1952 Gary Cooper classic / WED 2-12-14 / Katmandu tongue / Many urban cornhusker / Comic Fields who was Ed Sullivan regular / Matt who scored only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history / Fleet member retired in 03 / Common NASCAR letters
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: T-ing the T- — 15-letter phrases following the there three-word pattern "T[…]ING THE TR[…]"; three Ts in the grid (formed by black squares) reinforce the theme:
- 16A: Triumphing (TURNING THE TRICK) — is this a phrase in common usage? Seems card game-specific. Don't think I've ever heard it used generically to indicate "triumphing."
- 33A: Traditional pre-Christmas activity (TRIMMING THE TREE)
- 53A: Testifying accurately (TELLING THE TRUTH)
Word of the Day: Matt SNELL (23A: Matt who scored the only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history) —
Matt Snell (born August 18, 1941) is a retired professional football player who played for theNew York Jets. He was Jets' owner Sonny Werblin's first coup, prior to his 1965 acquisition of Joe Namath. A powerful fullback out of Ohio State University, Snell's 1964 signing jolted the crosstown Giants, who didn't draft Snell until the fourth round, and offered him a fraction of what the Jets gave him as their first-round choice.
• • •
CLIC (!?) crossing OCOME (yucky) and whatever a SHUTTLER is. I thought a loom was for weaving. Are there actual human beings called SHUTTLERs? At any rate, that quadrant was kind of unlovely, but I thought most of the rest of the puzzle held together pretty well.
Started this one by just throwing down all the short Downs at the top—luckily for me, most of them were right (all the ones in the NW, just one of the three in the NE). Got my first real traction at LAID OVER / POS / OVID, and then swept back across the top after that. For the nth time I botched the spelling on HARAKIRI. "Harikari""Harakari""harrumph." I think the colloquial pronunciation of "harry carry" is what's throwing me off. Also, I somehow associate this ritual suicide with MATA HARI. Actually, now that I think about it, the confusion is not that surprising. All "A"s and "I"s and alternating consonants & vowels. Exotic. There's lots to conflate there. This is why when it comes to ritual suicides, I prefer the term "seppuku." No confusion. Or less confusion, at any rate.
SNELL over TOTIE is a bit tough, as they are odd and dated proper nouns (I knew one, TOTIE, and then only from doing lots of crosswords). Beneath the puzzle's equator, the only thing that slowed me down was writing in STENT for SHUNT (59A: Surgical bypass), and then blanking for a few seconds on MALACHI (not a book I've ever read, as far as I recall). Oh, and it took me almost all the crosses to get SUIT for some reason (55A: Rare sight on casual Friday). Weird.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld