Pachacuti's people / WED 4-2-14 / Actress Dash of Clueless / Jewelry designer Peretti / So-called potted physician / Challenger's announcement at pickup game / Singer Smith of punk music / Beast in documentary Blackfish
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Constructor: David Levinson Wilk
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: that's out of — wacky ("?"-style) clues are not wacky at all, but literal; while it appears that the phrase "out of" in the clues starts an idiomatic phrase, it's really a cue for you to make the answer (clued by the first part of the clue) OUT OF the words that follow, i.e. anagram the phrase following "out of" to get an answer to the first part of the clue. [Breathe] Thus:
- 17A: Weapon part that's out of this world? = weapon part that is made out of the letters in "this world" = SWORD HILT
- 11D: Drenched gangsters who are out of the woods? (SHOOT DEW)
- 41A: Attack on a Mideast land that's out of thin air? ("HI, TRAIN!")
- 40D: Military laundry that's out of harm's way? (WARY HAMS)
- 66A: Fisherman's feat that's out of character? (RACE CHART)
An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and grassland ecosystems). An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.The word ecotone was coined from a combination of eco(logy) plus -tone, from the Greek tonos or tension – in other words, a place where ecologies are in tension. (wikipedia)
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IRAN HIT is nonsense. WET HOODS is nonsense. There was no joy in getting these. There was especially no joy because I had no idea what was going on until I was finished. My "aha" moment was more of a "hmmm maybe if I could go back in time and somehow know this *while* solving I might've felt differently about this puzzle but I really doubt it" moment. The grid looks great, otherwise (except for that MCLI / ITA / AGR part). ECOTONE's a crutch, but I GOT NEXT is killer, and who doesn't love ARMPIT? Sexy.
"NOW A TRY A IT ON!" — things a horrible caricature of an Italian tailor might say!?
EURope, and yet somehow that feels a bit like having the clue [Kentucky's locale] for NORTH AMERICA. But SEAs have "swells" so I figured it out. I like the groupings of people in the NW and SE corners. LESTER Holt and STACEY Dash are an unlikely double date—romantic comedy waiting to happen—and I love the image of sad Kirk COBAIN and sad DOOBIE Brothers sadly standing on the street, staring at DISCOS that won't let them in because they aren't dressed right. It's possible Men AT WORK are there too.
Many thanks to Matt, Ben, Angela, Doug, The Klein Sisters, and Andy for keeping things going while I was gone. I'm most grateful. Now to sleep, which I haven't done in … let's see, today, then 16 hours transit time from CA including red-eye flight, then yesterday, carry the one … [falls asleep calculating]
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld