Figure skater Kadavy / FRI 3-21-14 / Funny or Die web series hosted by Zach Galifianakis / Sir Henry pioneer in steelmaking / Semicircular recess in Roman architecture / 1961 Michelangelo Antonioni drama / Renaissance woodwind
Friday, March 21, 2014
Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: CRUMHORN (58A: Renaissance woodwind) —
The name derives from the German Krumhorn (or Krummhorn or Krumporn) meaning bent horn. This relates to the old English crump meaning curve, surviving in modern English in 'crumpled' and 'crumpet' (a curved cake). The similar sounding French term cromorne when used correctly refers to a woodwind instrument of different design, though the term cromorne is often used in error synonymously with that of crumhorn.The crumhorn is a capped reed instrument. Its construction is similar to that of the chanter of a bagpipe. A double reed is mounted inside a long windcap. Blowing through a slot in the windcap produces a musical note. The pitch of the note can be varied by opening or closing finger holes along the length of the pipe. One unusual feature of the crumhorn is its shape; the end is bent upwards in a curve resembling the letter 'J'. Some people think[weasel words] this is so that the sound produced from the crumhorn is directed toward the player to improve the intonation in consort playing. (wikipedia) (LOL "weasel words")
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Dan "Big Mouth" Bernstein of CBS sports radio in Chicago, who is a big BEQ fan and who couldn't wait, apparently, to tell TAJ Gibson about his induction into the Crossword Sports Hall of Fame. I probably would've gotten TAJ anyway, but still, Dan … dude. You gotta resist the hollering urge. I *know* it's hard. But … yeah.
CRUMHORN, EXEDRA, and (!) CARYN, rather than from tough-to-unravel clues. I actually found most of the puzzle Easy, but then I had to fight CRUMHORN down to the last square (seriously worried about getting Naticked there until I ran the alphabet and hit, duh, MME. for 55D: Abbr. on a letter to Paris, maybe. And *then* I really had to fight in the NE corner, where CARYN was blocking me but good underneath (30A: Figure skater Kadavy), and both EXEDRA (8D: Semicircular recess in Roman architecture) and (wrong) NINES were holding down the fort up top. Total free fall for a few moments. Then my brain was like "isn't the steel guy BESSEMER" (7A: Sir Henry ___, pioneer in steelmaking)? Good boy, brain. That turned NINES to SIXES (in my defense, NINES are higher), and I ended somewhere inside CARYN ("Somewhere Inside CARYN" being the title of the world's first and last crossword porn flick).
[7D: Funny or Die web series hosted by Zach Galifianakis]
Two last thoughts:
- Pretty sure Antonioni is famous enough that you don't need his first name in that clue for "LA NOTTE" (26D: 1961 Michelangelo Antonioni drama). It's not like anyone was at home going "oh, *Michelangelo* Antonioni … now I get it."
- I can't believe ONER(S) is even in BEQ's word list any more. Delete!!!!!