Japanese sliding door / FRI 5-10-13 / Moldau composer / 1950s backup group with four top 10 hits / Bill in bow tie / Party label for Brit PM William Gladstone / Hometown of band Hanson / Much filmed swinger
Friday, May 10, 2013
Constructor: Derek Bowman
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: SHOJI (48D: Japanese sliding door) —
n., pl., shoji, or -jis.
A translucent screen consisting of a wooden frame covered in rice paper, used as a sliding door or partition in a Japanese house.
[Japanese shōji : shō, barrier, screen (from Middle Chinese tsiang) + ji, seed, n. suff. (from Middle Chinese tsz).]
• • •
TARZAN THE APEMAN down into that corner easily (4D: Much-filmed swinger), and early, but after that ... yikes. Got ROY (62D: "The Natural" hero Hobbes) and guessed TEJANO (65A: Certain Mexican-American) but having *zero* idea about SHOJI (never heard of it) (48D: Japanese sliding door), SENG (ditto) (54D: Hong Kong's Hang ___ Index) and "Tarantula hawk" (ditto ditto) (46A: Tarantula hawk, e.g. => WASP), I was in a bit of a jam there for a bit. Not sure how I got out of it. I think ISOMER was a gut-level guess that I tested out (61A: Chemistry test topic). And STINGY just came to me, eventually (67A: Tight). Even so, I crawled through that corner, whereas I sprinted through the rest of the puzzle. Finished under 7. Not bad, especially considering the extra-wide grid.
I had a few errant answers today. Thought Hanson was from OMAHA (five letters, ends in A, more common in crosswords than TULSA ... well, I thought it was a good guess) (12D: Hometown of the band Hanson); thought [Culture centers?] were TEES. See, that's me, outsmarting a clue that isn't being smart. Or, that is being smart. Smarter than I. Don't even remember seeing the clue at 35D: Party label for Brit. P.M. William Gladstone (LIB), which is just as well, since I wouldn't have known it anyway. I was happy to get SMETANA from just a few crosses, even though SMETANA is my least favoritely named composer (25D: "The Moldau" composer). His name sounds like a synonym for "phlegm." Do people outside New York remember AL D'AMATO? I'm inside New York, so it was practically a gimme for me (37D: Chuck Schumer's predecessor in the Senate).
First thought on seeing the clue at 58D: Pull felt on earth: "Why would you want to pull felt, and where else would you do it besides earth?"
Drank a lot at dinner (it's the last day of classes, so I felt entitled), so now I'm gonna go drink a lot of water and watch "The Daily Show." See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld