Fashion designer behind fragrance Rock Me / SAT 7-20-13 / Famed kicker born with clubfoot / 1993 hit with lyric Keep plain that song all night / 1957 Dell Vikings hit / Audi model retired in 2005 / Orfeo composer Luigi / He hit more home runs than Barry Bonds / Successor to Gibson on ABC World News
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Constructor: Tim Croce
Relative difficulty: Challenging
Word of the Day: ANNA SUI (61A: Fashion designer behind the fragrance Rock Me!) —
Anna Sui (born August 4, 1964) is an American fashion designer. Sui is one of the most celebrated names in fashion history, known for her timeless designs and ability to transcend eras with historical and culturally inspired collections. She was named one of the "Top 5 Fashion Icons of the Decade" and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), joining the ranks of Yves St Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Diane von Furstenberg. Her worldwide luxury fashion brand includes clothing, shoes, cosmetics, eye-wear, and accessories, as well as her renowned line of signature fragrances. Anna Sui products are sold through her free-standing stores and distributors around the world in over 50 countries. In 2006, Fortune estimated the collective value of Sui's fashion empire at over $400 million. (wikipedia)
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PR BLITZ. Had me mystified til the very end, but when I got it, I could not deny the aptness and cleverness of the clue. Now, that answer did run through what is probably the crappiest part of the grid (ONER + NEB) (57D: Standout + 62D: Tortoise's beak), so I don't like that ugly crosses were part of the problem, but still, that clue is undeniably wonderful. But too many of the clues were just deliberately obtuse in this way that I thought was more faux-impish (or dickish) than truly clever. "Setting" in [Setting of "Love Me Do": Abbr.] (G MAJ.) represents an absurd use of that word. [Ends up short, maybe] is slightly torturous for ERRS (and we have to endure it why? so that, what, we get to experience the vastly over-rated "identical successive Across clues" trick? Pass.). ADRENAL is no longer an adjective, apparently (63A: Hydrocortisone producer). Not sure how that works. An EGO is "feedable"? Only by ridiculous contortions. 42D: Gets hot led to an obvious (in retrospect) and thus probably deliberate and thus definitely annoying trap—if you have the first letters, SEE-, the obvious move is SEES RED. But no, it's SEETHES. MIA HAMM is a "kicker" only because other sports have "kickers," not because anyone would ever call her that ever (plus, she's intersecting another soccer clue and you *don't* exploit that?) (59A: Famed kicker born with a clubfoot).
P.R. BLITZ-type payoff. I do love "HEY MR. DJ" (1A: 1993 hit with the lyric "Keep playin' that song all night") and RIGHT HAND MAN and "COME GO WITH ME" (46A: 1957 Dell-Vikings hit). I even love SADAHARU OH (9D: He hit 106 more home runs than Barry Bonds), despite my frustration at not knowing how to spell it (took a while to convince myself that that first name did indeed end in "U"). I fell into two terrible holes (in addition to the SEETHES one). The first was LYCÉE for ÉCOLE (2D: Place for une faculté). If I were ignoranter of French, I'd've been fine. But no. The worst mistake I made though, was a twofer—Had [SO TO speak] and so went right to MISTS UP for 37A: Shows some emotion (TEARS UP). When you confirm one mistake with another mistake, bad times follow. Hard to go anywhere S or W of that region with MISTS UP in place, primarily because GRECO-ROMAN was occluded (28D: Some-holds-barred sport).
This is a good grid, but I didn't enjoy solving the puzzle. This rarely happens. My dissatisfaction is not due to toughness, but to the way toughness was achieved. But I realize that this is largely a subjective matter.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld