Joanie's mom to Fonzie / SAT 8-2-14 / Punch Out platform for short / Portmanteau bird / David had him killed / She came to Theseus' aid / Shakespeare character who asks To whose hands have you sent lunatic king / Perennial NCAA hoops powerhouse
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Constructor: Kristian House
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: VEAL OSCAR (17A: Dish with crab meat and Béarnaise) —
Veal Oscar is a culinary creation said to have been named in honor of Sweden's King Oscar II, who was especially partial to its ingredients. The dish consists of sauteed veal cutlets topped with crab or crayfish meat and bearnaise. Traditionally Veal Oscar is garnished with asparagus spears. Chicken can be used instead of veal to create Chicken Oscar. (wikipedia) [I would think anything could be substituted to create Anything Oscar]
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10D + rotational symmetry counterpart 33D = Hello, Dolly! I'd've given the puzzle thumbs-up (as it were) on the basis of that little flourish alone.
Doesn't have the panache of yesterday's offering, but still holds up pretty well. Startlingly easy, though. I finished two minutes faster than I finished yesterday's, and pretty close to a Saturday record for me—somewhere in the low 5s. High word count + common answers + Fridayish cluing = breeze. Once I got a pace going, a bunch of the long answers just filled themselves in without much effort on my part. ROALD DAHL, for instance (44A: Subject of the 2010 biography "Storyteller"). I just looked at the letter pattern I had (which included the -AHL at the end) and just wrote it in. Got TURDUCKEN and ORWELLIAN after just a quick glance at each clue (62A: Portmanteau bird? and 32A: Like a Big Brother society, respectively). Had more trouble getting started than I did anywhere else, and even that wasn't too tough. I mean, what else is 2D: Operating without ___ (A NET) going to be?? Followed by 19A: Allen in history (ETHAN). Then NOAH (3D: Webster's first?) and we're off and running.
I would like to bench ENER RUY OWER ELEE VALS ANET PRIERS NES TSE and especially YEST, which is among my most detested alleged abbreviations. I would also like to bench, then fire, then exile the clue on NIECE (12D: ___-in-law). What's the word for something that is somehow simultaneously preposterous and transparent. A nice, actual clue there would've been very welcome. Only hiccups involved trying to come up with URIAH (16A: David had him killed, in the bible), thinking BUCKNAKED must be the answer in question, having to wait on crosses before spelling out KEBAB properly, and being forced eventually to change CLOP CLOP to CLIP CLOP (54A: Sound reproducible with coconut shells). Oh, and I wrestled with the BLUE part of BLUE STATE for like ten seconds, I think. And I blanked on SAVOIR, weirdly. OK, I think that's it. Fast, fun, and I'm not furious. That's what we call a "good day."