Friday, July 25, 2014
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: not too tough for a Friday
THEME: none, freestyle grid
Word of the Day: TOLEDO, OHIO (29A: The Glass Capital of the World) —
Toledo (//) is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the State of Michigan. The city was founded in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River, originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory, then re-founded in 1837, after conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio.
Toledo grew quickly as a result of the Miami and Erie Canal and its position on the railway line between New York and Chicago. It has since become a city well known for its industry, particularly in glass and auto assembly, as well as for its art community, education, healthcare, and local sports teams. The population of Toledo as of the 2010 Census was 287,208, while the Toledo metropolitan area had a population of 651,429.
Blazed through this one with a Feyeresque, Hinmanite, Delfinian time of 8:56. Couldn't find a toehold in the NE and was starting to panic with almost nothing filled in after a minute, but then this freestyle's many long entries began to fall like dominoes in those videos you see of all those dominoes falling: first (24D: Elated) had to be ON CLOUD NINE, and then with just the ???????K?? I got ARTICHOKES from (57A: Heads with hearts), and very soon after ON A LEASH from (30D: restrained); and then right after the aforementioned TOLEDO, OHIO.
My solve was looking like a skeletal grid, those simple ones you see on the placemat at Bob's Big Boy or wherever: I had all the long entries, each connected by one letter to another long entry, without any of the surrounding short fill. It was like cheating, like how long can this continue?, like the first 30 minutes of that Germany-Brazil game. Euphoric. Rode that vibe through the whole thing. Good feeling and so many nice long entries that we've barely scratched them even with that intro.
DOWN GOES FRAZIER! How-ard Co-sell's famous call from the Foreman-Frazier fight in Jamaica. Yes, I looked that up. I thought it was Ali-Frazier in Vegas. And I didn't realize it was Cosell.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: the 7th edition of the Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament will be held in Manhattan on Saturday, August 9th. I have to miss it this year but I've been the past two years and it's highly recommended. Relaxed, laugh-a-minute atmosphere and you get to meet all the fun (and very friendly) crossword people, not least of all tournament chieftains Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer. Check it here. I'm jealous that you can make it but I can't.
Thanks to Rex for having me, and to his readers and commenters for keeping it interesting.
Signed, Matt Gaffney, Regent of CrossWorld until midnight tonight.