Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Constructor: Lynn Lempel
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Baseball + name puns-- Names of famous people clued in terms of baseball, then turned into familiar two-word phrases.
Word of the Day: BUGABOOS (25D: persistent problems) —
1. Something that makes people very worried or upset
2. An imaginary object of fear, see BUGBEAR
3. slang: An annoying person, especially one make unwanted sexual advances
(Question: which of these definitions appealed the most to the makers of the BUGABOO luxury baby stroller? Was it the fear, worry, or unwanted sexual advances? Don't tell me they just thought it was fun to say, it reminded them of "buggy," and no one looked it up.)
Hello there, it's me, Catherine Park, sitting in for Rex while he's on vacation. Tonight I was trying to explain to my sons why I had a super important job to do and could not read them a story, so I tried to put it in terms they could relate to. I said, "It's like he's the PewDiePie of the crossword puzzling world, and I'm hosting for him for one day." My 7-year-old said, "You mean he uses a lot of bad words?" My 11-year-old said, "From my perspective, it's amazing that this exists at all." Neither of which was the awestruck silence, the stunned new-found respect, that I was going for. (If you like watching other people play video games while making a profanity-laced English/Swedish running commentary, or you are a male between the ages of 10 and 25 years of age, you would just love PewDiePie!)
So today's puzzle is sort of what you want in a Tuesday. It's light and you don't have to be able to bend a spoon with your mind tools to do it. It has a little pay-off that you can turn this way and that for a few minutes and go, "I get it!" And then feel sort of a low-grade smugness for a short time before you set it down and it disappears from your memory entirely.
- PETER'S OUT (17A: "That makes three strikes for O'Toole!")
- PAT'S DOWN (26A: "Oh-oh, Sajak has fallen in the field!")
- JACK'S UP (40A: "Now we have Nicklaus at bat!")
- MARK'S OFF (50A: "There goes Zuckerberg, trying for a steal!")
- CARRIE'S ON (64A: "Fisher made it to first base!")
I really enjoyed the little Shakespeare motif going on, what with ROMEO (11D: The "Thou" in "Wherefore art thou?") abutting SHREW (12D: Headstrong woman, as in Shakespeare), and then the additional flourish of TEMPEST (48A: Shakespearean storm). I also liked the geographic references to my adopted home state of Ohio, ERIE (67A: Lake in an old railroad name) and although I normally frown upon directions, I gave NNE (39A: Cincinnati to Detroit dir.) a dispensation this time because you have to basically pass my house to make that drive. I also enjoyed NEHI (68A: Classic soda brand), because it reminded me of Radar on M*A*S*H. Finally, I smiled at SLIP (27D: Freudian mistake), because it brought to mind my childhood hero, B. Kliban.
Catherine Park, Condesa de CrossWorld