Sam of "Jurassic Park" / WED 6-26-13 / "Idylls of the King" woman / Belle's caller / Six-time All-Star Ron / Cain's eldest son
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Constructor: David Steinberg (16) and Bernice Gordon (99)
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: AGE DIFFERENCE — Phrases that end with the letters -AGE lose those letters, and vice versa.
Word of the Day: CEY (69A: Six-time All-Star Ron) —
Ronald Charles Cey (born February 15, 1948) is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1971–1982), Chicago Cubs (1983–1986) and Oakland Athletics (1987). Cey batted and threw right-handed. A popular player, he was nicknamed "The Penguin" for his slow waddling running gait by his then-minor league manager Tommy Lasorda. (from Wikipedia)
• • •While Rex Parker (AKA Edward Snowden) is hiding somewhere in Russia/Ecuador, you're stuck with me, Neville Fogarty. Seriously. I have it on good authority that Rex is all about revealing classified documents. Look at what he does here everyday. What a day to play substitute blogger. It's a meta-theme: we've got co-constructors who have a vast difference in age, and that supplies the impetus for the theme. And it's cute. I know we've seen this idea before, but the "I'm old! I'm young!" is a twist on it; you can decide how much that interests you. I mean, it merited ages in the byline, so it's supposed to be interesting. Well, I'm typing about it, so there must be some merit to it. Consider my interest piqued.
Having only done one myself, I often wonder what the work breakdown is on collaborations. Looking at the grid, it doesn't scream 16-year-old guy. (PEACHY!) I'd guess that if there was any amount of co-operation on the gridding, Bernice likely strong-armed David into keeping it relatively sane. Or maybe it's just the five theme entries forcing the rest of the grid.
- 17A: Result of someone yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater? (EXIT RAMPAGE) — If you yell "Fire!" in a theater, you're gonna have a bad time.
- 25A: Looting of a legislature? (DIET PILLAGE) — Diet is the word for the parliament of countries like Japan and the Holy Roman Empire. There's something weird about the wording here. "I'm going on a diet pillage!" doesn't feel right. Seems like it's a noun trying (and failing) to modify another noun. I get the idea, though.
- 38A: 83, for the creators of this puzzle ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 51- and 60-Across (AGE DIFFERENCE) — It's a neat theme-inspiring phrase, regardless of the connection to the authors.
- 51A: What an exploding microwave can make? (INSTANT MESS) — Definitely my favorite theme entry. Sure, any explosion is instant, but this is a microwave exploding. That's a nice bit of clue imagery.
- 60A: Exemption from playing an instrument at school? (MUSICAL PASS) — Or maybe this would be a ticket to see a Broadway show?
- 3D: Be a dreamer (THINK BIG) — "Think" is a slogan used by IBM, courtesy of Thomas J. Watson, Sr. In the '90s, APPLE responded with "Think different." I feel like "Think Big" should've been the motto for ENIAC.
- 26D: 1993 Tom Cruise legal thriller (THE FIRM) — Just like Tom Cruise to take credit for writing a John Grisham book. This is on the long list of Grisham books I haven't read nor seen the film adaptation. Do I need to start in on these?
- 47D: Benson of "Pretty Little Liars" (ASHLEY) — She was also on "Days of Our Lives" and "Eastwick." I have more knowledge of the 13-episode Rebecca Romijn-led TV version of John Updike's tale than the still on the air "PLL," but I guess this has more clout with the average solver. I don't think this is a Bernice clue, nor does it strike me as a David clue. I'm chalking this reference up to Shortz.
- 19A: Starfish appendage (RAY) — I knew that this was ARM. I was convinced. But RAY is another word for a starfish's arm. This just seems more like a Friday "sorry, wrong three-letter answer" clue to me. I guess one meanie in the bunch isn't too bad.
- 43A: Spanish charger (EL TORO) — Okay, we literally went over this yesterday. Why are we suddenly just putting THE, or in this case, EL in front of things? Is this acceptable now? Answer: it shouldn't be. How is this different from a partial that starts with the word A? You wouldn't clue A BULL with [Charger], and this shouldn't be okay. If it's a title that starts with an article like in THE FIRM above, that's fine, but this is a load of TORO. Sheesh.