Mob Wives star Big * / WED 2-26-14 / Compadre of Castro / Harry Belafonte genre / Hobby farm denizen / Mike Tyson facial feature / Sheer curtain fabric /
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Constructor: Ruth B. Margolin
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Sadist songs — -IST is added to familiar phrases, creating much wackiness
- CUBIST REPORTERS (17A: Journalists covering abstract art?)
- POMPOUS ASSISTS (26A: Help from a jerk?)
- STARKIST NAKED (44A: Canned tuna without mayo?)
- SLEEPER CELLISTS (58A: Narcoleptics with string instruments?)
A light, plain-weave, sheer fabric of cotton, rayon, silk, or wool used especially for making dresses and curtains.
[French, from Old French veile, veil, from Latin vēla, neuter pl. of vēlum, covering.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/voile#ixzz2uOeDTPln
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ADDICT puzzle. See, that would be your revealer, and then you add -ICT to familiar phrases to create wackiness. Adding -ICT would likely be *much* harder than adding -IST, but my point here is that at least with ADDICT there'd be some rationale for adding the letters you are adding. Adding random letter strings, with no clever reveal to justify it or bring it all together, just leaves me with a hollow feeling. This is a solid puzzle, as this theme-type goes. Theme answers are mildly amusing, and you've got a couple of sassy base phrases in "pompous ass" and "stark naked" that liven things up a bit. That center part—with five consecutive 5+-letter Downs running through two theme answers—is actually very hard to pull off with any kind of grace, and I thought the effort here came off nicely. Fill is not that interesting, but neither is it groan-worthy. So what we end up with is a very adequate grid with somewhat amusing theme answers and no real sense of purpose. Revealers give add-a-letter puzzles purpose. They bring them to life. This one needs one. It doesn't have one. That is pretty much the entirety of what there is to say about this puzzle.
ASPIRE … that has interesting possibilities. [Reptilian anger?]. As you can see, I'm just looking around the grid now trying to think of anything to say. This Is How The Sausage Is Made, People. I thought the Bahamas city was NASHUA, which will be of interest to New Hampshirites, if no one else (15A: Bahamas cruise stop). Thought the [Winter topper] was a SNOCAP. It felt … right-ish at the time. There's really too many Es Rs Ls Ss and Ts for me to care much about the rest of the grid, so I'll just let you go now.
Reminder: Finger Lakes Crossword Competition is this Saturday in Ithaca, NY. Should be fun. I'll be there. Info here.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld