Singer Hendryx / WED 2-19-14 / Vermont winter destination / Archipelago constituent / Hungry hungry game creatures / Object of ancient Egyptian veneration
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Constructor: Michael Dewey
Relative difficulty: Medium
- FORWARD MARCH (20A: Overly bold member of the "Little Women" family?)
- COMPANY HALT (29A: Result of bankruptcy?)
- PRESENT ARMS (44A: What blood donors do?)
- READY, AIM, FIRE (51A: Motivational words for a boss at layoff time?) — not sure what AIM is doing here. Is that the boss's name? "Ready, Aim? FIRE!"
Word of the Day: Hungry Hungry HIPPOS (34A: "Hungry hungry" game creatures) —
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a tabletop game made for young children, produced by Hasbro, under the brand of its subsidiary, Milton Bradley. The idea for the game was published in 1967 by toy inventor Fred Kroll and it was introduced in 1978. The purpose of the game is for each player to collect as many marbles as possible with his or her 'hippo' (a toy hippo model). The game is marketed under the "Elefun and Friends" banner, along with Elefun and Gator Golf. (wikipedia)
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SIR, / YES / SIR!" bonus was a nice touch, but there's nothing terribly interesting about the theme answers themselves (kind of monotonous) and there is nothing interesting about the puzzle outside the theme (except maybe DIPHTHONG, a great word). Lots of dull fill—stuff most people aren't really going to notice because they've come to accept it as normal. In today's NYT, dull fill is the stuff you tolerate in order to enjoy the juicy thematic center. What's another OMOO, OTOE, ERE, TEHEE, ESME, etc.? We're largely inured to this parade of crosswordese. So there's really nothing out-of-the-ordinary about the fill here. It's right where the NYT's standards are. Would've been great if you could've avoided NONA, which is highly avoidable proper noun crosswordese, and DIAG., which is just ugly, but honestly there's nothing egregious here.
Yes, SIR gets repeated, but that's part of the theme phrase, so it can hardly be considered a fault/flaw. I always have trouble spelling SAGET, in that I can't decide on the final vowel: A or E. SAGAT always looks very right, but that may just the influence of ZAGAT talking. Didn't have much trouble otherwise, except in the N., where I didn't register the capital "Y" on "Yodels" in 14A: Relatives of Yodels (HO-HOS) and so kept trying to think of other kinds of alpine wails (unsuccessfully).
See you tomorrow.