Classic Northwest brewski / SAT 11-9-13 / Wishing Chair series creator / Eastern Woodlands native / Tandoori-baked fare / Breastplate of Athena / Nootropics more familiarly / Hognose snake / Cry frequently made with jazz hands
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Constructor: Michael Ashley
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: SAC (20A: Eastern Woodlands native) —
[From wikipedia entry for "Sauk People]: The Sacs or Sauks are a group of Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands culture group. Their autonym isoθaakiiwaki, and their exonym is Ozaagii(-wag) in Ojibwe. The latter is the source of their names in French and English. (wikipedia)
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BUTT-DIALED (1A: Made a seat-of-the-pants error?), but it was still pretty good. Though it was going to be the easiest Saturday I've ever done, as I went from NW to SE with almost no resistance at all, but those other corners were much harder, so I ended up coming in fast but not super-fast. This one was easy to start because the 1- and 2-Down (BOTS, UNIT) were both gettable without crosses, setting up the initial BU- in BUTT-DIALED. The main problem here was coming out of that corner into the adjacent NE one. Everything broke down at SAC (20A: Eastern Woodlands native). I had SA- and couldn't imagine what kind of "native" fit the pattern. I thought maybe it was an animal, like a bird, but no letters seemed to fit. I *wanted* CONAN at 21D: TV show headed by a former writer for "S.N.L.," but SAC??? That's an anatomical structure, not a "native." I mean, look, I wouldn't have had any more luck with SAUK (never heard of this Native American tribe, ever), but SAC? People know that? Yikes. Also, what are VASTS (26D: Poetic expanses). I teach poetry—I have never taught of VASTS. VASTS have I encountered not. No VASTS encounterer, I. What the hell? Anyway, I eventually made my way into that corner via ENCOUNTERS (which were CLOSE at first, by the way), and despite JAW for GUM (11D: Where a canine sits?), managed to make the corner behave eventually.
Finished in the SW corner, where I had some friends (OLY, TROY), and some enemies (NANS!? DEBTEEEEEE?). Key to that corner was CAR DEALERS (28D: They use Blue Books), which ended up being a gimme off the CA-. I knew ENID BLYTON (29D: "The Wishing-Chair" series creator) from crosswords and from her depictions of golliwogs, a racist caricature I had never heard of until I looked into Blyton's work.
Enjoy your Saturday. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld