Media icon with eponymous Starbucks beverage / THU 5-29-14 / Afflictions known technically as hordeola / Facetious words of understanding / Where Macbeth Malcolm Duncan are buried / Hillary Clinton wardrobe staples / Writer with most combined Tony and Oscar nominations / The Sphinx's is bland pitiless as sun per Yeats
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Constructor: Anna Shechtman
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: SHARP —theme clues all contain the symbol their answers describe … it's hiding there in plain sight, as a simple number sign (i.e. "#")
- 20A: #1 (TIC TAC TOE BOARD)
- 33A: #2 (POUND SIGN)
- 43A: #3 (SPACE MARK) — that's an "insert space" editing mark, in case that wasn't clear
- 52A: #4 (TWITTER HASHTAG)
Paulo Coelho (Portuguese: [ˈpawlu kuˈeʎu]; born August 24, 1947), is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. […] He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. The Alchemist, his most famous novel, has been translated into 80 languages. The author has sold 150 million copies worldwide. (wikipedia)
• • •
I know Anna and am in a reading group with Anna and she disagreed with something I said about George Eliot earlier this week so I considered taking this opportunity to exact some petty passive-aggressive vengeance, but then reconsidered. I was oddly in tune with this puzzle and its cluing. I have this vague, completely unsupported theory that knowing someone personally, even in the most limited way, makes you better able to solve that person's puzzles. I mean, Brad Wilber used to give me fits. Now he's my friend and I *own* his puzzles (in that they now take me just an eternity instead of an eternity x 2). Feel free to test this theory for yourself. I'm sure Brad would love the attention. But back to Anna's puzzle—for me, there was an equal mix of frowny and smiley face where the fill was concerned. There were some grimace-inducing patches, mainly in the center north (from AAND across EPEES to ELEE and including INREM). TREN, TELEO, AS BIG, ISAO, ORAS, AHSO … these all gave me various feelings of uncomfortableness. But those long Downs are hard to resist, particularly BUBBLE WRAP, WHERE IT'S AT, and GAY ANTHEM. And there's even fantastic shorter stuff like HELL NO and SHTUP (!), the latter of which I wrote in immediately, certain it would be wrong but wanting to write it into the grid anyway. So despite the grimaces, I enjoyed myself.
Coincidences: I used both SCENARIO and RUBE in separate tweets (SANS TWITTER HASHTAG) just minutes before solving this puzzle. I had an OPRAH Chai Tea Latte last weekend (Wife: "What's the difference between the Oprah and the regular Chai Tea Latte?" Server: "Oprah is spicier.") (25D: Media icon with an eponymous Starbucks beverage). My STYE of EPICNESS is almost gone now, so that's not really much of a coincidence, really.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. "Ohhhhhhhh…" is to be said with a tone of slowly dawning realization, not orgasmically.
P.P.S. if you liked this puzzle, you really, really have to do this one (by one Mr. N. Fogarty). I mean it.