Malay for human / THU 11-21-13 / Trypanosome carrier / People for whom tena joe means hello / Her birthday is Oct 4 2011 / O'Brien's team / President whose initials stink /
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Constructor: Jules P. Markey
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- NOT TO WORRY
- IT GETS BETTER
- THIS WILL PASS
- THERE, THERE
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TAXI. I still don't know how TEES are [Athletic supporters?] unless you wear a TEE shirt with your team logo on it … ? [Oh, wait, TEES prop up balls for striking … OK, I guess that works] The clue on OBAMA stinks (53D: President whose initials "stink"), as no one thinks of presidential "initials" as consisting of only two letters. JFK, LBJ, DDE, HST, ETC. It's BHO, not "B.O." Booo to that. Also, I was unaware of the existence of the term NON-WAGES (27A: 401(k) employer matching contributions, e.g.). That answer alone cost me tons of time. GIVES for CAVES, ELM for OAK, ARM for ARC (4A: Go ballistic? — because balls ARC through the air? Booo to that, too). Cluing was either vague—[Card]? [Acid]? [In]? [On]?—and bland or a bit off. But the fill is OK, and the revealer is adorable. Only problem with the theme (that I can see) is that "THIS WILL PASS" feels off to me. When I search it (in quotation marks), I get a bajillion hits, but the entire first page of hits all refer to a recent quote from Richie Incognito, for some reason. I'm not kidding. Every Single Hit on that first page of results. Weird. It's probably a fine phrase, but "This too shall pass" is the phrase I keep hearing in my head.
Most disappointed in my utter failure to recall John FOWLES (22A: John who wrote "The French Lieutenant's Woman"). I've read "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and can name several FOWLES novels but as I was solving I just couldn't retrieve it, despite having the initial letters. I was like "FOLLET? FOWLER?" Ugh. I've seen that ORANG clue before (10D: Malay for "human"), but didn't remember it today. Pretty vicious. SAMOS also seems vicious (56D: Aegean island). I had -AMOS and no idea what to do with the first letter, as I had no idea what "Trypanosome" was and so TSE-TSE wasn't coming (55A: Trypanosome carrier). All in all, a solid theme with decent fill and less-than-delightful cluing.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld