Battery containing liquid electrolyte / WED 9-24-14 / First family of Germany 1969-74 / Collaborator with Disney on film Destino / Acronym for linked computers / Actress with iconic line what dump / Like bass voice hairy chest
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Constructor: Andy Kravis
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: X replaces a letter in a movie title, creating a wacky title:
- "MARX ATTACKS" (17A: Film about a Communist invasion? (1996))
- "A BEAUTIFUL MINX" (26A: Film about the woman most likely to catch men's attention? (2001))
- "THE LOVELY BOXES" (46A: Film about an elegantly made crossword? (2009))
- "EAT XRAY LOVE" (63A: Film about a romantic dentist's daily routine? (2010))
Willy Brandt (German pronunciation: [ˈvɪli ˈbʁant]; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German statesman and politician, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of the Soviet bloc. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.Though controversial in West Germany, Brandt's policy of Ostpolitik can be considered his most significant legacy and it aimed at improving relations with East Germany,Poland, and the Soviet Union. Of similar importance, the Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South.
• • •
Andy Kravis, Cruciverbalist at Law," and his puzzles are often very clever—so I figured I was missing something. Only after asking for help (from a friend) did I realize that I wasn't missing anything. Random letters become Xs and wackiness ensues. Again, the wordplay has a certain delightful quality, but this theme is just too loose for me.
Grid is mostly clean. BRANDTS is an odd plural name, and I don't know what EEC is …oh, no, wait, it's the thing that preceded the E.U., right? OK. Yeah, I never liked that as fill. But I'd say with minimal exceptions, the fill is general solid throughout. "SIGMUND AND THE SEX MONSTERS!" — OK, that's a TV show, and way too long, but you see how this random "X" switch thing can go on and on and on … maybe the cutesy / meta crossword clue (46A) is what put it over the top. Sometimes tough to know what will "tickle" the editor and what won't.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld