Limp Bizkit vocalist Fred / TUE 5-13-14 / Brazilian state northeast of Sao Paulo / Alaskan panhandle city / Enlightened Buddhist / Cousin of culottes / Spartan serf / 1971 Bill Withers hit / 1987 Buster Poindexter hit / Italian monk's title
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Constructor: Tracy Gray
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Tuesday*)
THEME: WEATHER FORECAST (37A: Local news feature suggested by the answers to 17-, 23-, 48- and 60-Across) — theme answers are songs that have words related to weather phenomena:
- "HOT HOT HOT" (17A: 1987 Buster Poindexter hit)
- "AGAINST THE WIND" (23A: 1980 Bob Seger hit)
- "AIN'T NO SUNSHINE" (48A: 1971 Bill Withers hit)
- "COLD AS ICE" (60A: 1977 Foreigner hit)
Word of the Day: ARHAT (6D: Enlightened Buddhist) —
In Theravada Buddhism, an Arhat (Sanskrit: अर्हत् arhat; Pali: arahant; "one who is worthy") is a "perfected person" who has attained nirvana. In other Buddhist traditions the term has also been used for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood. (wikipedia)
• • •
BAHIA and AMIR and HRH and SITKA occupying the same area. They are individually less-than-great, with BAHIA (1D: Brazilian state northeast of Sao Paulo) being not-at-all well known in the U.S., thus bad for a Tuesday puzzle; AMIR being an abomination that should never be seen ever, *especially* in easy puzzles; HRH being a harmless abbreviation but why are we suffering through abbreviations if you've already made us suffer through AMIR; and SITKA being (once again) not-at-all well known (3D: Alaskan panhandle city). The geographical places … the main issue is not one of these answers individually (except AMIR), but their density. High-density sub-optimal fill in an easy puzzle makes me want to quit. The rest of the grid doesn't get much better. ARHAT!? Jeez louise. I learned that from crosswords, have only seen it in crosswords, and don't like seeing it in anything but perhaps a very dense and otherwise beautiful themeless grid. AFTS? INST? DURST? What year is it? DURST? (27D: Limp Bizkit vocalist) HELOT? (25D: Spartan serf) When I got to HELOT I was like "Oh of course HELOT's here. He has to be. ARHAT would be lonely otherwise." ORIG over ETTE. ATTA crossing TATA. It's like the world's original Autofill program filled this thing.
Further, the theme doesn't really hold together. The answers aren't very representative or truly parallel or … exhibiting anything but the most general coherence. It's cold and windy … except in one answer. There are weather-related nouns at the ends … except in one answer. Only three of them are plausible "forecasts." AGAINST THE WIND is not a forecast. Further tons of other songs would fit the (very general) bill. I deeply enjoyed remembering these songs, though. I'm going to listen to some of them now to offset the unpleasantness of the puzzle.
[Don't touch me I'm a real LIVE WIRE…]
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld