Swimmer featured in 2013 film Blackfish / SAT 10-26-13 / Spotted South American mammal / Tourist novelist Steinhauer / 2008 title role for Adam Sandler / 99+ things in Alaska / Penalty box to sports fans / Collection of green panels / Bell heather tree heath / Asian silk center / Olympic Tower financier
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Constructor: Barry C. Silk
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: ERICAS (46A: Bell heather and tree heath) —
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/erica-1#ixzz2in5m7xqW
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Hello ANEMONE, my old friend. I had to clue that in a puzzle I made a long time ago, and for soooommmmme reason, despite my knowing little about botany and not having thought about that word for years, my first thought upon seeing 5D: Buttercup family member was "... wait ... is that ... it can't be ... is that you, ANEMONE?" And it was. Also, I nailed ERICAS, so I feel pretty safe calling myself a botanist now.
This puzzle was easy. Yes, I had ANEMONE to help me out up top, but I also had IRIS and USED / CAR and SIX A.M., which made CRUST easy to see, and I'd already been thinking PIZZA at 1A: Domino's bottom?, so bam bam. That corner was fried quickly. Middle was also a cinch; tore right through it all the way down to the OTTOMAN. Weirdly had trouble moving from middle to west because I couldn't remember which MOM Sarah Palin said she was. I remember GRIZZLY MOM and LIPSTICK ON A PIG and not a lot else. Eventually the phrase "soccer mom" came to me and then I thought Alaska, and so ... HOCKEY MOM (34A: Sarah Palin called herself an average one).
HYDE (as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr.) at 68A: Bad side of literature? That "H" made PHONE BOOTH pop into view clear as day, and that was all the handle I needed. SOLAR ARRAY was really hard to see—needed most crosses to bring it down. And OLEN? Shrug. But crosses took care of me. I don't really get how ITALIAN ART is an "ideal" (67A: Pre-Raphaelite ideal). All of it? From all time periods? There must be some kind of parameters for this ideal. Otherwise I thought the cluing was pretty good. PHONE BOOTH clue was especially great (28D: DC transformation location)—I thought the misdirection was toward power, away from our nation's capital. But instead those were both misdirections, and what was meant by "DC" was DC Comics. Nice. I am not a hockey fan but I've certainly listened to a lot of hockey highlight coverage and have never heard SIN BIN (47D: Penalty box, to sports fans). Guessed it pretty easily though, with BIN in place. NOAM Pitlik won an Emmy!? Wow, really should file that away, as the only NOAM I know is Chomsky (56D: "Barney Miller" Emmy winner Pitlik). I assume a hailstorm is a PELTER because ... it pelts you? With hail? Mmmmmokay.
The worst thing here is -IERE, but you knew that.
Fun, easy puzzle.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld