1922 Willa Cather novel that won Pulitzer / TUE 11-19-13 / Maximum loads of hay vegetables / Bite from Pac-Man / Speed units for seafarers
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Constructor: David J. Kahn
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- 17A: 1922 Willa Cather novel that won a Pulitzer ("ONE OF OURS")
- 25A: Bridge or Scrabble need (SCORE PAD)
- 36A: Verdi's "Don Carlos," e.g. (GRAND OPERA)
- 43A: Big attraction for bargain hunters (SALES EVENT)
- 51A: Some school exams (MID-YEARS)
- 66A: Maximum loads of hay or vegetables (WAGONFULS)
/ /; February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955), nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" due to his superb speed and German heritage ("Dutch" in this instance being analteration of "Deutsch"), was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He played in the National Leaguefrom 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner won eight batting titles, tied for the most in NL history with Tony Gwynn. He also led the league in slugging six times, and in stolen bases five times.In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth.Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatestshortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner "maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond." In addition, Wagner is the featured player of one of the rarest and most valuable baseball cards in the world. (wikipedia)
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Four score and seven years and another three score and three years ago, this address was delivered. I had no idea this anniversary was coming. Too distracted by the JFK thing, I guess. Anyway, this seems fine. Adequate. A bit lackluster for someone as experienced as Mr. Kahn. I mean, hiding SCORE inside SCOREPAD? YEARS inside MID-YEARS? Not much hiding involved. Kind of hard to hide "YEARS," I'll grant you.* Still. AND isn't even broken across two words. There's just a low bar here, artistry-wise. But it's a solid grid. Easy. Nice Scrabbly corners. Note: it's only "Scrabble-F**king" if the Scrabbly letter is forced in there simply for its own sake, and to the detriment of surrounding fill. There's nothing subpar about the NE corner. Two Xs and a Z and not a clunky answer in sight.
I'm not sure how a SALES EVENT is different from a sale. Maybe there are more … Flags? Signs? Spongebob appearances? Anyway, it's a term I'm familiar with, unlike MID-YEARS or WAGONFULS (which are inferable, at any rate). I couldn't tell one opera from another, and I'm not sure I knew GRAND OPERA was its own category, but still—easy to pick up from crosses. The weirdest thing about this grid, to me, is how frequently Willa Cather's "ONE OF OURS" has been appearing lately. OK, just twice, but that's a lot for a 91-year-old novel.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
*a prominent constructor friend of mine wrote me with the suggestions EARTH'S CORE and FLOPPY EARS. Which is why s/he is the prominent constructor and I am not.