Basketball showman / TUE 4-29-14 / Hope in Hollywood / Sources of formic acid / Prado works / Mexican mama bear
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Constructor: Jules P. Markey
Relative difficulty: Challenging
- TIMES TABLE CHART (3D: Multiplication aid)
- GLOBETROTTER (21D: Basketball showman)
- POST OFFICE BOXES (7D: Mail holders)
- SUN WORSHIPER (9D: Ardent beachgoer)
noun Military .
a position assumed by a soldier or sailor in which the feet are12 inches (30.48 cm) apart, the hands are clasped behind theback, and the head is held motionless and facing forward.2.
a command to assume this position. (dictionary.com)
• • •This theme might've worked if
- TIMES TABLE CHART had been a real thing (never ever in my life heard anything but "times table"; in fact, I'd always assumed "table" meant "chart")
- GLOBETROTTER clue had made reference to Harlem (on its own, the answer is nonsense)
- the SUN had been an easily identifiable U.S. paper (unlike all the others, the only SUN I can think of is either half a Chicago paper or a British tabloid or a defunct NY paper…). Oooh, wait, is it Baltimore? Wow, that is really an outlier, national prominence-wise, when compared with the NYT, Boston Globe, and Washington Post.
Add to these problems the fact that the fill is markedly below average (HIERO over IRREG is painful even to look at) and clued somewhere north of Wednesday (Hope LANGE???), and you have a pretty bad overall experience. The solving times at the NYT applet are coming in hilariously high for a Tuesday. I've literally never heard "Parade REST!" so that was weird (un-Tuesday). Hope LANGE is very un-Tuesday (with Jessica sitting right there) (and totally losable—change "L" to "R", then the last letter in CLOY to "W" or "P" ). Both PENS and INKS are often quite delible now, so those answers (PENS in particular) were weird to me. Had BODE for [Auger], but I guess I was thinking [Augur] so that's on me. EMERGENTS … I don't even know what to say there. Has anyone ever used that word in a sentence? By "anyone," I mean you. That's a bad word on any day, but Tuesday, yipes. Bizarre. [Stay in the fight?] is, I'll admit, a great clue for TRUCE. More appropriate to Thursday or later, but since I should say something nice, I'll give that clue its due. ALL really shouldn't be in a puzzle with COVERALLS. OK, I'll stop.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld