Dweller in ancient Persepolis / THU 10-10-13 / 2002 Salma Hayek film or its title role / Peripheral basilica feature / Literary March / Self-titled platinum album of 1986 / Lycee attendee / Constellation next to Hercules
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- 3D: Common site for 36-Across (DESKTOP CALENDAR)
- 10D: Common site for 36-Across (APPOINTMENT BOOK)
Word of the Day: Ed KOREN (12D: "The New Yorker" cartoonist Ed) —
Edward Benjamin "Ed" Koren (born 1935) is a writer and illustrator of children's books and political cartoons, most notably in The New Yorker.
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An interesting puzzle. I have somewhat mixed feelings. The long theme answers are kind of dull, and I know I've seen days-of-the-week rebuses before, in some fashion, somewhere. But the clustering of all the days in one line there in the middle, mimicking the way they would be arranged in a DESKTOP CALENDAR or APPOINTMENT BOOK, is pretty neat. Also, the fill gets very interesting in places. Really love THUCYDIDES (37D: Athenian general who wrote "History of the Peloponnesian War") and "EASY VIRTUE" (even though I've never heard of the latter!) (6D: Noël Coward play). There's some odd and not-great stuff here and there, but overall I think the fill's pretty good.
SUN YAT-SEN didn't fit. But then I saw it *had* to be right. And instantly the rebus became obvious, and I was able to fill in all the days of the week (and their crosses), one after the other. This left only really the NW, where I had ---CALENDAR, and was unsure of the beginning. I blame LOS (16A: "Was ist ___?"). Entirely. That's a Spanish word to me. I had DAS in there. As many did. Cheap cluing work there. Also cheap—[Some keep waiting for them] (TIPS). The "keep" is absurd there. Makes absolutely no sense. You wait for tips. Wait tables. "Keep" is there only as a misdirection, but misdirections have to work at the literal level, and without some context in which one would normally *stop* waiting tables, that "keep" is idiotic. It was also hard to see ABE up there (though that clue, tough as it was, at least makes sense) (13A: Name that's one syllable in English, two syllables in Japanese).
Got started with some gimmes in the N, namely ERATO and NOSTRA and TIM (21A: Comic Meadows formerly of "S.N.L."). From there I finished up the top and started my clockwise journey around the grid. KOREN was a completely mystery and CREDO was very toughly clued (11D: Inscription on stained glass, maybe), so I was glad all the crosses were easy.
It only now occurs to me that "Thanksgiving" in [Thanksgiving song] has nothing to do with the American holiday. I was baffled by that one. I knew a PAEAN was a song of praise, but what it had to do with Turkey Day was Beyond me. [Peripheral basilica feature] sounded technical, so SIDE AISLE, when it (finally) came, was a bit of a banal surprise. Cute clue on DEAD BODY (40D: Nonspeaking role on "CSI"). I'm quite fond of UNDREAMED OF. Unusual. I wasn't sure the NYT allowed OCD because of the puzzle's general aversion to medical conditions (well, some major ones, anyway). But it looks like OCD has been in the puzzle once before—just once, two years ago. Seems like the kind of answer you'd see more often (43A: Repetitive inits.?).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld