Hartmann of talk radio / FRI 11-29-13 / Tod's sidekick on Route 66 / One shot in cliffhanger / Ray Charles's Georgia birthplace / Home to Bar-Ilan univ / Her last film was High Society
Friday, November 29, 2013
Constructor: Ned White
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: JEWISH RYE (33A: What corned beef is often served on) —
… so-called "Jewish rye" is further seasoned with whole caraway seeds and glazed with an egg wash, and is traditionally associated with salted meats such as corned beef, pastrami, and (outside kosher circles) ham. (wikipedia)
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MINT JELLY fine, but I don't really see any of the rest as wonderful seed answers. Just answers. Maybe JEWISH RYE resonated with people. I'd never heard of it. I thought "RYE" and then couldn't figure out what that first word was for a while. So maybe that's also a seed answer. Still. The structure of this grid is kind of annoying. Highly segmented, and then the segments mostly contain short, uninteresting answers, as well as junk you just shouldn't see in a high-word-count themeless. ACTA. ALAR. REORG. EAP. DIAN. SENAT. USOC. ALTA. A pile of abbrevs. I guarantee you that the Newsday "Saturday Stumper" tomorrow just crushes this puzzle in terms of both challenge and overall interest level. This puzzle is just OK.
Thought it was going to be a breeze (PUDDY TAT = gimme, and all the NW and W went fast from there), but I had trouble in the middle and SW, due almost entirely to PENALTY (toughly clued as 35D: 10 or 15 yards, say) and EAP (ugh) (42A: "Eldorado" initials), which I had as ELO (did they not have an album called "Eldorado" … oh, damn, that was "Ole Ole" … never mind). Should've gotten JULEP easily, but not knowing JEWISH and having ELO meant JULEP stayed hidden a while. Also had a lot of trouble coming up with NEWSY (22D: Like many holiday letters). Easy again in the NE, but slightly troublesome in the SE—actually, just getting into the SE was troublesome because I had SHYEST for COYEST (41A: Least brazen). Managed to work backward from ASU (gimme) / ALTA / USOC (yes, the junk saved me—doesn't mean I have to like it), and finished up with the "B" in BEENE (43D: Designer Geoffrey).
That is all. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgivings. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. AFIRST is always terrible please never use it ever kthxbye.