father Damien's island / Green critter in Sinclair gas logo
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Constructor: Don Gagliardo and Zhouqin Burnikel
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "SKYFALL" (26D: 2012 Bond film ... or a hint to six other Down answers in this puzzle) — letter string "SKY" appears in six other Down answers
Word of the Day: Darren ARONOFSKY (11D: "Black Swan" director Darren) —
Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969) is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer. He attended Harvard University to study film theory and the American Film Institute to study both live-action and animation filmmaking. He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist. Aronofsky has received acclaim for his often surreal, disturbing films and has been noted for frequent collaborations with cinematographer Matthew Libatique andcomposer Clint Mansell. His films have generated controversy and are well known for their often violent, bleak subject matter. [...] His fourth film, The Wrestler, was released to critical acclaim and both of the film's stars, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, received Academy Award nominations. In 2010 Aronofsky was anexecutive producer on The Fighter and his fifth feature film, Black Swan, received further critical acclaim and many accolades, being nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Pictureand Best Director. Aronofsky received nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and a DGA nomination. Filming on Aronofsky's sixth film, Noah, began in Iceland in July 2012. (wikipedia)
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Very mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, there are some great entries here, like ARONOFSKY and BUTTINSKY; on the other hand, the theme is just "answers with SKY in them," which feels exceedingly weak for a theme. The fact that they "fall" is not interesting at all. In crosswords, we call those answers Downs; and, as always, they make up half the damn grid. Nothing exceptional about an answer's "falling" Down. Further, there's lots of ugly short stuff (LARY, ANAS, ECT, etc.). Further further, I'm distracted by the lone non-Bond "SKY" (the vodka). The others all sound like "SKI." And one last further: RISKY MOVE feels like cheating; it's just RISKY with another word added. If MUSKY and PESKY can stand alone, so can RISKY. MOVE is only there to make the symmetry work out.
- 1D: Like some perfume (MUSKY)
- 5D: Spirit in a blue bottle (SKYY VODKA)
- 11D: "Black Swan" director Darren (ARONOFSKY)
- 34D: Busybody (BUTTINSKY)
- 36D: Investing all one's money in a penny stock, say (RISKY MOVE)
- 53D: Like a mosquito (PESKY)
- 14A: Walrus-skin boat (UMIAK) — hardcore crosswordese. A good word to know. I think I remember a prior clue that suggested the word mean, literally, "women's boat."
- 20A: Saxophonist with the 12x platinum album "Breathless" (KENNY G) — 12x!?!?! What is Wrong with people?
- 32A: Repeated Michael Jackson lyric in a 1987 hit ("I'M BAD") — so this is legal now? Random lyrics from hit songs?
- 33D: Nickname for Reggie Jackson (MR. OCTOBER) — I had dinner two tables away from him last month in Monterey. Honestly, he looked like any other older guy in the Monterey area at first glance. Totally inconspicuous. But up close, unmistakable.
- 55D: Green critter in the Sinclair gas logo (DINO) — does anyone actually call "dinosaurs" DINOs? And "critter?" I still maintain that nothing bigger than a human being can be considered a "critter."
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM