Medieval merchants guild / SAT 11-30-13 / Accent for plus fours often / Tarte French apple dessert / Literary wife in Midnight in Paris / Recognition not sought by Benjamin Franklin / Second baseman in both of Dodgers' 1980s World Series / Relative of aloha shalom
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Constructor: Byron Walden and Brad Wilber
Relative difficulty: Challenging
Word of the Day: HANSA (45D: Medieval merchants' guild) —
: a league originally constituted of merchants of various free German cities dealing abroad in the medieval period and later of the cities themselves and organized to secure greater safety and privileges in trading2: a medieval merchant guild or trading association (m-w.com)
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ACT TWO (24A: Setting for many reprises), I still got only ALLOWANCE. Then crossed it with LILO (16A: Disney title character surnamed Pelekai). Then sat some more. BOY WONDER still doesn't make much sense to me—he's an [early riser] because he "rises" through the ranks at a young age? Because the BOY WONDER is Robin and a robin is a bird who rises early (this is not correct, but it's the first thing I thought of). Anyway, only after inferring BOY WONDER from -O--ONDER did I get the rest. SHOW, UGLY, CRAB, all basic words, all totally hidden from me by the clues.
STEVE SAX) (38A: Second baseman in both of the Dodgers' 1980s World Series). Had GAVE A DAMN and DARN before HOOT. NEED before HATH (was thinking "Watson, some here, I NEED you."). NEED was a huge killer, because I wanted INTER ALIA but kept refusing to enter it because NEED seemed right (and, oh, by the way, fit with both DAMN and DARN). Gah. After my frustration waned, I looked at the grid, and I think it's really nice, for the most part. I will say I hate TATIN (what on god's green earth!?) (3D: Tarte ___ (French apple dessert)) and HANSA (I have a Ph.D. in medieval literature and don't know this term) and, to a lesser extent, BIOGAS. But the rest is overwhelmingly solid, and there are many nice longer answers. What are "plus fours"? Brad just has a much, much bigger vocabulary / knowledge of music/opera than I do, so sometimes I Really struggle with his stuff. Anyway, back to "plus fours" [looking them up …] ah, knickerbockers. Short pants, four inches below the knee. And apparently you wear them with a single ARGYLE SOCK. Jaunty (61A: Accent for plus fours, often).
SGT. SCHULTZ (from "Hogan's Heroes") is a nice answer (1A: 1960s sitcom character with the catchphrase "I see nothing!"). I could hear only Maxwell Smart and (for some reason) Gene Wilder in my head when I saw the phrase "I see nothing!" Weird. I very, very briefly entertained Fred ETHEL MERTZ (the -TZ being all I had at first). But that was a '50s sitcom. What else did I botch? Ooh, RECKONS for LOOKS AT ("K" in the same place, both answers). BEERY for SUDSY (let me tell you, SUDSY looks real good when you've had BEERY in there for a bit). DATA for TROI (quickly fixed once I got ZELDA—the sole gimme I encountered early on) (10D: Literary wife in "Midnight in Paris"). I think that's it. It was a maddening toughie (for me), but nicely built.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld