Sharon's predecessor / SUN 10-13-13 / Sport using xisteras / When doubled hit song of 1965 1989 / Onetime Krypton resident / Worst car of millennium per Car Talk / Voices best-selling new age album / Isle where Macbeth is buried
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Constructor: Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Easy
[Once again, newspaper version differs from the online/AcrossLite version. I've cheated here and put the "boulder" in the square where the final "S" is SISYPHUS should go, whereas in the newspaper version, the "boulder" is actually in the square following 43A: MFA (which here is just a black square)]
- 22A: Movie franchise since 1996 ("MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
- 30A: Setting for "Mork & Mindy" (BOULDER, COLORADO)
- 15D: Computer programming problem (INFINITE LOOP)
- 60D: First publisher of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (ROLLING STONE)
- 98A: Violation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics (PERPETUAL MOTION)
- 108A: Underdog's saying ("IT'S AN UPHILL BATTLE")
Word of the Day: ANDREI Sakharov (54D: Peace Nobelist Sakharov) —
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Russian: Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов; May 21, 1921 – December 14, 1989) was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident, and human rights activist.He became renowned as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development ofthermonuclear weapons. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor. (wikipedia)
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SISYPHUS, going uphill. I honestly had no idea what was going on until I was finished with the puzzle (under 10 minutes). Then I saw what the circles spelled out and notice how nicely related all the longer answers are. Wondered for a bit how INSOLVENCY and TETE-A-TETES were involved in the theme, then finally decided they weren't. Their length and placement made them look theme-ish, but no. The fill on this one is very clean. Mostly common words and names and phrases, rarely toughly clued. Biggest struggles were around LOTHARIOS (cool, tough clue—38A: Whistle-blowers?) and DIGEST (92D: Brief). I don't quite know how "brief" as a noun = DIGEST as a noun. I'm sure there's some attenuated connection that is minimally defensible. ALGER HISS was another that took many crosses to come into view (76D: Red Scare target). Wanted ALIEN-something, and then ALGERIANS, which makes little-to-no sense, but ... it fit!
INFINITE LOOP was part of a very recent NYT puzzle, so that answer came very easily. I thought [Floral components] might be SCENTS or SPRAYS, but instead it's the flower parts that I honest-to-god didn't know existed until I started doing crosswords: SEPALS. I also didn't know SEPOYS existed until crosswords told me so, but that's a story for another puzzle. Never seen "xisteras" in a puzzle, but now I want to (79A: Sport using xisteras = JAI ALAI). Love the sequential song clues involving Yoko and IKO (64A: When doubled, a hit song of 1965 and 1989).
Weird how easily YUGO came to me (85D: "Worst car of the millennium," per "Car Talk"). That's the kind of thing that is going to be Very hard for young people to get in the very near future, if it isn't hard already. Unless YUGO goes the way of EDSELS and ends up in every other puzzle on the planet. Seems unlikely. Lastly, I'm not sure most "beachgoers" take "pride" in their "BODs" (30D: Beachgoer's pride, informally) I mean, have you been to the beach lately, or ever? I'm sure some are there to show off, but from what I can tell, not most. Not by a longshot.
The American Values Club Crossword Puzzle is publishing a series of cool collaborations between accomplished constructors and musicians, actors, comedians, etc. This week's puzzle is a collaboration between A/V Club Crossword editor Ben Tausig and Ira Kaplan of the rock group Yo La Tengo. Next week's puzzle teams up Yale BMOC Caleb Madison and home canning enthusiast (and sometime comedian) Patton Oswalt. A/V Club puzzles can be purchased a la carte for a buck a pop, or SUBSCRIBE (the better option). Get yer puzzles here.