Staunton of Harry Potter movies / WED 9-25-13 / Sayers portrayed in Brian's Song / Selena's music style / Early IBM PC standard / Puzzle inventor Rubik / Coastal backflows / directive repeated in aerobics class
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Constructor: Victor Fleming and Bonnie L. Gentry
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: LINE (58D: Word that can follow each part of the answers to the six starred clues) — just what the clue says
- 17A: *Deep trouble, informally (HOT WATER)
- 65A: *Felon's sentence, maybe (HARD TIME)
- 3D: *Low-lying acreage (BOTTOM LAND)
- 34D: *Fruity loaf (DATE BREAD)
- 9D: *Deep-sea diver's concern (AIR SUPPLY)
- 30D: *Campus transportation, maybe (BUS SERVICE)
Word of the Day: EREBUS (7D: God of darkness) —
In Greek mythology, Erebus //, also Erebos (Greek: Ἔρεβος, "deep darkness, shadow"), was often conceived as aprimordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony places him as one of the first five beings to come into existence, born from Chaos. Erebus features little in Greek mythological tradition and literature, but is said to have fathered several other deities with Nyx; depending on the source of the mythology, this union includesAether, Hemera, the Hesperides, Hypnos, the Moirai, Geras, Styx, Charon, and Thanatos.
• • •
IMELDA, EREBUS), this one came in well under my Wednesday average. Open corners (fed by interlocking theme answers) should've made this one tougher, but I guess the cluing was just too transparent. Having your first Down be a massive gimme like 1D: Frome and others (ETHANS) sets the solver up with the first letters of All the Acrosses in the NW, right off the bat. I had some trouble seeing EBB TIDES and I wanted THE COPS (too short) and THE POLICE (too long) before eventually hitting on TROOPERS (just right). There wasn't much else that slowed me down as I moved in a pretty regular clockwise motion right around the grid, finishing up with EXUDED in the SW (69A: Radiated, as charm).
As for the theme, I kind of wish constructors would stop making these. This is an ancient theme type that rarely yields very good / interesting results in the theme answers. Today's theme answers are mostly adequate; BOTTOM LAND is not a phrase I know at all, but the others are tight enough. Just not very ... interesting. A puzzle like this may as well be a themeless for all the thematic pleasure it gives. I got to LINE near the very end, having (at that point) no idea what was tying any of this together. LINE was jarring anticlimactic. Oh. LINE. OK. You can make puzzles with this type of theme using any number of different words (and many, many constructors have). BOY. You could probably do BOY. I don't know. All I know is that the theme-type has been Done To Death. Results are not terrible. But not inspired either. Another day another puzzle. This one at least has an interesting theme answer layout. I do appreciate that.