Executioner in Mikado / MON 12-23-13 / Texas city on Brazos / Young Indiana Jones portrayer / Dry-ice contraption for theatrical effect / Newspaperman Ochs /
Monday, December 23, 2013
Constructor: Michael Blake and Andrea Carla Michaels
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- SPERM WHALE
- PIGGY BACKING
- RIVER PHOENIX
- FOG MACHINE
Gregory LeNoir "Gregg" Allman (born December 8, 1947) is an American rock and blues singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2006. His distinctive voice placed him in 70th place in the Rolling Stone list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". (wikipedia)
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COQ/QUOI (!?) and I was like "Whoa! That is some serious Scrabble-f***ing. Why would you do that?" Then I finished, and sure enough—all 26 letters. Ugh. Surprised anyone still thinks this is a feat. Three extra foreign words just to get your precious "J" and "Q" (and "U", actually)?—patently not worth it. Of course who really cares on a Monday when it's easy? (This must be the rationale—people will tolerate sub-optimal fill 'cause they've seen it so many times and it didn't create added difficulty so why not?). But, again, for the millionth time, puzzles should be filled with quality, smoothness, and sparkle being the highest ideals. The pangram ideal is … not one. O'NINE? Come on. It's a Monday. The theme is not taxing. Fill the grid with real stuff. OOOH? Jeez louise. EIEI-no.
Hoping for somewhat more professional holiday fare,
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. where's BLOOD? Not good to have one of these types of puzzles and have such an obvious candidate missing. It's not like there are infinite candidates. BLOOD is more common than FOG where "banks" are concerned. BLOOD is a weird omission, in that it's the one "bank" you'd *expect* to see. One of the first that is going to come to mind when confronted with "___ bank." Also SNOW. Also, re: FOG, at least RIVER, PIGGY, and SPERM had their contexts changed in the theme answers. Something like "FOG OF WAR" might've worked here (i.e. not a literal "fog"), but FOG MACHINE doesn't offer sufficient recontextualization.