Black Sea port to locals / TUE 5-21-13 / Fictional member of Potawatomi tribe / Antsy premeal question / Right on german compass / media-friendly quote / Bowlers skimmers /
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Constructor: Patrick McIntyre
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: THE FIVE Ws (67A: Journalism staple) — five theme answers begin with each of the five Ws, respectively:
- 14A: Defiant response to an order ("WHO SAYS SO?")
- 20A: "Can you explain this?" ("WHAT GIVES?")
- 29A: Searcher's query ("WHERE ARE YOU?")
- 45A: Antsy premeal question ("WHEN DO WE EAT?")
- 52A: "Is it any use?" ("WHY BOTHER?")
Word of the Day: YAZOO (33D: Mississippi's ___ River) —
The Yazoo River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe living near the river's mouth. The exact meaning of the term is unclear. One long held belief is that it means "river of death".The river is 188 miles (303 km) long and is formed by the confluence of theTallahatchie River and the Yalobusha River in Greenwood. The river parallels theMississippi River in the latter's floodplain for some distance before joining it north of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Natural levees which flank the Mississippi prevent the Yazoo from joining it before Vicksburg. A "yazoo stream" is a hydrologic term which was coined to describe any river or major stream with similar characteristics. (wikipedia)
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Just a quick write-up this morning.
I don't think this works, on many levels.
UDDERly arbitrary who what where when why questions. They could've asked Anything. Where am I? What now? Why not? Who cares? These questions have nothing to do with anything. Not with each other, not with journalism. I'm not even sure 52A is really a question. It's a rhetorical question. Which, I guess, has "question" in the title, and so is, in fact, a question, technically, but you see what I mean.
Then there's the fill. Three answers destroy this puzzle for me (and would destroy virtually any puzzle for me): E-DATE (!?!?) (32D: Online time stamp), ODESA (twice in one year with this thing?! Come on...) (34D: Black Sea port, to locals), and ALOE VERAS (63A: Soothing lotion ingredients). If one of the questions in this puzzle had been "WHERE ARE MY ALOE VERAS?", all would be forgiven. "WHO SAYS 'ALOE VERAS'?" "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?" Etc.
See also EFT, ECRU, I SAW, I THE, ELHI, ARETE, and on and on.
I do like the answer SOUND BITE (37D: Media-friendly quote), and the clues on POLICEMAN (10D: One keeping the beat?) and UDDER (35D: One may be above a bucket) and TONTO (16A: Fictional member of the Potawatomi tribe) are nice.
In the wake of the absolutely horrendous tornado destruction in Oklahoma yesterday, all I want to do is remind you that "American Red Crosswords" exists. It's a collection of 24 puzzles I put together to benefit the Red Cross's Disaster Relief Fund after Sandy, but the money is used to respond to disasters everywhere. You can donate to the fund and grab the puzzles in .pdf or iPad/iPhone form here. Thanks.