Saturday, February 1, 2014
Constructor: Will Nediger
Relative difficulty: Not that tough for a Saturday
Word of the Day: EMIL NOLDE [Member of the German Expressionist group Die Brücke]
Emil Nolde (7 August 1867 – 13 April 1956) was a German Danish painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolour painters of the 20th century. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals.
Nolde's intense preoccupation with the subject of flowers reflect his continuing interest in the art of Vincent van Gogh. [Wikipedia]
• • •Another good freestyle, more Scrabbly than yesterday's. I took a stab at ON-SITE for 6-Down [Like some inspections] as my first answer but that turned out to be RANDOM. Slow start continued when I couldn't come up with BARBARA BUSH for [Her 1994 memoir has the chapter "Desert Storm"] even with six of the letters including the initial B. AQABA didn't fool me, though -- I sensed the Q up there and there it was.
More high-value entries all over: YOUR MAJESTY, OLIVE GARDEN and UNDEREXPOSE are a nice trifecta along the bottom, with JAX tying it all together. FLEX TIMER, L.A. LAKER, almost symmetrical ERIK SATIE and ERICA KANE. That last one is the Susan Lucci character, and Ellen Ripstein was the "Susan Lucci of crosswords" for many years because she made it to the ACPT finals something like a dozen times without winning and Lucci was nominated for a daytime Emmy some similar number of times without success. But Ellen won the event in 2001 and Lucci eventually won too.
- Needed every crossing for EMIL NOLDE but an interesting and prominent artist is the kind of thing you're glad to learn from a crossword.
- The German word for "bridge" is "Brücke" and it makes two appearances in clues today: once under the EMIL NOLDE clue, and once in the clue for KOLN [Severinsbrücke's city]. But we call that city Cologne in English so the clue should've had an indicator for that. UPDATE: Wrong. As NDE points out in comments, the German word for bridge is the indicator. Entschuldigung.
- Let's give this themeless the Worst-5-Entries test we tried yesterday: F-STAR, MANA, OBES, RRR and AVI. Not bad at all.
- I like cluing MADONNA classically ["___ With the Long Neck" (Parmigianino painting)] instead of referencing the pop icon.
- I wasn't done with good fill: WE DID IT, ALARM BELL, BETAMAX, always good to mention Lewis CARROLL, and LEADS IN.
- Echoes of earlier in the week: Fibonacci made Monday's puzzle, and today he's used to reference his hometown of PISA. We also see MADCAP as an entry for the second time this week.
|"I alone keep this tower standing!"|
So now this is what I will call the best puzzle of the week, overtaking yesterday. Can Sunday beat them all? I happen to know who wrote it and he's very good. One of his puzzles was recently nominated for Crossword of the Month at my blog. So we'll all find out tomorrow. Pisa out.
Signed, Matt Gaffney, Regent for two more days of CrossWorld