BlackBerry routers / FRI 4-25-14 / Hypothetical particle in cold dark matter / Colorful party intoxicant / FIve-time US presidential candidate in early 1900s / Elvis hit with spelled out title
Friday, April 25, 2014
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: ADRIANA Lima (16A: Supermodel Lima) —
Adriana Francesca Lima (Brazilian Portuguese: [ɐ̃dɾiˈɐnɐ frɐ̃ˈsɛskɐ ˈlimɐ]; born June 12, 1981) is a Brazilian model and actress who is best known as a Victoria's Secret Angel since 2000, and as a spokesmodel for Maybelline cosmetics from 2003 to 2009. At the age of 15, Lima finished first in Ford's "Supermodel of Brazil" competition, and took second place the following year in the Ford "Supermodel of the World" competition before signing with Elite Model Management inNew York City. In 2012, she came in 4th on the Forbes top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $7.3 million in one year. (wikipedia)
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ADRIANA Lima's name as soon as I turn off my computer. Nothing against her personally. She's probably very nice. I just … feel like the age of the "supermodel" is over, or should be. I pretend that it is, anyway. Also, I will never accept "A New Hope" as the title of anything (27A: Princess Leia was one of "A New Hope" = HOLOGRAM). Honestly, I saw that clue and thought "Wait, which one is that? … Oh, they mean 'Star Wars'." It's "Star Wars." I know. I saw it seven times in the theater. The poster hangs in my living room. I think I'd remember its name.
XOXOXO is somehow simultaneously lovely/sweet and mildly irksome (7D: Love letters). Feels arbitrary. You could do XOXO (I've seen that). Now XOXOXO. Probably XOXOXOXO (because why not?). And yet it's a hell of a lot better than [Tic tac toe loser] answers like OOX or XOO. And you *do* get Xs out of it, and Xs are rarely bad (unless they're involved in Scrabble-f*cking, i.e. the gratuitous squeezing of high-value Scrabble-tile letters into the grid at the expense of overall fill quality … but you knew that). IDEM is never pretty, IMHO. But there's really little else to complain about. CATERWAUL, RAISE HELL, SEX SCENE and JELLO SHOT all give this puzzle the feel of a party that's gotten a little bit out of control. Just a little. In a good way.
I started badly, with PATSY / STUD (!?) instead of CHUMP / "MR. ED" (1D: Sucker / 19A: Show horse). But at least I had the good sense to yank it pretty quickly. SOPHS to PKGS to XKE to XOXOXO got me started, and while there were hold-ups here and there, I moved through the grid pretty steadily and easily. I dispute [It's nothing new] as a clue for DEJA VU. Seems inaccurate. It probably is Something New—you just have an eerie *sense* that you've seen it before. Plus, it's probably not identical In Every Respect to whatever you thought had happened before, so "nothing" seems wrong. Off. Also, the clue on HAVRE? Is that the only place French ships are allowed to dock? Presumably other ships dock there too? The clue is hardly distinctive enough for that answer. [Update: it's the French word for "port"? I had seven years of French and didn't know that. Usually foreign vocabulary in puzzles doesn't get nearly that specialized]. [Unlocked area?] for BALD SPOT and [Blackberry routers] for iPHONES? Loved those.
Mistakes (besides the initial one) include FRENEMY for EX-ENEMY (37A: Germany, to Britain) (I like mine) and … I think that's it, actually.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld