Zigzag ribbon / SAT 7-26-14 / Resort town near Piz Bernina / Airline relaunched in 2009 / Material also known as cat-gold glimmer / Dutch queen until 1980 / Cousin of goldeneye
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Constructor: Julian Lim
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: none, or maybe "JERSEY SHORE," since there's a lot of Italian stuff in the grid like JOE PESCI and LAZIO and AL ITALIA, and WOW FACTOR kind of recalls the name of one of the characters (people?) on the show, JWoww, though as you can see she spells her name differently; I don't think it's a stretch to call the cast SEA CREATUREs … but no, I think I'm reading too much into the grid; I'm sticking with "none"; no theme; NIL.
Word of the Day: RICRAC (46A: Zigzag ribbon) —
rickrack or ricrac (ˈrɪkˌræk)
— n a zigzag braid used for trimming (dictionary.reference.com)
• • •
ERL and ELIS and ADIN and OOO and partial names like NOVO and PIBB. WOW FACTOR (15D: Provider of "!!!") speaks for itself, and LOVE BITE adds some zing, but otherwise, pretty tepid.
Whole SW corner feels off. RATED A is a bond thing, then? You'd never use it to mean "Tops" in any situation I can think of. RICRAC is a new one on me; can't say it's bad, but can't imagine it was a "hoo boy can't wait to get this one in the grid" kind of answer. I spent many years studying the Middle Ages, where monks abounded, and I always new them as ASCETIC. The -AL sounds quaint and odd, like when people say "IRONICAL"—it's a word, but not the word one would, you know, use. EARING sounds like something Eliza (the notorious AITCH-dropper) would say. "Am I 'EARING you right, 'Enry?" she'd ask. I've never spelled DOOZIE like that. I'm a "Y" man, myself.
I've been doing mainly cryptic crosswords for the past two weeks while in NZ. Usually with family, usually over tea. Much more social than this US crossword business. Highly enjoyable, if (much) more time-consuming. Anyway, I'm back in US crossword mode now. I'm here blogging for another week, then I leave again (for less distant lands and for less time). I might blog at least a few puzzles during next week's trip, since I'll at least be in the country, and will be able to access the puzzle at a humane, west coast hour. Anyway, I'm hugely grateful to the people who filled in for me when I'm away. It's a considerable privilege to have so many people I can just hand the keys, without having to worry about, well, anything. So thanks to Erik Agard, The Klein sisters, Doug Peterson, Andrew Ries, Finn Vigeland, and especially Matt Gaffney.
Back with more hot blog action tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. way way Way too jet lagged to get into the potential problems with 36A: Eliza in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," e.g. (MULATTO). Not sure why you'd even have that in your word list, but … nope, nope. Too tired. Bed.