Rock with glittery inside / MON 1-21-13 / Territory that became two states / Roulette centerpiece / Soccer star Mia's meats / Potato protuberances
Monday, January 21, 2013
Constructor: Susan Gelfand
Relative difficulty: Easy (2:49)
THEME: Possessive rhymes — two-part phrases where the first part rhymes with the second, following the pattern [somebody's somethings]
- LOCKE'S LOCKS (17A: Philosopher John's tresses?)
- PENN'S PENS (25A: Actor Sean's writing implements?)
- WRIGHT'S RIGHTS (Aviator Wilbur's entitlements?)
- HAMM'S HAMS (50A: Soccer star Mia's meats?)
- LISZT'S LISTS (59A: Composer Franz's rosters?)
Word of the Day: DSL (32D: It's faster than dial-up, in brief) —
Digital subscriber line (DSL, originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that provide Internet access by transmitting digital data over the wires of a local telephone network. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology. DSL service is delivered simultaneously withwired telephone service on the same telephone line. This is possible because DSL uses higher frequency bands for data. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each non-DSL outlet blocks any high frequency interference, to enable simultaneous use of the voice and DSL services. (wikipedia)
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A simple, old-fashioned kind of theme that surely must've been done many times before. Not much to say there. The rest of the grid is quite solid—above average, I'd say. Very clean throughout, with some genuinely polished and lively places. I especially like the NE corner. High-value Scrabble letters make for some vivid and interesting words—i.e. they're not just thrown in there for show. JINXED (11D: Brought bad luck) and WOODSY (13D: Filled with trees) would look good in any puzzle. All over the grid, you'll notice that there's very little that is off-putting or irksome. It's very clean. It would be nice if the theme had some pop to it, but you can't have it all, and I'll take an expertly filled grid over a poorly filled grid any time. It's pretty hard to get all your 5s and 6s to work in concert, but in the corners, and in the due N and due S, that's exactly what's going on. Competent, careful fill, esp. in the non-showy medium-length range (i.e. the 5s and 6s of which I speak), is deeply under-rated, and often goes unnoticed. So ... I hereby notice it.
Only two sticking points today. The answer with which I had the most trouble was actually the first one I encountered: 1A: Gross growth (MOLD). I had not idea what could be meant. I wasn't even sure what definition of "gross" was in play. After getting first two letters, I considered MOSS, but that didn't seem ... gross enough. Later on, I had an odd lot of trouble WHEEL (44A: Roulette centerpiece). I came at it from the back end (-EL) and thought a. it was a two-syllable word and b. it was some technical term. Wrong on both counts. After that, the only issue I had was the eternal "A-Neal or I-Neil?" question at 48D: Singer Young or Sedaka (NEIL). I guessed right.
Back to my Satyajit Ray movie ("Mahanagar," 1963), then football.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld