Saxophone great Sidney / SAT 6-15-13 / Site of 1944 British Army defeat / Ancient abstainer / Six Gallery reading participants / 1836 siege leader / Vindictive quaker of fiction / Ethiopian grazer / Buzz on Simpsons / Small house of southwest / Royale maker / Home away from home sloganeer / Whence Parmenides /
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Constructor: Ned White
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: AQUAPLANE (4D: Water board) —
A board pulled over the water by a motorboat and ridden by a person standing up.
intr.v., -planed, -plan·ing, -planes.
To ride on such a board.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/aquaplane#ixzz2WFmLY1II
• • •I don't know. This puzzle had one fancy answer (VUVUZELA) (17A: Buzzer sounded during a match), and I'd seen it before, so overall I'd say this is just ADEQUATE (15A: C-worthy). ARNHEM (62A: Site of a 1944 British Army defeat) and BECHET (9D: Saxophone great Sidney) were just random letter strings to me. I've followed baseball for 35 years and have never heard the term "LOUD OUTS" (28A: They result when solidly hit baseballs are caught)—completely baffling. I see that it's a thing, but not a thing that googles well at all. Not sure where people have been using this term. Somewhere, surely, but nowhere near me. I had LINE OUTS, of course. Never heard of an AQUAPLANE either. Had AQUA and then ... I think I had PLANK at one point. Not much to say about the rest of it. It's fine.
DUZ does not fill me with joy, but I've seen it in crosswords before, so it didn't annoy me much (5D: Old brand that promised "white white washes without red hands"). There are some good clues here and there, like 40A: Four French quarters? (ANNÉE) and 1A: Place to pick vegetables (SALAD BAR) and 10D: White sheet insert? (AS A) (bad fill, but clever clue). Overall it felt like a very crosswordy puzzle—there's a lot of odd stuff that old hands will have seen before. Stuff like ULTIMO (45D: Last month) and ATLI (7D: Hun king, in myth) and ESSENE (16A: Ancient abstainer). That's a polite way of saying there's a good bit of crosswordese and near-crosswordese in the grid. When that's the case, you want a Lot of payoff in the longer stuff, and there wasn't quite enough for me today. I mean, I just can't get that excited about ALIMENTS, for instance (63A: Nourishing stuff).
Anyway, it's late—I spent my normal solving/blogging time watching Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall" on TCM. It was not great film noir, but for me, even bad film noir is (almost always) worth watching. So ... to bed. SEE YA (48A: "Until next time").