Monday, December 9, 2013
Constructor: Nina Rulon-Miller
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*)
- 16A: Coerce (STRONG ARM)
- 29A: Civic group with more than 45,000 affiliates (LIONS CLUB)
- 36A: Like some broadcast frequencies (ULTRA-HIGH)
- 47A: Illicit Prohibition-era establishment (SPEAKEASY) — probably my favorite answer in the whole grid
- 61A: Where lifeboats are generally stored (UPPER DECK)
//; Old Norse: Týr [tyːr]) is a god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziuand Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tîwaz (*Tē₂waz). The Latinised name is Tius or Tio.In the late Icelandic Eddas, Tyr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto (see Tacitus' Germania) suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.
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[DEAR SYNDICATED SOLVERS (if you're reading this on Sunday, Jan. 12, that's you). Please listen to the following pitch. Also, feel free to write me with any comments or concerns. You're well over half my total audience, and yet I hardly ever hear from you. Thanks!]
THE PITCH — [You can scroll down if you've already read it]
℅ Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton NY 13905
Maybe I'll stick a PayPal button in here for the mobile users. Let's see...
For people who send me actual honest-to-god (i.e. "snail") mail, I have this great new set of thank-you postcards that I'm hoping to burn through: "the iconic Pantone color chip design in 100 brilliant colors." Who will be the lucky person who gets … let's see … Pantone 19-2025: Red Plum? Ooooh, elegant. It could be you. Or give via PayPal and get a thank-you email. That's cool too. Anyway, whatever you choose to do, I remain most grateful for your readership. Now on to the puzzle …
Update: I got my first snail-mail donation —look at the cuteness:
• • •THE MONDAY PUZZLE:
Did not care for this one at all.
First, a simplistic theme-type with dull theme answers and a randomly-placed reveal. What a basic theme type like this needs is a decent revealer—say, SECOND CHAIR (a common enough concept in law and music), or better yet, redo the whole thing and go FIRST CHAIR. Of course you'd have to change some of the theme answers to make sure they were all truly two-worders. Anyway, the point is, if you want your last-words-are-CHAIRs theme, you gotta do something to make it snap. As is, it's too rudimentary. Not at all NYT-worthy, especially not in this day and age, with so many snappy puzzles out there. When I say this theme seems "old" (and it does), I don't mean it's for "old" people. I mean it seems like something that might once have been adequate, but no longer is. Not by a long shot.
Second, the fill is, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, entirely substandard. Glutted with short, overly common stuff, including some stuff that just has no business being in an easy-to-fill 78-worder. TYR? Why does that corner, with only the lightest of theme demands, have USN, USE, ELBE, EYED, and TYR. It would be sleep-inducing were it not for TYR, which woke me right up with its not-at-all-Mondayness. But more importantly, there's just dull short stuff everywhere. ADEN / ERTE. RUER / SRS. UNE / ETES (btw: EWES beats ETES, doesn't it? Why not PEW / EWES???). ORR / NERO. VSOP / PIU. And much more. And the puzzle has cheaters*! I just don't think there's an excuse for fill this dull in a puzzle this elementary, this easy to fill. I'm leaving aside the whole PENNIB situation (20D: Fountain head?), which … I expect people to have varying opinions about.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
*cheater squares are black squares that do not add to the word count. They are added to make the grid easier to fill. Today's squares can be found before 9-Across and after 67-Across.