Diagonal rib of vault / FRI 8-16-13 / Rich of old films / Home of NerdTV / Color also known as endive blue / Mathematician Cantor / Occasions for bulldogging / Unisex name meaning born again
Friday, August 16, 2013
Constructor: Dana Motley
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: OGIVE (47D: Diagonal rib of a vault) —
- A distribution curve in which the frequencies are cumulative.
- A frequency distribution.
- A diagonal rib of a Gothic vault.
- A pointed arch.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/ogive#ixzz2c6GzkdLr
• • •
PROSES next to OGIVE ... that would've made me redo that whole section. And then you go and make it harder with a very weird ORES clue (violating my "don't call attention to your lame fill with tough clues" rule) and that odd IRIS clue (55A: Color also known as endive blue ... I'm not sure I knew IRIS even *was* a color) and that GEORG guy (45A: Mathematician Cantor who founded set theory) ... whom I can tolerate, 'cause clearly he's somebody, but he's by far the most obscure proper noun in this puzzle and you've gone and stuck him in the OGIVE section. To be fair, though, the grid has only a handful of "ouch!" answer (ITES, MIL, SSS) and lots of longer stuff intersecting rather elegantly. But the cluing felt like it was Trying Too Hard (to be tough, to be clever) without succeeding sufficiently at being entertaining. And that SW corner. Yowzers. So that's two primary problems I had with this thing. Oh, and I resent DYNASTS, since a. DYNASTY is a better word, b. DYNASTY is a more familiar word (see a.), and c. DYNASTY fits the clue perfectly (35A: Line of rulers).
Also, this may be the least Scrabbly late-week puzzle I've ever seen. You have, what, one Absurdly shoe-horned "Q", which has been forced into a PDQ/QED crossing? And one "K" at AMOK/DESK. No "Z"s or "X"s or genuine "Q"s or "J"s ... plus nothing feels very current. Again, it's all very solid, but not very 2013. There's no reason why a not-so-Scrabbly, not-so-hip puzzle can't also be a very good puzzle, but I realize that I prefer my Fridays (and Saturdays) to bounce in a way that this one doesn't (much). This is a decent construction that just wasn't quite to my taste.
RODEOS hard to see (42A: Occasions for bulldogging). Had MHO for 57D: 254,000 angstroms (brain: science + unit + three letters + starts with "M" = MHO), so IRENE was tough (60A: Rich of old films). I mean, she'd've been tough no matter what, since I have no idea who she is, but MHO made her tougher. TED'S is bad fill, but I do love "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," so ... I'll allow it. I initially grimaced at but now like a lot the clue on EIGHTIES (8D: Reagan was seen a lot in them). I don't think I knew that the GEICO gecko's accent was Cockney, exactly, but I just had to think "vaguely English" to get it quickly (45D: American company whose mascot has a Cockney accent). Oh, and best mistake of the day—I thought it was NAPS that got taken easily. Perhaps because I woke up from one to solve this. Anyway, it was weird to have crosses confirm the answer again and again and again. But not again. Also, appropriate that that final "again" was SCREWS (10D: Things driven on construction sites).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld