Pulitzer winning biographer Leon / THU 6-26-14 / 2008 action thriller with Liam Neeson / Blues rocker Chris / Radiant light around head / Quimby Beverly Cleary heroine / Reagan cabinet member who was previously counselor to the president
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Constructor: Pawel Fludzinski
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: IN BED (40A: How breakfast may be served … or how the answers to the eight starred clues should be entered?) — starred clues refer to words that are embedded inside the letter string "BED" (the result of which is a new, entirely unclued answer in each case)
- BLOCKED (3D: *Bit of hair) (LOCK)
- BROACHED (17A: *Motel) (ROACH)
- BRUSHED (11D: *Bit of excitement) (RUSH)
- BLASTED (42D: *Like Pisces, in the zodiac) (LAST)
- BALLOTED (58A: *Divide up) (ALLOT)
- BROOMED (38D: *Leeway) (ROOM)
- BROKERED (49A: *Longtime TV weatherman) (ROKER)
- BRANCHED (24A: *Dressing choice) (RANCH)
- The outer projecting portion of the ear. Also called pinna.
- See atrium (sense 2).
- Biology. An earlobe-shaped part, process, or appendage, especially at the base of an organ.[Middle English, auricle of the heart, from Old French, little ear, from Latin auricula, ear, earlier diminutive of auris, ear.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/auricle#ixzz35i1yCNqu
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Not [Fortune addendum]?
Didn't care for this one much. Results of the em-BED-dening are just random, unclued words, and (monotonously) past tenses of verbs in Every Case. BED is always divided at the same place, between B and E. Why these words? Is this hard to do? Why isn't IN BED in the center? Why is the non-theme fill so poor? EDEL ADDONS ERENOW AUREOLE EDMEESE ABOO ALERTER (!?) ASSTDA OATSEED AMBS AWS ALB ISS LYS — all far less than ideal. There's just not an entertaining coherent theme here. Each themer was a little word puzzle, which is fine, in some Games-like magazine or non-crossword context, but the purposelessness of IN BED, the way the resulting answers just hang out there, all naked and arbitrary and without cluing, means that there's no clear identity or point to the puzzle. Move letters around. Put words in grid. Ta da? I found it hard to care.
All of the difficulty in the puzzle is related to uncovering the theme, which you (probably) needed IN BED to do. I gummed it all up from the get-go by having ALT at 1D: It's between B.C. and Sask. instead of the ALB abbrev. that was called for. This meant I had TR-ACHED for the [*___ Motel] clue (nonsense, obviously), and even after I got IN BED, my lack of "B" there (from ALB) meant that I couldn't see what was going on until I saw ROKER inside whatever was happening at 49A: *Longtime TV weatherman. From there, I pieced the theme together, changed ALT to ALB, and got through the rest of the puzzle pretty easily.
BROOMED is a word? If you have to resort to that strange a B-ED word, try try again. BROILED, BRAIDED … honestly, it feels like you could go on forever (part of the theme's problem—the utter arbitrariness of the themers). Today's wrong answers (besides ALT) included CAROMS for SERUMS (19A: Some shots), EERIER for EDGIER (28D: More out there), and, best of all, SIREN for SIDE B (7D: Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," for one). I liked ROUNDER (as clued) (29D: Habitual drunkard) and the parallel adjacency of YOKO ONO and LENNON. There wasn't a lot else to recommend here.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld