Italian scientist after whom an electrical unit is named / MON 8-12-13 / Turkish honorific / Pegasus appendage / Michael of R.E.M. / Women's hybrid tennis garment / Old Greek garment /
Monday, August 12, 2013
Constructor: Daniel Raymon
Relative difficulty: Challenging (a full minute slower than my norm)
THEME: FOUR / EYES (With 69-Across, childish taunt ... and a homophonic [not homophobic, which is how several of us here in NYC first read it...] hint to the answers to the asterisked clue) — theme answers all have four "I"s in them (and no other vowels):
- IN HIGH SPIRITS (20A: *Elated)
- NIHILISTIC (32A: *Believing in nothing)
- GINGIVITIS (43A: *Inflammation of gum tissue)
- STRING BIKINIS (54A: *String bikinis)
Word of the Day: Alessandro VOLTA (15A: Italian scientist after whom an electrical unit is named) —
Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist known for the invention of thebattery in the 1800s. (wikipedia)
• • •
HUFF (10A: Angry, resentful state), IBIDS for CITES (that laugher courtesy of PuzzleGirl) (26A: References in a footnote), WOOER for SWAIN (29A: One who goes a-courting), and ... I think that's it. I mean, they didn't get FOUR / EYES or IN HIGH SPIRITS right away, and they didn't get GIVE / A HINT either (largely because of the cross-referencing), but otherwise, all right on the first pass. But when I solved it, alone and under normal conditions, I found many pitfalls, largely in the Downs. [Water pipes] is correct enough but not obvious for BONGS. And [Stick it in your ear] for HEARING AID? Fine clue, but tough for a Monday. Between those answers and the cross-referencing and everything else the group solvers screwed up, and the fact that I couldn't get the STRING part of the bikini answer right away, and also somehow had written in SEXTS for 68A: "lol, u r so funny" and others (TEXTS) (try saying the quotation it in your best Barry White voice...), and couldn't remember if it was "Y" or "I" in ISERE (65A: France's Val d'___), I ended up with a slow Monday time. It's obviously an easy puzzle, in general, but for Monday—toughish, or at least speed-impeding.
[Penelope Harper, Erik Agard, Doug Peterson, Angela Halsted, Addie Koiki, Brian Cimmet, Brad Wilber, Me, outside Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees had just won the game on a walk-off home run after having led going into the 9th by two ... but the Greatest Reliever In History gave up two home runs in the top of the 9th, one to the Greatest Hitter In The Game Right Now, so then it was tied, which set up the bottom-of-the-9th drama, and omg so many other things happened in this game that I can't even begin; for my authentic reaction to the whole shebang, please see the pic of me in par. 1, above]
Go here and get them—some are very tough, but all six were wonderful (No Spoilers!). The other thing you should know is that my belief that this is the greatest crossword tournament experience currently available on the planet was firmly solidified over the past two days. Puzzles are serious, but the mood is light and friendly, no matter what your skill or experience level. Especially if you live in the NYC area, you should strongly consider coming next year. It was more popular than ever, with 170+ contestants (plus judges, constructors, organizers, the stray baby or two ...). This tournament really is puzzledom's best face. Congrats and thanks to Brian Cimmet (see him enjoying panna cotta, right) and the many people who helped him stage a great event.
G'night from Manhattan.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. I won another trophy! Worst Handwriting! I took the title from "Jeopardy!" champion Joon Pahk! I can type that last sentence and have it be entirely true! True, he was in Korea and couldn't defend his title, but, still, I beat Joon is what is important.