Casio game / SAT 8-23-14 / Refusal from boy lass / Arm from Mideast lad / Margarie might be described thus / Covered with slug mud / Mesa prerequisite / Sci-fii character remembered for her large bus / Part of euro
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: EACH CLUE IN / THE PUZZLE / IS MISSING / THE LETTER N — self-explanatory
Word of the Day: BACCARAT (3D: Casio game) (so … [Casino game])—
Baccarat (//; French: [bakaʁa]) is a card game played at casinos. There are three popular variants of the game: punto banco (or "North American baccarat"), baccarat chemin de fer (or "chemmy"), and baccarat banque(or "à deux tableaux"). Punto banco is strictly a game of chance, with no skill or strategy involved; each player's moves are forced by the cards the player is dealt. In baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, by contrast, both players can make choices, which allows skill to play a part. Despite this, the winning odds are in favour of the bank, with a house edge no lower than around 1 percent. (wikipedia)
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I could tell very early on something was off—as I'm sure was the case with virtually everyone. None of the clues make sense without the "n"s, after all. But [Hardly ice outside] tipped me off that there'd be letters missing in the clues (though when and where, I didn't know). And then … [Kat's "I"] … I didn't know what to do with "Kat," but figured ICH had to be right, or might be right. Then I "confirmed" it with MANIA for 1A: Rage. But then I also, off the "C" in ICH, managed to get PEACE for 14A: Quiet parter?. Then I began to see the "n"-ness of it all, and started fixing and adding answers accordingly. NE probably gave me the most trouble, but none of it was very hard after I understood the theme. Slower than normal, but only because of the added step of having to supply the damned "n" in every clue.
- 20A: Arc's target, maybe (XTC) — Even when I knew that I was dealing with a "Narc," this was hard to get, as I had the "X" but didn't know the drug Ecstasy, or "X," was spelled that way. To me, XTC is a band. A great band.
- 11D: Margarie might be described thus (ERSATZ) — this was the troublemaker in the NE—I had the terminal "Z" but could Not think of a word describing margarine that fit the bill. Also, I don't think that is how the name "Margery" is spelled. I see from googling that the name (as spelled) exists, but yuck.
- 33D: Doe, e.g. (POET) — I liked this one. Simple, elegant, massive change in apparent meaning. (The clue should be [Donne, e.g.], of course)