1971 #1 hit for Carole King / WED 1-1-14 / People of Rwanda Burundi / First King of English / Economics Nobelist William F / Fire-breating creature of myth / White Stripes OutKast / Tree with extra large acorns / Frank's partner in funnies
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Challenging
- 27D: 1971 #1 hit for Carole King ("IT'S TOO LATE")
- 39D: Classic Stephen Foster song ("O SUSANNA")
- 24D: Achieved through difficulty (HARD WON)
- 32D: "Try!" ("GO FOR IT!")
An oak tree (Quercus macrocarpa) of eastern North America, having pinnately lobed leaves, acorns enclosed within a deep fringed cup, and hard durable wood. (thefreedictionary.com)
• • •
EGBERT (1D: First King of the English) / BUR OAK (17A: Tree with extra-large acorns) / SHARPE (5D: Economics Nobelist William F. ___) corner is especially strange. Buncha weird names from fairly narrow areas of knowledge. I like TAKE A NIP. Rest of that corner, however, was toughish without sparkle.
The theme is pretty cute. "HAPPY 2014" is *not* a "greeting"—"Happy New Year" is a greeting. "HAPPY 2014" is something one might say … I don't know. I want to say "at a New Year's Eve party," but I think you're supposed to shout "Happy New Year!" Anyway, "HAPPY 2014" is a phrase I can imagine one saying, even if I can't imagine the specific context. And the homophone crosses are a nice idea. I wanted "IT'S TOO LATE" pretty early, but it didn't "fit" and I had written WATUSIS instead of WATUTSI (53A: People of Rwanda and Burundi) —I knew the TUTSI were a people, but the WATUTSI, I did not know. I think the WATUSI is a dance. In my defense, if you google "WATUTSI," google asks you if you meant "watusi." [Turns out Tutsi and WATUTSI (and also Batutsi) are all the same thing] Anyway, that flub kept me from picking up on the theme earlier than I might've. I struggled most in the NW (all because of BUR OAK, a plant form of which I was unaware), but it was pretty tough all over.
Anyway, I hope you are having a HAPPY 2014. I know I am. Actually, it's still 2013 as I write this, but I'm gonna go ahead and say my tomorrow's going to be great.
See you later in the year.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld