Beefy Provencal stew / 4-27-13 / Character in Unforgiven / Old-time actress Bennett / Ed whose entire 18-season career was with Mets / Biblically named Michigan college / Producers sex kitten / Blouse with sailor collar / Great Seal word
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Constructor: Chris A. McGlothlin
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: DAUBE (7D: Beefy Provençal stew) —
(Cookery) a braised meat stew
• • •
CAPITAL U (28A: Character in "Unforgiven")—it completely fooled me, down to the Very last letter I entered in the grid (OLIVET / CAPITAL U crossing). It's a cheap trick, but it worked. That's the one answer that really kept me held up in the NE. That and OLIVET (11D: Biblically named Michigan college)—I went to grad school in Michigan and OLIVET, even now that I see it, only vaguely rings a bell. Also, ALEXA Chung? Hosts ... what? (16A: TV host Chung) Seriously, read this and tell me which of those (all British?) shows I'm supposed to know her from. Overreliance on odd names (ULLA?) (8D: "The Producers" sex kitten) mars this puzzle a bit, though overall I think it's reasonably solid. Nowhere near my wheelhouse, and a bit old-skewing, but interesting here and there. Never heard of DAUBE or NOSY PARKER (I had NELLIE) (25D: Snoop) or MIDDY (42D: Blouse with a sailor collar) or ORDER ARMS (51A: Drill command involving a rifle) or ENID Bennett (4D: Old-time actress Bennett). 'EM ALL (36A: "Bless ___" (1941 hit song)) is up there with the most ridiculous fill of all time. KRANEPOOL / KEVIN krossing might very well kill non-baseball fans (30D: Ed whose entire 18-season career was with the Mets + 30A: 2011 All-Star pitcher Correia). Cross-referenced clues normally annoy me, but today both sets helped. Got EMU from the "E" and then picked up EXTRA LARGE rather easily after that. And CEE-LO / GREEN came together with just one or two letters in place (28D: With 33-Across, "The Voice" vocal coach). I think he's a former coach now. I don't watch, but I think that's right. Anyway, I really hope you knew who CEE-LO GREEN was, because his names' crossing in the dead center of the grid could make things very tricky otherwise. West half of the grid was easy, NE (as I said) was hard, and then the SE was somewhere in between. I luckily got LANI, EROS, and SSTS all on the first pass. ORDO (45D: Great Seal word) and MIDDY and the odd DEXTRAL (37D: Right-handed) kept things tough, though. Eventually found my way out and up to the NE. Had to change CENSOR to CENSER, and, later, DAM to TAP, before doing battle with CAPITAL U / OLIVET and eventually finishing the puzzle.
Very much enjoyed the clue on CINEMA (40D: Its patrons are usually kept in the dark).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld