Female adviser / FRI 8-30-13 / Comcast center hoopster / Player of bad teacher in bad teacher / Folman who directed 2013 film Congress / Big source for modern slang / 458 Spider F12 Berlinetta / Org with clenched fist logo / Hedin discoverer of Trans-Himalaya / Old oscilloscope part briefly
Friday, August 30, 2013
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: EGERIA (7D: Female adviser) —
Egeria (Latin: Ēgeria) was a nymph attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, to whom she imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor. (wikipedia)
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URBAN DICTIONARY is a nice entry—that thing is kind of useless, but it's definitely crossworthy—look, you can find a very garbled definition of "Natick" in there (61A: Big source for modern slang). PEER ASSESSMENTS, however, is laughable—ASSESSMENTS is one of those words that constructors joke about putting in puzzles because it's such an obvious crutch (62A: Some critical comments from co-workers). Had trouble at first because I spelled MICHELE BACHMANN's name wrong (two Ls, one N) (1A: First female candidate to win the Ames Straw Poll), but I just drifted down to the lower grid, which proved Much easier, and then eventually floated back up top, finishing with the "R" in EGERIA, I think (have seen that word several times in puzzles now, can Never remember it, perhaps because I call a "female adviser" an "adviser").
NCO (21D: Top kick, for one: Abbr.). I don't understand that clue at all, but I do know that CAN can be a synonym for [Rear] (end), so the "C" seemed the only logical guess. It appears that "[i]n the Army and Marines, the first sergeant is often referred to as "Top," or "Top Kick."" (usmilitary.about.com). Never heard of SVEN Hedin, but it wasn't too hard to figure out his name once I had that "SV" intro (53A: ___ Hedin, discoverer of the Trans-Himalaya). I had no idea the TERPs played at The Comcast Center (56A: Comcast Center hoopster). Rough clue, but again, the crosses were so easy that not knowing the answer didn't really matter. Same goes for that Homer clue (47D: Emulates Homer => PAINTS). Wasn't either of the Homers I was thinking of (epic poet, cartoon buffoon), but crosses took care of the answer (and it's Winslow Homer that the clue is referring to, in case you didn't know). I don't know much about cars but got FERRARIS off the "F" (35D: 458 Spider and F12 Berlinetta). DIAZ was a gimme, so that helped things along (24A: Player of the bad teacher in "Bad Teacher"). So, yeah, this is pretty good but not exactly memorable. There were a few little answers (and EGERIA) that maybe I'd throw back if I could, but otherwise it's a stout, modern puzzle. Pretty good.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. here's a Friday bonus for you: Neville Fogarty's most recent crossword—it's free and fun.