Robert of Quincy ME / THU 10-3-13 / 1986 top 10 hit for Billy Idol / Belgian battleground during WW I / One with ergophobia / Yokel in slang / USS Enterprise chief engineer Geordi / Fictional substance in Disney film / Classic rock song in Easy Rider / Like myth of Ragnarok / Locale for Village People hit informally / Ohio city WSW of Columbus
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Constructor: Evan Birnholz
Relative difficulty: Challenging
- SUCKS TO BE YOU / HOBBIT
- "TO BE A LOVER" (21A: 1986 top 10 hit for Billy Idol) / FLUBBER (8D: Fictional substance in a Disney film)
- SEEMS TO BE / ABBOTT
- "TO BE OR NOT TO BE" / ABBÉ + EBBS
- BRIDE-TO-BE / ROBBERS
- "TO BE HONEST..." / BB GUN
- "BORN TO BE WILD" / PIBB
Word of the Day: TWEE (12D: Overly precious) —
adj. Chiefly British
Overly precious or nice.
[Alteration of tweet, baby-talk alteration of SWEET.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/twee#ixzz2gces30pF
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A/V (American Values) Club and Fireball Crosswords produce better puzzles on a regular basis than the NYT does—a fact of modern puzzling that not enough people are aware of. This puzzle feels like a valiant attempt on the NYT's part to be less of a dinosaur, so hurray for that. I caught on to the gimmick reasonably quickly—figured something w/ Bs was involved at the SUCKS answer and confirmed it with the Billy Idol song (one of those potentially baffling proper nouns I was talking about). Still, this was clued so tough that the puzzle ended up playing hard anyway.
I have no idea who wrote "The Tao of Pooh." I know one HOFF. His name is Syd and he is awesome. This Pooh HOFF can get lost. Robert ITO??? Really? (41A: Robert of "Quincy, M.E."). Wow. Most obscure ITO I've ever come across. [That's the point] is brutal for DOT. [Part of a pickup line?] likewise brutal for TAXI (esp. since CAN I or MAY I seemed to fit so well). [Shiner], hard clue for STAR. I haven't heard anyone called a GOMER in forever (61A: Yokel, in slang)—got that one entirely from crosses (luckily, that corner was the easiest one). And about LAFORGE—a total gimme for a certain class of solver, and a completely baffling WTF for everyone else. Crossing LAFORGE with "TO BE A LOVER" is essentially a giant "*&%# you" to people who are a. over 50 b. not Trekkies c. not immersed in pop culture or d. some combination of the above. My daughter is currently all up in "TNG," so LAFORGE was a gimme for me.
MAN is not a "what," so [What fell in the Fall] really irked me. But mostly my frustration was based on the puzzle's toughness, not its annoyingness. The "BB" thing is very well handled. I feel like I *just* saw a gimmick puzzle with a "To Be or Not To Be" revealer/central answer, but I can't dredge it up. Oh well. No matter. This is solid and original and clean work. Well, mostly clean. OHOS, Evan? Plural? Et tu?