German Dadaist Hannah / SUN 9-29-13 / Italian princely family name / 1960s-70s pitcher Blue Moon / Bacteriologist Julius / Fourth Arabic letter / Setting of 2012 film John Carter / Medication for narcoleptic
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Constructor: Norm Guggenbiller
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Overheard in New England" — common phrases are reimagined as phrases where "R"s (following "A"s) (except in one case, for some reason) are dropped, creating new, wacky phrases, clued "?"-style
- 24A: A "Star Trek" officer and a physician are going to board a plane? (SPOCKS WILL FLY)
- 36A: Atlantic fishery officers? (COD COUNTERS)
- 59A: Work agreeably in a greenhouse? (POT ON GOOD TERMS)
- 76A: "Happy Birthday" on a cake, e.g.? (GOBBLED MESSAGE)
- 95A: Sexy operators? (HOT SURGEONS)
- 112A: Where frogs shop? (HOPPER'S BAZAAR)
Word of the Day: Hannah HÖCH (29A: German Dadaist Hannah) —
Hannah Höch (German: [hœç]; November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage. (wikipedia)
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ENCASES for [Boxes up]. There are many, many [Non-Eur. U.S. ally]s. ESTS are not "probably" close. They're attempts to get close. There's a difference. I finished the puzzle somewhere near ESTS and honestly didn't even know what it was an abbreviation of for several seconds. The frame of reference for this puzzle is decidedly old. The clues seemed pulled from some secret Maleskan file, from SAL Bando to Blue Moon ODOM to the clue on THA (89D: Fourth Arabic letter). Really? Not sure there is anything from this century in the puzzle. Oooooh, the "John Carter" / MARS clue. Dat DERE was Fresh!
Joyless. I don't have much to say. Fill is not good, though I've seen much worse. Theme is a bit stale. Cluing is often off and old all over. But all that is a matter of (admittedly strong) opinion. What *isn't* opinion is what a colossal Failure HOPPER'S BAZAAR is as an answer in this puzzle. This puzzle should've been sent back with a little note saying "you've got a consistency problem there in your last theme answer. See how you've got an 'AR' in there that you haven't changed ... yeah, that's weird. That would not be 'Overheard in New England'—either both "AR"s would be dropped or neither would. And as BAZAAH is not a thing ... no. That answer turns your puzzle into a lie. So please come up with a new theme answer. Thanks." But no. "Close enough! Run it!"
I'll give this puzzle BUG ZAPPER. That, I'll give it.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld