Singer who's subject of Carl Perkins's Whole World Misses You / WED 4-30-14 / Lira spenders / Flying cloud of autodom / Post-Trojan War epic / Rx-dispensing chain / Fierce working-class domestic goddess of sitcom / Ewers mates
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Relative difficulty: Easy
- STRIP CLUB / MACAWS
- POP CULTURE / SMACKS
- SHARP CURVE / MACE
- TRUMP CARD / SUMAC
An aril (or arillus) is any specialized outgrowth from the funiculus (attachment point of the seed) (orhilum) that covers or is attached to the seed. It is sometimes applied to any appendage or thickening of the seed coat in flowering plants, such as the edible parts of the mangosteen and pomegranatefruit, the mace of the nutmeg seed, or the hairs of a cotton plant. The aril is an edible enticement, encouraging transport by animals and thereby assisting in seed dispersal. Pseudarils are aril-like structures commonly found on the pyrenes of Burseraceae species – the fleshy, edible pericarp splits neatly in two halves, then falling away or being eaten to reveal a brightly coloured pseudaril around the black seed.The aril may create a fruit-like structure (called a false-fruit). False fruit are found in numerous Angiosperm taxa. The edible flesh of the longan, lychee, ackee and lleuque fruits are highly developed arils surrounding the seed rather than a pericarp layer. Such arils are also found in a few species of gymnosperms, notably the yews and related conifers. Instead of the woody cone typical of most gymnosperms, the reproductive structure of the yew consists of a single seed that becomes surrounded by a fleshy, cup-like covering. This covering is derived from a highly modified cone scale. (wikipedia)
• • •An interesting revealer, but the theme as a whole seems like it sets a pretty low bar. How hard (let alone interesting) is it to cross those two particular letters strings? Since there is no real theme material (i.e. none of the longer answers actually relate to the computer wars), and since the answers are all pretty blah, *and* the puzzle is easy, there wasn't much interest *outside* the revealer. It's like an easy themeless, but none of the answers are really zingy enough to hold up a themeless. So conceptually this one works just fine—it just didn't have much entertainment value for me.
OPTS out" amount to roughly the same thing, but "Pulls" and "OPTS" have nothing to do with each other, so even though that was just three letters and pretty easy in retrospect, I tripped a bit there (9A: Pulls (out)). Doggie bag is such a generic term for the food you bring home after dining out that the only reason I got BONE (26D: Doggie bag item) was the totally non-doggie-bag connection between "dog" and "bone." I wanted "leftovers," but obviously that wasn't going to work. SLED was another that just baffled me (66A: Large item in Santa's bag, maybe). Seemed an arbitrary thing for Santa to have in his sled, beyond the fact that Christmas happens in winter. May as well have had a bicycle or a tuba in there. Then there was the ELVIS clue, which meant nothing to me (63A: Singer who's the subject of Carl Perkins's "The Whole World Misses You"). In general, this puzzle had a remarkably old-timey frame-of-reference. ELVIS / Perkins, Muddy Waters, Sophia LOREN *and* ANOUK Aimée, Miles O'SHEA, Ogden Nash … CAAN and BARR, despite coming to fame decades ago, look fresh by comparison. Variety of reference is good; PALIN and "The Sopranos" aren't quite enough to counterbalance today's nostalgic onslaught.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld