Sea goddess who rescued Odysseus / THU 1-23-14 / Actress/model Kravitz / Snack brand represented by Sterling Cooper on Mad Men / Carlissian of Star Wars films / Member of boy band with nine top 10 hits / Poet who wrote If you want to be loved be lovable
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Constructor: Michael Hawkins
Relative difficulty: Medium
In Greek mythology, Idas (Ancient Greek: Ἴδας Ídas) was a son of Aphareus and Arene and brother of Lynceus. He and Lynceus loved Hilaeira and Phoebe and fought with their rival suitors, Castor and Polydeuces, killing the mortal brother Castor. He was also one of the Argonauts and a participant in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. He kidnapped Marpessa. Apollo also desired her andZeus made the girl choose. She chose the mortal Idas, fearing that Apollo could abandon her when she grew old. With Marpessa, Idas had one daughter named Cleopatra. (wikipedia)
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BLOCKade, BLOCKs out, BLOCK parties, etc.) were even clued. At all. This is because I, like many constant solvers, do not read the clues like a book, from beginning to end. We look at the grid and let the grid tell us what clues to look at. So there was no way I was ever going to see 23-Across (in the clue) because there is no "23" in the grid. It's a pretty simple problem. And, the thing is, I didn't even need the clues (23A/D, 39A/D, 56A/D). I realized that the answers would simply be "words/phrases starting with BLOCKS" and figured them out from crosses. The awkwardness of the numbering, combined with the inessentialness of the numbering, proved a huge distraction. Mainly, it made the solve more puzzling (not good-puzzling, more WTF-puzzling), and less enjoyable than it might have been had the core concept just *snapped* into view. As I was solving, I was thinking "OK, something's coming, some revealer, something that will explain the unclued stuff and tie all this BLOCK stuff together." But the shoe never dropped. Later, someone pointed out that the missing clues are actually there—they're just not numbered in the grid. Oh. OK. That seems more a design flaw than a design feature.
Fill is not good, but it's a pretty dense theme, so I can let it slide (though every part of me wants to rag on "TSU," Whatever That Is) (Holy Crap, it's Texas Southern University, not Texas State, as I'd imagined) (TSU hasn't been clued this way in 20 years, BTW). OK, no, I do have to perp-walk IDAS, ELOI/ELEA, TSU, ENOW, LUNE, OXI, and INO. OK, that is all.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld