Actress Gershon of Bound / MON 8-26-13 / Ersatz butter / Largest inland city in California / Onetime Joker portrayer ___ Romero / Distinctive Cindy Crawford feature / Colorful city bordering Newark / Hooch container
Monday, August 26, 2013
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: LOW-HANGING FRUIT (7D: Simple things to pick ... or what 5-, 11-, 29- and 38-Down have?) — theme answers are Downs that end in fruits—thus the fruit part of the answer hangs low...
Word of the Day: GINA Gershon (3D: Actress Gershon of "Bound") —
(born June 10, 1962) is an American film, television and stage actress, singer and author, known for her roles in the films Cocktail (1988), Showgirls (1995), Bound (1996), Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back (1996), Face/Off(1997), The Insider (1999), Demonlover (2002), Category 7: The End of the World (2005), P.S. I Love You (2007), Five Minarets in New York (2010), and Killer Joe (2011). She has also had supporting roles in FX's Rescue Me and HBO's How to Make It in America. (wikipedia)
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I did this in about two and a half minutes, so I didn't quite see how the theme expressed itself as I was solving—I just knew that I thought the central revealer was super-cool. When I was done and looked at the theme, though, I was really impressed. It's such a great twist on the old "final words have something in common" theme because of the way the theme is expressed visually. Fill is astonishingly clean, esp. for a 78-worder with a lot of short stuff. I knew from the second I hit "MAN UP!" (17A: "Come on, stop being such a wimp!") in the NW that this was going to be an entertaining puzzle, and it didn't disappoint. Lovely.
Gotta go eat. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld