Indie rocker Case / SAT 5-24-14 / Merrie Melodies sheepdog / Certain beach phony / Surrealist known for self-portraits / Field fungus
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Constructor: Peter Wentz
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: NEKO Case (8D: Indie rocker Case) —
Neko Case (/ /; born September 8, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her solo career and her contributions as a member of the Canadian indie rock group The New Pornographers (wikipedia)
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As I predicted, I finished this well under the time it took me to finish yesterday's. An average Friday time for me, whereas Friday's was an above-average Saturday time. Crazy. I'm always so happy to see a Wentz byline. I mentioned yesterday the Patrick Berry Themeless Ideal (PBTI™), which is kind of like the Zipless Fuck, in Jongian terms (keep in mind I have very little idea what I'm talking about, as I have never read Erica Jong, or Karl Jung for that matter).
The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.Yes. That sounds like an apt comparison to me. PBTI™ is kind of a Platonic ideal of themelesses, with the difference being that Platonic ideals don't actually exist, whereas Patrick Berry, I'm told, does, as do his puzzles. My point is that this puzzle is amazing. Clean. Close to flawless. Crammed with great fill, and not just the lovely central StaggerStack™. EYES FRONT, RECKON SO, LOW COMEDY, TAX FRAUD, all nice. Even THE WOMB and ON TOAST, which kind of look like partials, somehow work with their given clues (note: do *not* order THE WOMB ON TOAST. You will be very disappointed).
ISAAC Singer without the intervening Bashevis. Never seen a Bashevis-less ISAAC Singer. But once I gave in, MACAW and ANISE got me going, and that NW corner was over pretty quickly (though not before I convinced myself that there was some Olde Englishe tradition of giving a child a (fig?) NEWTON for Christmas. I think the clue on BUMS is kind of mean. I mean the very category is kind of mean. [Asks for and receives, as a cigarette], maybe, might've felt better. But I'll get over it. I learned ERGOT (32D: Field fungus) from crosswords and don't really like it as fill but it's hard to argue against crossing JIMMY SWAGGART with a destructive fungus. Which reminds me, I had completely forgotten JIMMY SWAGGART existed before this puzzle. Had the -AGGART part and at first wanted nothing except possibly TED HAGGART (which is not how you spell his name, but you get the idea). I have never seen the name TOM HOOPER before, and that could've killed me, except (as with all well-made puzzles) the crosses made that answer ultimately gettable.
This was just a hugely enjoyable puzzle. That is all. See you tomorrow.