Harold's partner in comedies / SUN 12-29-13 / Model/actress Keibler / Lab item that sounds like popular website / Secret society in Dan Brown's Angels Demons / 1989 world champion figure skater / He said most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- VERBAL CUE (23A: Spoken instruction in animal training)
- SIDEWALK CHALK (35A: Bit of hopscotch equipment)
- WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE (51A: Philadelphia/New Jersey connector) (what a beautiful spanner … *spanner*!)
- DRESS RACK (77A: It's often divided into sections 0, 2, 4, 6, etc.)
- HEARTFELT (107A: Sincere)
The Amana Colonies are seven villages on 26,000 acres (11,000 ha) in east-central Iowa, United States:Amana (or Main Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, andHomestead. The villages were built and settled by German Pietists, who were persecuted in their homeland by the German state government and the Lutheran Church. Calling themselves the Community of True Inspiration (German: die Gemeinde der wahren Inspiration), they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the Town of West Seneca. However, seeking more isolated surroundings, they moved to Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1856. They lived a communal life until the mid-1930s.For eighty years, the Amana Colonies maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the industrializing American economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe. Craftsmen passed their skills and techniques on from one generation to the next. They used hand, horse, wind, and water power, and made their own furniture, clothes, and other goods. The community voted to form a for-profit organization during the Great Depression, the Amana Society, which included the Amana Corporation.Today, Amana is a tourist attraction known for its restaurants and craft shops. The colonies were listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965. (wikipedia)
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First, I loved this. Second, turns out it's been done before, with many of the same theme features. By Michael Shteyman, March 2006:
Once you pick up the "pocket" thing, the puzzle becomes Remarkably easy. All the corners are essentially taken care of. Hardest part for me to get into, unsurprisingly, was the relatively sectioned-off POOL BALLS section there in the lower-middle. But even that wasn't that tough—once I changed [Big dos] from AFROS to GALAS and then from GALAS to BALLS. Last thing in the grid was HAS A GOAT (65D: Tries). What an odd expression—I always heard it as "has a go." American idioms are so weird.*
I don't particularly like U TUBE as fill, but the clue more than redeems it (7D: Lab item that sounds like a popular website). I balked at 17A: Model/actress Keibler because who? and because I figured someone so random probably had one of them there I-ending names (i.e. STACI), and SYSCO … I don't really know that company. Could've been SISCO for all I knew. But the more common STACY won the day. Wish I had more trouble spots to talk about, but, as I say, this thing was easy.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
*I'm not serious, but that won't keep me from getting mail.