What a gimel means on a dreidel / WED 3-5-14 / Cuban salsa singer Cruz / "Total Recall" director Wiseman / Town with an eponymous derby / One of two in an English horn / Aria title that means "It was you"
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Constructor: Evan Birnholz
Relative difficulty: Who Knows? (See what I did there? No? Keep reading.)
THEME: CLUELESS — Theme answers are unclued and they all mean, basically, "Huh?"
You guys! It's me, PuzzleGirl! Got an SOS call from Mrs. Parker. Seems Rex is a bit under the weather so today you get me. Try to control yourselves. Let's see if I remember how to do this ....
- HELL IF I KNOW
- I’M STUMPED
- BEATS ME
- DON’T ASK ME
- I HAVE NO CLUE
- NO I MEAN THESE ARE LITERALLY THE THEME ANSWERS, I'M NOT SAYING I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE THEME ANSWERS ARE!
SUNSPOTS symmetrical with STONE AGE, MIDTERM right smack in the middle, and JET SET is nice. POKEMON always makes me laugh because I know what it is … kind of. I mean, I know Pikachu, of course, and I know Pokemon evolve into other Pokemon and there's a show with a kid named Ash who has a really annoying voice, and I guess it's a game? Maybe with cards? Kids collect them and then they ... play a game with them? I don’t know. After that it gets a little fuzzy.
Now Nancy Drew creator Carolyn KEENE, on the other hand, I know a lot about. My undergrad honors thesis was called "The New Nancy Drew: But Can She Still Tap-Dance in Morse Code?" At the time (this was, like, a hundred years ago), it was widely believed that Carolyn Keene was the pseudonym of Harriet Adams, whose father, Edward Stratemeyer, founded the "Stratemeyer Syndicate," which produced the books. And we all just went along our merry way believing that. But then the Internet came along and all hell broke loose. Turns out Harriet Adams wasn't the only Carolyn Keene. In fact, there were many, MANY Carolyn Keenes. Harriet Adams didn't even write the first Nancy Drew title, "The Secret of the Old Clock"! It was written by Edward Stratemeyer's secretary, Harriet Otis Smith! I’ll be honest with you, I'm not entirely convinced Harriet Adams wrote ANY of the Nancy Drew books. Maybe she just got the credit because her dad was a big shot! And the moral of the story is that Nancy Drew is awesome and if you have daughters, you should get her the old books not the new ones (because, no, in fact she cannot still tap-dance in Morse Code).
OTO- (12D: Ear-related prefix) and OTOE (45A: Siouan tribesman). The ARETE / AS IN / EKE OUT (53D: Glacial ridge / 46D: Words clarifying a spelling / 47D: Barely make) section is also a little sketchy. But I think that's what happens when you cram five theme answers into a grid, which seems to be pretty standard these days. Sigh.
So hey, are you all coming to Brooklyn this weekend? This is my favorite weekend of the year. I typically spend the whole weekend in my happy place, so if you see me please say hi!