Actress Durance who played Lois Lane on Smallville / SUN 11-17-13 / Narcissus Goldmund author / 2004 movie set in 2035 / Stan Lee's role in many a Marvel film / Dish Network competitor / Javert's portrayer in 2012's Les Miserables / Skiing maneuver at bend in course
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Constructor: Julian Lim
Relative difficulty: Medium
- 23A: Paintings of French estates? (CHATEAU OILS)
- 28A: Carrier for Casanovas? (ROUÉ AIRLINES)
- 52A: Aid for submarine séance? (UNDERSEA OUIJA)
- 82A: Hawaiian wine lover? (MAUI OENOPHILE)
- 103A: Last words from a coxswain? (ADIEU, OARSMAN)
- 112A: Garlicky sauce in central Europe? (PRAGUE AILOI)
- 40D: "Happily ever after" with Han Solo? (LEIA OUTCOME)
- 36D: All the writings of a Persian faith? (BAHAI OEUVRE)
Word of the Day: ANEAR (5D: Not far from, in poetry) —
anear [əˈnɪə] Archaic
• • •
ANEAR, which made me wince, and ending with SOVS, which made me literally say, out loud, "Oh, come on!" And then there was the in-between—a theme with nonsense phrases. Theme was not nearly good enough to support the generally bad quality of the fill. AWS? Gah. Nevermind the run-of-the-mill crosswordese, which abounds. The fill was just lousy. STEP TURN (70A: Skiing maneuver at bend in course) is vaguely interesting. THE SOPRANOS down the middle is pretty cool (and nice clue on that one, too) (38D: Hit show with many hits). But I spent most of this one with a grimace on my face. LEIA OUTCOME cannot be redeemed by any clue. Why in the world is "Happily ever after" in quotation marks in that clue? No one said that. Hyphenate the damn thing if you want to use it as a concept. Also, it's Mac vs. PC, not MACS vs. PCS (1D: One side in a computer rivalry). POST-GAME (59A: When scores are settled?) is a time when players do interviews. "Scores" are "settled" the moment the game is over. POST-GAME is the time *after* that. What the hell is it with the NYT's sports cluing? God-awful. Chopsticks come in pairs, not TWOS. Yes, there is a difference. [Hole in the wall] for VENT makes about as much sense as [Hole in the wall] for DOOR. ERICA Durance?????????? (98D: Actress Durance who played Lois Lane on "Smallville"). Laughable. Is that an attempt to toughen this thing up? I watched "Smallville" for like five seasons and had no idea what that actress's name was.
Clever and good beats cutesy, affected and nuts. Why is this so hard to grasp? The mail I've been getting lately supports my general contention that the NYT is in a prolonged funk. I won't call it a tailspin. Yet. But it does feel like there's a long, slow slide afoot. ABEAT. ANEAR.
Gotta go watch "National Lampoon's Vacation" with my family now. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS a little birdie alerted me to the pre-existence of this theme—see here.