2010 Jennifer Aniston movie / WED 1-22-14 / Swiss king of hoteliers / Quimby of children's lit / Music genre that influenced No Doubt / Like some farm cultivators
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Constructor: Jared Banta
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: HANSEL AND GRETEL (35A: Story mapped out in this grid, from lower left to upper right) — circles spell out BREAD CRUMBS and form a winding path leading from SW corner (where one square represents "HOME") to the NW corner (where another square represents "WITCH"). The fairy tale's publisher (BROTHERS GRIMM) (52A: Publishers of 35-Across, with "the") and … some guy who wrote fairy tales But Not This Fairy Tale (?!) (HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN) (20A: With 23-Across, giant in fairy tales) are also in the grid
Word of the Day: CÉSAR RITZ (34D: Swiss "king of hoteliers") —
César Ritz (23 February 1850 – 24 October 1918) was a Swiss hotelier and founder of several hotels, most famously theHôtel Ritz, in Paris and The Ritz Hotel in London. His nickname was "king of hoteliers, and hotelier to kings," and it is from his name and that of his hotels that the term ritzy derives. (wikipedia)
• • •
THE S[witch]"—"witch" meaning is totally lost within the answer). But here we have [witch]ES, which is just sad, and then AT [home] / [home] BREW, both essentially preserving the meaning of [home], and therefore, not great as rebus squares. Very, very hard to disguise them, I'll grant you. If you move them off the corners you've got a better shot. But let's move on.
HANS CHRISTIAN / ANDERSEN doing here (we'll leave the fact that ANDERSEN has no corresponding symmetrical theme answer for now)? I am looking through his oeuvre (cursorily, I'll grant you), and I can't find a version of "Hansel & Gretel." Actually, scratch that. I can find a *version*, but it's not actually called "HANSEL AND GRETEL"—it's called "The Pancake House"! Here it is. The characters are named Hans and Grethe. So … yes, it's a version. But, problem: that version has No Bread Crumbs. So this huge, two-tiered theme answer is here, but it has no direct relationship to the theme. It's just vaguely "fairy tale"-related. My fellow blogger thinks the clue probably originally referred directly to the theme, but was fact-checked late in the game, after the puzzle had been accepted and edited. So clue gets changed and you get this looong "theme" answer that just … hangs there. Sadly. Inaptly.
Oh, also, TNS. Never seen it. A 3-letter answer I've never seen. Huh. Interesting. Rest of the fill is pretty average. I mean, RELOG is horrid, as is HIST., and TWO-ROW is from outer space (42D: Like some farm cultivators), but the rest seems mostly fine. Love CÉSAR RITZ because who knew his name was CÉSAR!? Interesting trivia.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. here's something kind of cool—one of my readers sent me a photo of himself when he was a child, in the late '40s, in a cool cowboy outfit, standing in front of a house just a few doors down from where I currently live in Binghamton, NY. So naturally my wife and I went over and took a photo of me holding the old photo in front of that same house. Results here, at my wife's blog.