Fishhook attachment / THU 4-4-13 / Like opera Wozzeck / Great taste since 1905 drink / Old sports org with Virginia Squires / Hookah component / Gather on surface in chemistry
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Constructor: Corey Rubin
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: LARGE PRINT — in the paper, there are 10 super-sized squares that, taken together, spell LARGE PRINT. In the online version of the puzzle, however—whole other story ... [Note: "The newspaper version has one oversize square for each block of four circles. We strongly recommend using the PDF version and solving on paper"] [Unnoted: where the hell the PDF version is]
Word of the Day: SNELL (44D: Fishhook attachment) —
A length of fine threadlike material, such as monofilament or gut, that connects a fishhook to a heavier line; a length of leader.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/snell#ixzz2PSRkwgep
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More techno-fails from the NYX site. It's pretty simple—if you're going to make puzzles that your apps / current software can't handle, then put a warning up front on the puzzle page and provide a well-marked link to the PDF. Today, mission 50% accomplished. By the time this posts, the tech folks will have realized their screw-up and fixed things. Still, failures of this kind continue to be a semi-routine occurrence. Me, I go straight into the applet, so all I knew was that there was a "note"—I didn't know what the note was, and I tend not to look at them, since they take time to read (the timer is running!) and they usu. give me unnecessary aid. Today's puzzle would *definitely* have been easier if I'd known what was up w/ all those damned circled squares (or been faced with just the over-sized squares, like in the paper), but I was still able to figure out the gimmick and finish in a pretty normal time. The online times today will thus be useless for determining exactly how hard this puzzle was. They're gonna show it Challenging, and it's just not. None of this tech stuff is the puzzle's fault, so ... on its own merits, the puzzle seems fine. Fill is pretty dull except for STRAIGHTENS UP, HOE-DOWN and TRUMP CARD, but the theme itself is at least interesting. My solving experience isn't going to be that relevant to you because I had the four circled squares (see grid) instead of the one large square. So I wrote in SNAP PEAS for 3D: Common stir-fry ingredient, because it fit, and then I knew UPC was probably right (23A: Bars from the supermarket, for short?) but ... too many squares. Wasn't until DR. ZHIVAGO that I *knew* something like doubling was happening with those squares (9D: Film character who says "I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it"). Quickly realized that all four squares were the same letter (and were to be treated as a single letter). The puzzle then got Very easy.
Strangely, I got traction in this thing via ADSORB (?) (8A: Gather on a surface, in chemistry) and BOSNS (13D: Petty officers, for short). That's sheer xword experience, right there. I've never seen ADSORB in the wild, and I know BOSN only from Shakespeare's "The Tempest." But they got me going. I'm usually pretty good with RAPS, but I'll admit I've never ever heard of "Ms. New Booty." Clue wasn't hard to get, in the end, but it did not come instantly. I've never used (smoked?) a hookah, so I had no idea URNs were involved (14A: Hookah component). I misread [Like the opera "Wozzeck"] [Like the Mozart opera [something...]] and though I could see it had to be ATONAL, I thought "Mozart? ATONAL? Seems ... wrong." Indeed. What else didn't I know. Some guy named PYE (24D: Poet laureate Henry James ___) and the non-legal ABA (8D: Old sports org. with the Virginia Squires). I think Dr. J used to play in the American Basketball Association. Yep, only person ever to be MVP of both ABA and NBA. Now he does Crown Royal commercials.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld