Flier to Rio / FRI 3-22-13 / Swamp birds / Actress Landi of Count of Monte Cristo 1934 / Topiary figures / Every in an Rx / / Not in eine Million Jahre / Future alumnae quaintly
Friday, March 22, 2013
Constructor: Tim Croce
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: VARIG (22D: Flier to Rio) —
VARIG (acronym for Viação Aérea RIo-Grandense) was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline. In 2005, Varig went into judicial reorganisation, and in 2006 it was split into two companies informally known as "old" Varig - heir to the original airline and now defunct, and "new" Varig - a new company presently fully integrated into Gol Airlines. (wikipedia)
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This is the kind of puzzle that makes me wonder why anyone bothers making 15-stack puzzles any more. What's the point? What are you doing? This minor stunt has been done *so* many times now, that unless you can really bring something stunning to the table, I really don't see the point. Maybe you get a good 15 or two in there (ROCKET TO THE MOON isn't bad, and EMAIL DOMAIN NAME, while not swoon-inducing, is at least modern), but you will inevitably end up with some teetery, barely-a-solid-phrase, boring stuff, at least one answer (today, two) with ONE'S in it, and then a bunch of fill in your grid that nobody but nobody can really enjoy. Let's see: not one but two olde-timey actresses (VERNA, ELISSA??? ... actually, ELISSA is so olde-timey that I should apologize to VERNA for even mentioning them in the same breath) (18A: Bloom who played Mary in "The Last Temptation of Christ" + 38A: Actress Landi of "The Count of Monte Cristo," 1934); some stuff that looks like random letters strung together (i.e. SORAS [Swamp birds], VARIG [Flier to Rio], GLARY), multiple THORS disguised as a possessive (42A: ___ hammer (Mjolnir)), passable but icky stuff like OMN [Every, in an Rx] MOIRE ORIG and NOID, and then the stuff that *looks* fancy but is really just a crossword-constructing program screaming "Uncle!," i.e. OTOMIS (7D: Mexican Indians) and ETAMESON (9D: Electrically neutral subatomic particle).