Muslim headdress / SUN 8-4-13 / 1972 musical or its 2013 revival / Column on Clue notepad / Much-hyped Google product / High Muslim honorific / Car make whose name sounds like Cockney greeting
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Constructor: Steven Ginzburg
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Should I Call The Repairman?" — clues are objects that might break followed by ellipses; answers are continuations of the clues that create a punny sentence about how the objects are broken:
- 27A: The jigsaw ... KEEPS CUTTING OUT
- 40A: The elevator ... JUST WENT DOWN
- 53A: The mosquito zapper ... HAS STILL GOT BUGS
- 77A: The quiz-grading machine ... FAILED SOME TESTS
- 89A: The crosswalk signal ... IS ON THE BLINK
- 104A: The film-processing machine at the movie studio ... DEVELOPED A SHORT
Word of the Day: W.E.B. DUBOIS (33D: "The Souls of Black Folk" author, 1903) —
William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois (pronounced // doo-boyz; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics atAtlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. (wikipedia)
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Someone wrote me the other day to ask me if the Sunday puzzles had, as she suspected, gotten easier lately. I said probably not, or if they had, it was standard variation—perhaps a patch of easyish puzzles, but only in the way we might have a patch of cold or warm weather, i.e. it would all norm out over time. But then I did this puzzle in under 9, and now I'm thinking there may be something to this theory. They have been playing rather easily lately. Someone who tracks times assiduously will be better able than I to see if there is a large-scale trend. I'd still bet against it, but part of me wants to sign on to the conspiracy theory.
I don't have very strong opinions about this puzzle. There are only six theme answers and they are punny in that way that I don't enjoy that much (i.e. they are punny). But the puzzle is what it is, and as this type of puzzle goes, it seems just fine. Easy, but fine. Fill is no worse than most Sundays, perhaps even a little better—lots of longer non-theme answers helps keep the fill from being completely ordinary and dull. ASSYR and OATY and ABAA (an answer I'd totally banish if I could) are weak, but that's not much to complain about. The STNS EEO ASSN block there in the middle is yuck, but again, it's a small patch. Overwhelmingly, the fill is rock solid. I didn't struggle much, but there were a few places that caused me some relative slowage. HAVEN'T was remarkably hard to come up with (67D: Lack). The vague clue (noun? verb?) is likely to blame, at least in part. Also, nobody expects a contraction. No One. Also struggled mightily to come up with THE RAMS. In what sense might they be said (straightfacedly) to be a "pride" (90D: Pride of St. Louis). The Cardinals fit that clue, but THE RAMS? Not lately. Or is a pack of rams called a "pride" now? If so, why are rams hanging out in packs? End times?
- 52A: Column on a Clue notepad (ROOMS) — flashback-inducing clue. I haven't played this board game (or any board game) in years.
- 58A: He said "Every great film should seem new every time you see it" (EBERT) — interesting assertion. I'll have to test this out in the near future.
- 75A: Muslim headdress (TAJ) — Did not know this. Better than [___ Mahal], I guess.
- 98A: 1972 musical or its 2013 revival ("PIPPIN") — couldn't tell you anything about either. I just keep picturing Pippie Longstocking. Is she involved?
- 6D: High Muslim honorific (AGA KHAN) — I thought this was a specific guy, but apparently not. I was probably thinking of (Prince) ALY KHAN (the son, it turns out, of AGA KHAN III). KHAAAAAAN!
- 55D: Much-hyped Google product (GLASS) — if this is the future, I'm out. Nice knowing you all.
- 78D: Car make whose name sounds like a Cockney greeting (AUDI) — "Howdy" is a Cockney greeting? I get the dropped "H" thing, but "Cockney greeting" is surprising to me. Either "howdy" is a Cockney expression or there were Cockneys in the Old West. Either way, color me surprised.
P.S. Lollapuzzoola 6 crossword tournament is coming up on Saturday. If you can't make it to NYC on Saturday, there's a solve-at-home option. Here's a message from tournament co-founder, Brian Cimmet:
Lollapuzzoola 6 is happening in New York City on Saturday, August 10. A day of all-original puzzles designed just for the tournament, bonus games, great fun and friends, and all for just $25 (optional pizza party not included). Or, if NYC isn't in your travel plans, sign up for the At-Home version for just $10. For more on Lollapuzzoola, visit www.bemoresmarter.com, find us on Facebook, or contact tournament co-director Brian Cimmet at firstname.lastname@example.org. P.S. Rex Parker once described this crossword competition as "easily the best tournament experience I've had to date," if that sort of thing holds any sway.