Financial writer Marshall / THU 7-31-14 / Noire Russie borderer / Sardonic Larry / Antipolio pioneer / Pacific nation once known as Pleasant Island / Hit 1996 live-action / animated film
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Constructor: Jeff Chen and Jill Denny
Relative difficulty: Challenging
THEME: [SPACE BAR] (55A: Visual representation of this puzzle's theme) — rebus puzzle where you have to insert (or imagine) "SPACE" in each of the squares in 55A in order for all the crosses to work. Two other theme answers take [SPACE BAR] as their clues (one straight, one wacky):
20A: 55-Across, e.g. (COMPUTER KEY)
28A: 55-Across, e.g.? ("STAR WARS" CANTINA)
- AIR SPACES (41D: Areas that may be protected by military jets)
- DISK SPACE (36D: You might need a lot of it for your files)
- "SPACE JAM" (56D: Hit 1996 live-action / animated film)
- SPACE AGE (57D: We're living in it) (I thought I was living in the Digital Age)
- SPACE BAR (58D: Name for 55-Across)
- DEEP SPACE (37D: It's far out)
- SUBSPACES (43D: Regions within regions)
Word of the Day: ANDREA Bargnani (9D: Bargnani of the N.B.A.) —
Andrea Bargnani Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛa barˈɲani] (born 26 October 1985) is an Italian professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. He is a power forward/centerstanding at 213 cm (7 ft 0 in) and weighing 113 kg (250 lbs). Prior to his NBA career, Bargnani played for Benetton Treviso in the Italian Serie A and theEuroleague. In his first two seasons with the Raptors, he helped the team reach the NBA Playoffs. They won the Atlantic Division title in 2006–07. (wikipedia)
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COMPUTER KEY if you were able to piece that one together entirely from crosses) and took some work to uncover even when I got down to where the [SPACE BAR] was; second, the cluing on the short stuff was toughened up quite a bit in places (see, for instance, [Where the nose is] for BOW (of a ship), or [Stroke, in a way] for OAR or [It might make one's shadow disappear] for RAZOR, etc.). I don't normally like definitions as answers, but the cleverness of "STAR WARS" CANTINA as an additional type of [SPACE BAR] won me over. The SPACE crosses were a little ugly on the ends, with the plurals, and I thought 54A *was* the [SPACE BAR], so having [SPACE] BAR be a separate answer was slightly odd / redundant, but otherwise I thought this pretty solid and entertaining. Tough, though. Not brutal, but definitely well on the tough side of Thursday.
Where did I shoot myself in the foot today? Well, the foot, presumably. The question kind of answers itself. But where, geographically? Well, worst early mistake was having --TA- at 32A: Come to and writing in GET AT. I was thinking that one might "come to" one's point, i.e. GET AT something. It's a poor answer, I admit, but there it was. Stalled me over there. Oh, that error was compounded by a (possibly) worse one at 5D: Who said "The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers" (CHOPRA). I would like to apologize to Frederic CHOPIN for ever considering that me might have uttered / written such a banal piece of bathroom-mirror affirmation nonsense. Well, not nonsense. I'm sure it's true enough, the sentiment. But it's hardly an original thought. Here is some CHOPIN as a token of my sincere regret at the brief misattribution.
- 1A: Financial writer Marshall (LOEB) — No idea. Never had one, never will. I am doomed to continue not knowing this person's name forever. I accept this.
- 10A: Captain played by Patrick Stewart (AHAB) — Here's where I first suspected a rebus, because PICARD didn't fit...
- 25A: Dangling piece of jewelry (EARBOB) — [frowny face]. This differs from an EARRING how? Oh, not at all. I see. Wonderful.
- 34A: Antipolio pioneer (SABIN) — I got caught in no man's land among SALK, (Nick) SABAN, and (Carl) SAGAN. Apologies to you, too, Mr. SABIN.
- 22D: Nebr. neighbor (KANS.) — Ouch. That's about as bad as OREG. … which I have also seen, sadly. My guess is that whoever is still using these four-letter abbrevs. is also wearing EARBOBs.
- 51D: Pacific nation once known as Pleasant Island (NAURU) — I kind of have to let "Pacific nations" slowly come together from crosses. I feel like there are a bunch of 5-letter ones, though right now I can think only of TONGA and PALAU.