Outfielder Hunter with nine gold gloves / WED 1-8-14 / Manse occupant / Gee I think you're swell girl of 1960s song / She in Salerno / Stanford Binet figs
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Constructor: Sam Ezersky and Victor Fleming
Relative difficulty: Medium
- BATH SPONGE (18A: Tub accessory)
- THINGAMABOB (24A: Doohickey)
- TIMES SQUARE (52A: New Year's Eve hot spot)
- "BOSSYPANTS" (59A: 2011 Tina Fey autobiography)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency dealing with labour issues, particularly international labour standards and decent work for all. 185 of the 193 UN member states are members of the ILO.In 1969, the organization received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving peace among classes, pursuing justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to developing nations.The ILO registers complaints against entities that are violating international rules; however, it does not impose sanctions on governments. (wikipedia)
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THE PUZZLE: This should've been much more amusing than it was. The one thing I do like, theme-wise, is that the toon's name is broken into four discrete syllables, so when I read them, I am reminded of the way his name is chanted in the opening theme. Sponge! Bob! Square! Pants!
Beyond that, it's simply a "final words make a phrase" puzzle with a couple pretty good theme answers and a lot of unremarkable fill. Of course the fill looks Amazing compared to what we had yesterday, but that's a pretty low bar. What's more troublesome here is actually not fill quality, but clue lacklusterness. There are no interesting clues. My constructor friend said this about a puzzle from earlier this week as well. Just very unimaginative and blah. Or else just awkward—[Puck handler's surface]? Why go with such out-of-the-language phrasing? It's no less transparent, and no more interesting, than the more economical and mellifluous [Skater's surface]. But the main issue is dullness. Just read down the list of clues. 1-Across (Message indicating "adult beverages not supplied") is positively scintillating compared to most of the rest.
Didn't have much trouble. Only slow-ups happened at DBLS (39D: Some substantial hits: Abbr.), where I had RBIS and thus had trouble initially getting into the SE; and then again at NEW ISSUE (?), where I had NEW STOCK (36D: Initial public offering). Is "new issue" a tight phrase? I'll defer to someone w/ greater expertise in that area. Anyway, none of this provided too much of a problem. Couldn't spell ELENORE, but that's no surprise. TORII is not great fill, but I do like that someone finally bothered to give it the baseball clue it deserves (20A: Outfielder Hunter with nine gold gloves). So much better than the old [Shinto shrine gateway] clue. Speaking of baseball—only three months til opening day! I'm already semi-giddy w/ anticipation.