Governor elected in 2003 recall vote / 5-14-14 / Historic resigned of 2013 / Country with gorilla on its 5000-franc note / Drug smuggler's courier
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Constructor: Victor Barocas
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: TURNING A PROPHET (64A: Punny description of the circled letters in 17-, 27- and 48-Across) — names of prophets appear backwards (in circled squares) inside long theme answers:
- WIN SOME, LOSE SOME (17A: Words of resignation)
- ESPRESSO MAKERS (27A: Barista-operated gadgets)
- SCHWARZENEGGER (48A: Governor elected in a 2003 recall vote)
Pumping Iron is a 1977 docudrama about the world of bodybuilding, focusing on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions. Inspired by a book of the same name by Charles Gainesand George Butler, the film nominally focuses on the competition between Arnold Schwarzeneggerand one of his primary competitors for the title of Mr. Olympia, Lou Ferrigno. The film also features brief segments focusing on bodybuilders Franco Columbu and Mike Katz, in addition to appearances by Ken Waller, Ed Corney, Serge Nubret, and other famous bodybuilders of the era.Shot during the 100 days leading up to the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions and during the competitions themselves, the filmmakers ran out of funds to finish production, and it stalled for two years. Ultimately, Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders featured in the film helped to raise funds to complete production, and it was released in 1977. The film became a box office success, making Schwarzenegger a household name. The film also served to popularize the then somewhat niche culture of bodybuilding, helping to inspire the fitness craze of the 1980s; following the film's release, there was a marked increase in the number of commercial gyms in the United States. (wikipedia)
[To hear Arnold talk about the orgasmic feeling of "the pump," press "Play," though you should anticipate mental scarring.]
• • •
JAS!? You wanted that "J" so bad you went with JAS? Where was the person in the background shouting "Nooooooooooo!" in slow motion? (or, you know, an editor) Simple switch to "M" gives you an instant upgrade, in that it gives you an actual word in the Down (in English *and* in Spanish). Ugh. Similar nonsense happening in the SW. No attempt to make fill interesting. Just a ridiculous, pointless attempt to cram in the rarer letters. Again, look around; it's all SSTS and AMIE and I BEG and EPODE and OTO OHMS REPO ETON ADES and just blah. SLO? Try Harder! I wouldn't notice all this gunk if there was enough decent stuff off-setting it, but there just isn't. The revealer is punny, I'll give it that (though I like that Autocorrect wants it to be "puny"; that's fair). But the circled square don't a. touch every word in ever theme answer and b. bridge words in every theme answer. So there's no elegance. Just a pun. A pun around which a rather ungainly and forgettable grid has been built.
Nothing to enumerate, really. Found the puzzle startlingly easy. Not sure where any hold-ups might be located. I probably thought more about whether 1A: Does damage to would be HARMS or MAIMS than I did about any other answer in the grid. Finished a shade over 3, a good deal faster than my normal Wednesday solve. So at least it was over quickly, I guess.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld