2003 Billy Bob Thornton crime film / SAT 6-28-14 / Beer named for port on Yellow Sea / Literally different lizard / Ruler with palace near St Mark's / Start of ave maria line / Guy from Tucson in Beatles song / Obsolescent media holder / 1960 historical film written directed John Wayne
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Constructor: Josh Knapp
Relative difficulty: Medium (leaning Easy)
Word of the Day: "BAD SANTA" (27A: 2003 Billy Bob Thornton crime film) —
Bad Santa is a 2003 American Christmas black comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Lauren Graham, with Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, and John Ritterin supporting roles. It was Ritter's last film appearance before his death in 2003. The Coen brothers are credited as executive producers. (wikipedia)
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XRAY VISION, KAFKAESQUE, AZERBAIJAN, etc.). I mean, those are perfectly good answers, but they are also about where this grid maxes out, interest-wise, so the wow factor was minimal. I actually found some of the less showy stuff, like ARE YOU SURE? and START SMALL, more impressive, because they seemed like fresh interesting colloquialisms. But overall everything seemed just fine—Saturdayesque. Clean grid, light on the junk, interesting answers, appropriate difficulty level. But nothing really gives the puzzle personality or makes it memorable.
I stared by running the short Downs up top, only I went AGEE instead of PUZO at 2D: Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, so despite having many others right, I got a bit stuck. First real coup was getting TSING-TAO, with no crosses (7D: Beer named for a port on the Yellow Sea). This got me OCT and ABCTV, and then ECO allowed me to shoot VACCINES across the grid, and from there I had footholds galore. Well, a couple. Muffed it by writing in CDRACK instead of CDCASE (49D: Obsolescent media holder). So the media is obsolescent, not the holder? For some reason, the rack strikes me a amore obsolescent, but the clue does seem valid. SW corner was very easy to get into because of the piece of cake clue on B FLAT MAJOR (27D: Key of Schumann's Symphony No. 1). No, I didn't know the key, but I had the B, and … what else was it going to be. I wrote in B FLAT M--OR instantly. JUNE gave me MAJOR. Rest of the corner went up in smoke. Had the most trouble with TEE ZED, specifically the TEE part. I was sure (for quite a while) that it was THE ZED, which I almost liked for its insanity.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld