2006 Jay-Z single / WED 5-15-13 / English comedian Mayall / Iditarod terminus / Pitcher Dennis in Cooperstown for short / Film character based on Hearst / Neuf Parisian landmark / Soap brand that contains pumice / 1983 Tony-winning musical
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Constructor: David Sullivan
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: sounding opposite — two-word phrases where the words sound like opposites of one another (when actually one of them is just a homophone of the opposite)
- 17A: Good stretch for the Dow (STRONG WEEK)
- 23A: Extra after a movie's credits, perhaps (HIDDEN SCENE)
- 39A: 2006 Jay-Z single ("LOST ONE")
- 50A: Midas service (BRAKE REPAIR)
- 59A: Cry accompanying the arrival of visitors ("THEY'RE HERE!")
Word of the Day: Dennis ECKersley (46A: Pitcher Dennis in Cooperstown, for short) —
Dennis Lee Eckersley (born October 3, 1954), nicknamed "Eck", is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. Eckersley had success as a starter, but gained his greatest fame as a closer, becoming the first of only two pitchers in Major League history to have both a 20-win season and a 50-save season in a career (the other being John Smoltz). // He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility. He is also noted as the pitcher who gave up a dramatic, walk-off home run (a phrase Eckersley coined after this home run) to the injured Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. (wikipedia)
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STRONG WEEK'? That's pretty weak." Totally unironically. Had no idea what the theme was at this point. And now I know why I had to suffer through some weak phrases—for this interesting if slightly gangly theme. I don't believe HIDDEN SCENE is what its clue says it is. How is appearing (!) after a movie's credits "HIDDEN?" Also, "LOST ONE"? Not exactly a front-of-the-catalogue single. I blew through this puzzle in high-Mon/low-Tue time, but I'm quite sure that was not the case for most folks. Probably played closer to normal, based mainly on the odd theme phrases and, let's say, ECK. Or, I don't know, maybe you thought Steve Austin had a bionic LEFT ARM (that's the first thing I wrote in). I mostly like the fill here, though what the hell is a RIK Mayall??? (62D: English comedian Mayall). I'm looking at his wikipedia page and the only thing I even vaguely recognize him from is "Drop Dead Fred." He's clearly big in Britain, but here? He's a name? Wow, missed that. I think RIK and the EYE/ARM thing ... and the Jay-Z song ... were the only parts of the puzzle that gave me any trouble. Oh, I wrote in EDIT instead of FONT at 19A: Microsoft Word menu pick. Still seems like a reasonable answer.
LEFT EYE was the stage name of Lisa Lopes, one of the three members of R&B group TLC. That would've been a cool clue, but probably more Friday/Saturday-level.
Started with CATS (1A: 1983 Tony-winning musical) and just ran the Downs from there. Very segmented grid, but in such a way that there's really no way to get stuck—you've got outs all over the place. For whatever reason, most of the clues gave up their answers almost instantly. Charles Foster KANE (36D: Film character based on Hearst). NOME, Alaska (53D: Iditarod terminus). None of it took much mulling over. Speaking of, enjoyed MULL OVER (48A: Reflect deeply on) and especially EPITOME (26D: Prime example). Also enjoyed all the Ks. Though not KAY so much (30A: "Every kiss begins ..." jeweler). Weird.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld