Bond girl Andress / TUE 2-25-14 / Tomato lettuce pickers org / Many Persian Gulf war correspondent / Madrid tidbit
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Constructor: Matthew E. Paronto and Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: CROSSWORDESE (55A: What this puzzle's capitalized clues are, both by definition and pun) — capitalized clues are all examples of CROSSWORDESE (common, overused crossword fill) that start with E (hence the pun, "crossword E's")
- FENCING BLADE (EPEE)
- NEEDLE CASE (ETUI)
- SEA BIRD (ERNE)
- ARAB LEADER (EMIR)
The United Farm Workers of America (UFWA) is a labor union created from the merging of two groups, theAgricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) led by Filipino organizer Larry Itliong, and theNational Farm Workers Association (NFWA) led by César Chávez. This group was originally a workers' rights organization that helped workers get unemployment insurance but rapidly became a union offarmworkers. The shift occurred when the NFWA went out on strike in support of the mostly Filipino farmworkers of the AWOC in Delano, California who had previously initiated a grape strike on September 8, 1965. The NFWA and the AWOC, recognizing their common goals and methods, and realizing the strengths of coalition formation, jointly formed the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee on August 22, 1966.This organization was accepted into the AFL-CIO in 1972 and changed its name to the United Farmworkers Union. (wikipedia)
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OBOE, EXE, NIN, LAN, IBIS, AFRO, ONO, REE). I don't see the humor and I don't see the point. The "pun" doesn't do much to mitigate the pointlessness. I guess one might get a mild chuckle after figuring out what the pun is (i.e. "crossword E's). But it would have to pretty darned mild. Neither the clues nor the answers display any wit, any sparkle. I am all for repurposing crosswordese for crossword purposes, and I've seen it done well, but this? Why? Conventional clues for CROSSWORDESE are trite and dull, and so the theme answers are … just that. CLOWN AROUND is a nice answer (25D: Be a goof), but you can have the rest. Fun CLOWN fact: top NFL draft prospect JADEVEON CLOWNEY has 15 letters in his name—a perfect grid-spanning length.
What else to say? Not much. Finished in just over 3, which is pretty fast for me. Not a lot of resistance here. I hesitated a bit at [Relatively near] because I expected a comparative adjective, i.e. something ending in -ER. I let NOT FAR into the grid entirely based on crosses. The clue on EMBED is fairly contemporary, and a highlight in this otherwise pretty bland offering. How do you give KIEV such a bland, fill-in-the-blank clue (14D: Chicken ___) when it's such a major political hotspot at the moment? I guarantee you the city is mentioned in the NYT. Today. Come on, man. My friend Matt just pointed out that the "Asian-American" in the LIN clue is unnecessary—you'll note there's no corresponding "African-American" for ISIAH Thomas. Speaking of BARN owls … which I am doing now … reader "Jen from CT" posted some crazy owl pictures to the FB page of The Great Backyard Bird Count yesterday. They were taken with an infrared, motion-activated camera. Here's a detail, which I'm considering making my new FB avatar.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld