1936 opponent of Franklin D. / WED 7-16-14 / The symbol for the Roman god Mars represents it / Bootleggers' foes / N.Y.C.'s Third and Ninth Avenue lines, e.g. / Refrain syllables / Comic with a "domestic goddess" persona / Nesting area for wading birds
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Constructor: Daniel Raymon
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Triangles — Geometry throwback! Three sets of circles, each set forming a different kind of triangle, the circled letters spell TRI ANG LES
- SCALENE (21A: Like the figure formed by the three circled letters in the upper left)
- ISOSCELES (36A: Like the figure formed by the three circled letters in the upper right)
- EQUILATERAL (55A: Like the figure formed by the three circled letters at the bottom)
|via The Wildlife Trusts|
Sometimes on the train north to the country, I catch a glimpse of a heron rookery in a swamp by the tracks. To call it a rookery, now a general term for a breeding colony, is to catch a linguistic glimpse of the great colonies of rooks’ nests — raucous, brawling places — that dot the English countryside. What I see from the train should really be called a heronry, a village of well-built heron nests high in the trees. In winter, they stand out against the sky like dense clouds or puffs of dark smoke caught in the uppermost branches.
[more beauty from Verlyn Klinkenborg via The New York Times]
• • •
I gotta say, before I'd finished the puzzle, I was nervous that the circles were just scattered any which way, so long as they formed the appropriate triangle. Really glad to see them spell out TRIANGLES. Looking back, that explains some huge constraints on the fill, among them the plural name ARIS, the letter string RST, and two partials in the first three acrosses: ATAB and OHTO—that last one having no other clue but ["___ be in England"]. (Really. Guess we gotta popularize this Philip K. Dick short story.) I wouldn't quite say the better fill — AMERICA (especially as clued as the Colbert book), GAME LAW, MALE SEX, TEXTERS, CERAMICS — totally evens it out, but it at least partially drowned out OF A ETE TYNE.
[Not Imagine Dragons' best, but "not Imagine Dragons' best" is still pretty good]
Anyway, as I said, I'm not too bothered by all this. We've all seen better fill, but it's nice to get something different out of a theme—it's Wednesday. Plus, this puzzle brought back good memories of Mr. Winokur and Mr. Worrall, who taught me geometry way back when. Hey guys!
- OF A (10D: All ___ sudden) — Quick poll: What would people think about cluing OFA as Organizing for America, the community organizing foundation now which grew out of Obama for America? asking for a friend
- TMEN (17A: Bootleggers' foes) — Too often on TMEN and GMEN clues I write in that terminal S, only to reluctantly take it out later. Curses!
- ALF (54A: 1936 opponent of Franklin D.) — OK, but said opponent was actually known as Alf. Did anyone go around calling Roosevelt "Franklin D."? (Eleanor: "Franklin D., time for dinner!") Why didn't this just say Franklin?
- TRALALA (43D: Refrain syllables) — It was nice to see TRA-LA-LA in full! Too often poor TRA flies solo with the sad clue [Refrain syllable]. (Or, as it was clued by Francis Heaney in the American Values Club Crossword, [You know, we try to come up with original clues, but sometimes you have a word like this, and then what are you gonna do? You’re gonna use “Refrain syllable”]. If you're not solving the AVCX yet, get on that.)
- ELS (22A: N.Y.C.'s Third and Ninth Avenue lines, e.g.) — Right in my wheelhouse. I just graduated with an urban studies major with a focus in public transportation. There's a TON of great old documentaries on YouTube on the sad destruction of the old New York els. (Like, well over 20. Here's an hourlong one if that just brought out the inner foamer in you.) (I just learned that word, "foamer," meaning train enthusiast, today. Useful!) If you only have three minutes, here's a quick newsreel:
And some great footage set to some classic 1950s music:
It's been a pleasure. You're in different hands tomorrow. Winter is coming.
Signed, Finn Vigeland, Foamer of CrossWorld