Third Watch actress Texada / FRI 4-4-14 / Frank Loesser show tune / Sporting goods chain with slogan Get outside yourself / Chart in Cadiz / Love Death on Long Island novelist Gilbert / Songwriters hall of fame member who wrote April Love /
Friday, April 4, 2014
Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith and Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: TERNES (3D: Lead-tin alloys) —
1. (Metallurgy) Also called: terne metal an alloy of lead containing tin (10-20 per cent) and antimony (1.5-2 per cent)2. (Metallurgy) Also called: terne plate steel plate coated with this alloy[C16: perhaps from French terne dull, from Old French ternir to tarnish] (thefreedictionary.com)
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TENTER is, let's say, weird (though some of my crossword constructor friends are having a gay old time right now making boner jokes on FB). TEN HOURS is just an arbitrary amount of time. The 15s up there mean nothing to me. Thank god I had some recollection of ADELAIDE, because 1- 2- and 3-Down would remain unsolved otherwise. REISIEIDIO is making me laugh. Seriously, the top half of this grid is an object lesson in the terribleness of quad stacks, or stunt puzzles in general. Always seems like the constructor has a. a tin ear for fill and phrases, and b. contempt for the solver (i.e. is showing off).
The lower half of the grid is marginally better. First two 15s, at least, are lovely. Too bad they had to got and stack those two on top of Two More. BUNS are "supplies"? I'D NO idea. SAMMY WHO??? (30D: Songwriters Hall of Fame member who wrote "April Love"). What is "April Love"? Hmmm. Looks like something Pat Boone sang 60 years ago. "Third Watch"? People watch that? People know who TIA Texada is? (37D: "Third Watch" actress Texada) There's this horrible perfect storm happening here, where I have contempt for quad stacks *and* I live nowhere near whatever cultural planet these constructors live on. The latter is just too bad for me. The former isn't. The former is a real thing. The compromises in the fill are just too much. Beyond the pale. The lower half is, in every way, better than the top. If the top half had matched the bottom, with at least two good long answers and virtually all acceptable crosses, I might have kept my original "Love-It" resolution. But of course that didn't happen.
Congrats to one of the constructors on using ANTS IN ONE'S PANTS for the *sixth time* in his constructing career (acc. to cruciverb's database). Two more and he gets a free sandwich.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS I still have no idea what SAMS stands for. None. (1D: Some defensive weapons, in brief).
PPS Tyler Hinman tells me it's "surface-to-air missiles." I can sleep easy now.