Eurasian ducks / SUN 10-20-13 / Bell Anne Bronte pseudonym / 1796 Napoleon battle site / Times Square flasher / Italian writer Vittorini / 1980s-90s German leader Helmut / Actress Graff
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy
- 25A: Nickname for the 122- / 124-Across (MAIN STREET ACROSS AMERICA) — I made a "Hands Across America" reference just a few hours ago, while eating Jacques Torrès chocolates with my wife. They sometimes have these little patterns on them, and ... well, you can see it there.
- 40A: With 105-Across, historical significance of the 122- / 124-Across (THE FIRST MAJOR MEMORIAL TO / THE SIXTEENTH PRESIDENT)
- 148A: Follows the east-west route of the 122- / 124-Across (TSAOC OT TSAOC MORF SLEVART) — i.e. "travels coast-to-coast" backward)
Word of the Day: LINCOLN HIGHWAY —
The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental improved highway for automobile across the United States of America. Conceived in 1912 by Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa,Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. In 1915, the "Colorado Loop" was removed, and in 1928, a realignment relocated the Lincoln Highway through the northern tip of West Virginia. Thus, there are a total of 14 states, 128 counties, and over 700 cities, towns and villages through which the highway passes at some time in its history. (wikipedia)
• • •ELIO (104A: Italian writer Vittorini) and ILENE (95D: Actress Graff), but the "L" was inferable (actually I knew the "L"—but I had the actress as ILONA at first; that's Massey. ILONA Massey. Also an actress. This Graff person ... ?). Probably the toughest part for me to get was APPLIED TO (138A: Concerned). I see the connection now, but it wasn't computing mid-solve. Overall, however, this one was stunningly easy. I was done in just over 11 minutes, and this is an *oversized* Sunday grid (23x23 instead of the more standard 21x21).
"Hedgehop" is a word I don't know, so AVIATE (esp. crossing ACTON (33A: ___ Bell (Anne Bronte pseudonuym)) took some work. A lot of the NE was thorny, but somehow I was able to drive enough crosses through there to unlock the tricky multi-word answers and the proper noun I couldn't remember (MORITA) (18D: Sony co-founder Akio). Spelling JANEANE is always dicey. I completely failed my first time through. Had HORNED instead of HOOFED at 125D: Like cattle and reindeer. Wonder if that trap was intentional. It's a good one. Had the war heroes as NCOS (?) (137D: Some war heroes = ACES). Loved discovering IN DRAG at the end of my solve (136A: Wearing clothes fit for a queen?)—nice to finish on a high note. So all in all it's a very professionally made puzzle, but my ignorance of the subject coupled with my having encountered the various theme elements before meant that it didn't resonate much with me.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld