Harry Potter librarian Pince / SUN 4-21-13 / Affiliate of AFL CIO / Dinosaur pioneering cartoon short / 1989 John Cusack romantic comedy / Site of Cyclops smithy / Lover of Cesario in Twelfth Night / Puerto Rican city that shares name with explorer
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Constructor: Jonah Kagan
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Front Flips" — familiar phrases have their "front" word "flipped," creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
Word of the Day: UMW (14D: Affiliate of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.) —
The United Mine Workers of America (UMW or UMWA) is a North American labor union best known for representing coal miners and coal technicians. Today, the Union also represents health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing workers and public employees in the United States and Canada. Although its main focus has always been on workers and their rights, the UMW of today also advocates for better roads, schools, and universal health care.
The UMW was founded in Columbus, Ohio, on January 22, 1890, with the merger of two old labor groups, the Knights of Labor Trade Assembly No. 135 and the National Progressive Miners Union. Adopting the model of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), the union was initially established as a three-pronged labor tool: to develop mine safety; to improve mine workers' independence from the mine owners and the company store; and to provide miners with collective bargaining power. After passage of the National Recovery Act in 1933, organizers spread throughout the United States to organize all coal miners into labor unions. (wikipedia)
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FIRST KISS, PROMISE RING, and "SAY ANYTHING" (an iconic movie from back when movies still had the capacity to be iconic). I need to coin a term for the answer / clue that is so distracting / annoying / irritating / jarring that it takes your head out of the game. Makes you stop and wonder WTF?, possibly aloud. They yank your attention, so ... "Yankers" maybe. Two yankers today. First: UMW. It yanked me for two reasons. One, I've never seen it, that I can recall. When I google [umw], the first hit I get is University of Mary Washington, which sounds made up, and yet, as I say, beats United Mine Workers in a google search. Second, UMW is a perverse answer given the clue. UAW seemed faaaaar more likely, for many reasons, not least because I've actually seen it in grids before. I'm not even sure what "affiliate" means, union-wise. So ... UMW is legit fill, but yankety yank. Yankier still was DISTRO. Are we just making up "words" now. I am inferring that it has something to do with DISTRObution, but ... yikes. Never heard it, never seen it, no-wise. Total yanker. Everything else seems perfectly adequate.
- 24A: Tammany Hall corruption, e.g.? (EVIL FROM NEW YORK)
- 34A: Try to see what you're getting for Christmas? (PEEK UNDER WRAPS)
- 45A: Academy for criminals? (PERP SCHOOL)
- 51A: Journey from the nest to the kitchen, say? (RAT'S TREK)
- 64A: Hidden drug habit, maybe? (POT SECRET)
- 76A: Drink greedily? (GULP IT IN)
- 81A: Playground apparatus of the Apocalypse? (DOOM SWINGS)
- 91A: Be a lenient judge? (DIAL DOWN THE LAW)
- 105A: Maligned merchandise? (REVILED THE GOODS)
- 6A: Coolidge's vice president (DAWES) — I can never remember this. There's a newish biography of Coolidge by the very crossworthy Amity SHLAES.
- 53A: "Arrested Development" character Fünke (TOBIAS) — First, when I got sick I didn't shave, and still haven't, and so look disturbingly like David Cross, who plays TOBIAS Fünke (though he plays him beardless ...). Second, new "Arrested Development" is coming soon to Netflix and I am very excited about this. May 26, 2013. Gonna binge-watch the whole season.
- 54A: "Harry Potter" librarian Pince (IRMA) — really wanted this to be NEZ.
- 70A: Psychologist Jean known for his theory of cognitive development (PIAGET) — Pretty sure I know him only because I put him in my own Sunday puzzle last fall. His name sounds fancy, like a car or a time piece.
- 17D: "___ the Dinosaur" (pioneering cartoon short) ("GERTIE") — Winsor McKay! My hero. One of them, anyway.
- 35D: Site of Cyclops' smithy (ETNA) — bobbled this one, thinking of the name of a classical smithy (i.e. Vulcan???), before realizing "oh, right, *site* ... four letters, starts with "E" ... there we go."
- 45D: Puerto Rico city that shares its name with an explorer (PONCE) — I know this as pejorative British slang. But this clue is probably better for polite company.