Ovid's foot / FRI 5-30-14 / DuPont development of 1935 / Midwest city named for Menominee chief / Imagine grammy winner of 2010 / Oscar nominee for playing Cal Trask / Any of three authors of Pull My Daisy / Novel title character called my sin my soul / Monomer of proteins informally
Friday, May 30, 2014
Constructor: James Mulhern
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: KIPS (20A: 1,000-pound weight units) —
A kip is a non-SI unit of force. It equals 1000 pounds-force, used primarily by American architects and engineers to measure engineering loads. Although uncommon, it is occasionally also considered a unit of mass, equal to 1000 pounds, i.e., one half of a short ton. One use is as a unit ofdeadweight to compute shipping charges. (wikipedia)
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KIPS and PAH are absurd, but the rest of this just hums, though I repeat my contention that people simply don't say "I'M IT!" The way it works, see, is when you start, people shout "NOT IT!" and the last person to do so is, in fact, IT. Then, from there on out, whoever is IT is self-evident. Whoever is IT, upon tagging someone, might shout "YOU'RE IT!" but that person is never, ever going to shout "I'M IT." And that is your lesson in the official rules of tag. Side note, crossing an IT phrase with an IT phrase (ATE IT), not great. But back to the good stuff, which is most of it—it was a delight to see interesting phrases unfolding without also having to endure jarring, ugly stuff. This one was definitely on the easy side for me, but in those few cases where I hit a wall, it was nice to have the effort of breaking down that wall feel like it was worth it (IT!). Bottom much tougher than top for me. Even with JUDITH, ANISE and ESPY in place, I had trouble dropping those long Downs in the SW. Couldn't remember who Cal Trask was, couldn't think of anything appropriate for 29D: Very, very that began UN-S, and just couldn't see DISPERSAL at that early juncture. Had to dive down into that corner and climb my way out. Wish I'd looked at the DARLA clue first, because that was a gimme. But I managed. ELSIE and ALAMO turned out to be right, so I survived.
GRENADA and also wasn't sure I knew how to spell GRENADA (GRANADA?), so getting underneath it was tricky at first. Once I slung GALORE across there, I was able to guess NO JOKE, which immediately gave me FIJI, and once I broke through, that SE corner was over pretty quickly. Very geographical puzzle today, with three country all quite close to one another—the two above-named and then GHANA. Did you know Maya Angelou lived in GHANA for a time? I picked up All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes today in the public library (which had a nice display of her work out—pretty fast and thoughtful tribute, I thought). Her writing is so honest and compelling and emotional. I'd only read I Know Why… before today, but two pages into All God's Children… and I knew I had to check it out (despite being in the middle of four other books at the moment). Where was I? Oh, GHANA, yeah. The Angelou memoir begins in GHANA. I probably would've got that answer pretty quickly anyway, but it was nice that it was sitting on top of my brain. I had no idea FIJI was so HINDU (18A: Like about 30% of 51-Across, belief-wise). That was today's most interesting trivia bit.
Last thing. About HERSTORY (59A: Subject that includes women's suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment). I have not heard someone use that term unironically in 20+ years. I mean, I know many, many ardent feminists (married one, even), and … no. It's called "women's history." HERSTORY is one of those things, like spelling "women" with a "y" ("yeomen") (that was a joke) (the parenthetical part, I mean), that belongs to another era. Amusingly, wikipedia wants me to believe that "hertory" is a viable option. Try using it in conversation and see how far you get before someone goes "what?" It's like grotesque collision of "uterus" and "ovary" (and "artery" and "hernia"). Bizarre.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld