Stylish 1960s luxury coupe / THU 3-13-14 / Giant novelist 1952 / Country calls itself abode of peace / Boston legend Phil to fans / Title character from village of Highbury 1815 / 11th-century founder of Scholasticism / One of vertices of summer triangle / 2000 Richard Gere title role
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Constructor: Alex Vratsanos
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- RED TAPE / SIX IRON
- SEA GREEN / PAR THREE
- BLACK OPS / EIGHT BIT
- GET A TAN / EASY ONE
Word of the Day: AVANTI (17A: Stylish 1960s luxury coupe) —
The Avanti is a sports coupe based at the Studebaker Avanti produced by a series of entrepreneurs. After the closure of Studebaker's South Bend factory on December 20, 1963, cars with the name Avanti were initially produced from left-over Studebaker components and later from General Motors and Ford chassis and engines. These are not replica cars, for they were made by Avanti Motor Company. They have created a following by some enthusiasts and collectors. (wikipedia)
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ICBM, RYN, and POOR, which turned out to be all that I needed to get COLOR BY NUMBER (I thought it was "numbers," but it turns out the singular is more common). I looked up and saw RED next to SIX and thought "… OK, three more to go." I thought / hoped maybe the number / color pairings would have some rationale—Black/Eight had me thinking maybe there was a pool-ball theme. But no. Arbitrary. Completely. And the numbers aren't even hidden inside other numbers. Same with the colors. They're just … there. Naked. So it's a fine concept, clever in its way, but there's something kind of dry and (as I say) arbitrary about the theme execution. BLACK OPS and EIGHT BIT are at least nice answers. The rest are pretty dull. Fill is not abysmal, but it's not flashy or imaginative either. DONG made me laugh, so that's something.
You can see all the short junk, so I won't enumerate that. I think the constructor is pretty young, but the grid is creaky with old names. Hardly a thing from the 21st century. Again, BLACK OPS stands out. I have to say one thing about baseball, and that is, SFO is not an abbreviation in baseball. In airports, yes. But on baseball scoreboards, absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no. I see no way in which that clue, 22D: SFO opponent in the 2012 World Series, is not an error. DET, yes, you'd see that on scoreboards. SFO, no. No you would not.
EMMA cost me a lot of time. Everything below ESPO was just dead until I worked back up from underneath with the help of the color/number theme. Later, as I was (mostly) killing the eastern hemisphere, I mysteriously wrote in STOP IT for STEP IN at 31A: Start to break up a fight, say. This slowed me up for sure. The SE corner (where I finished), went down almost instantly. Fastest quadrant I can ever remember doing. 20 seconds tops. Weird. Wish I could find that magic more often.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld