Black Sea getaway / THU 9-12-13 / Hamlet's parts / Short-story writer Munro / View from Valence / Subj of Austin library museum / Trendy features of some high-end gyms / Film lead character featured in Disney World attraction
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- IT'S A BIRD (24A: Remark about the end of 18-Across) is clued via reference to Jack SPARROW (18A: Film lead character featured in a Disney World attraction)
- IT'S A PLANE (39A: Remark about the end of 31-Across) via ref. to Bubble JET (31A: Kind of printer for home or office)
- IT'S SUPERMAN (56A: Remark about the end of 49A) via ref. to Jeff KENT (49A: 2000 N.L. M.V.P. who played for the Giants)
Word of the Day: JEFF KENT—
Jeffrey Franklin Kent (born March 7, 1968 in Bellflower, California) is a retired Major League Baseball second baseman. Kent won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 2000 with the San Francisco Giants, and is the all-time leader in home runs among second basemen. He drove in 90 or more runs from 1997 to 2005, a streak of run production unprecedented for a second baseman, a position typically known for its defense. Kent is a five-time All-Star and his 560 career doubles put him tied for 21st on the all-time doubles list. (wikipedia)
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IT'S SUPERMAN and wondering, then, what JACK SPARROW had to do with Superman. But once I saw PLANE there, I got it. I knew SPARROW had to be right (was not at All sure about it until that moment, the clue being some but not much help). So everything's going pretty Thursdayish to this point. I've never heard of a BUBBLE JET, but everything else seems reasonably familiar. But then I went to finish things up in the NE. And then, for a long time, nothing happened. I mean, I had JACK SPARROW up there and *nothing* else. Oh, no, wait, I had ELAN for 23A: Pizazz (ZING), so that was nice. I wanted AWARD at some point at 8A: Badge, maybe, but even that didn't help and so I didn't keep it there long. [Tube inits.]? Thought it was to do with TV. [Black Sea getaway]? I don't know, the horribly-spelled ODESA? [View from Valence]? No idea what or where Valence is. Without the "Z," no real shot at WAR ZONE (9D: Where a photographer might take shots?). [Bros]? Nope. DAWGS not forthcoming (that clue is tin-eared, as I can see the equivalence in the singular, but not in the plural—"bros" are a specific thing that plural DAWGS are not—I don't think anyone would even use DAWG(S) were it not for Randy Jackson, but I digress).
The real killer up there—the thing that I kept thinking I should get but just couldn't, was [26A: Hamlet's parts]. The more I thought about the clue, the more the clue made no sense at all. Can't be related to the play. Hamlet *is* a part in a play. Could it be ASIDES? Are those parts? But BOL has to be right. SOL is not a thing (not in S. America, anyway). When I finally got ABODES (after testing ACRID and having it work out), I was, let's say, unhappy. That is a ridiculous clue for ABODES. Anything in a "hamlet" is a part of it. ABODES? I guess Will had some idea of quaintness linking the two, but that is one of the worst clues I've ever seen. No necessary relationship between clue and answer. It's like [City parts] cluing ATMS. It is true that they are all over NYC, but Come On. So thumbs up for the general theme concept and most of the fill, but the sucky cluing on ABODES just sucked all the pleasure out of this thing at the end. Likely not the constructor's fault.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld