Polynesian island whose internet suffix is tv / MON 9-15-14 / Old British rule in India / Diana Rigg's role on Avengers
Monday, September 15, 2014
Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- BELLY DANCER (17A: Performer who may have a navel decoration)
- FISH AND CHIPS (27A: Some British pub food)
- ROLL OF THE DIE (45A: Risk, figuratively)
- BEAN SPROUTS (60A: Common stir-fry ingredients)
Tuvalu (i// too-vah-loo or // too-və-loo), formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway betweenHawaii and Australia. It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of 5° to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers an oceanic area of approximately 900,000 km2. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. Its population of 10,837 makes it the third-least populous sovereign state in the world, with only the Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than theVatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi), and Nauru at 21 km2(8.1 sq mi). (wikipedia)
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JELLY Bellies and JELLY beans are really too close to one another. In a puzzle like this, your themers (in this case, your JELLYs) really should all be quite distinct, one from the next, and as far as I know the only difference between your bellies and your beans is that the former is a brand, and … maybe it's smaller and less waxy? I don't know. I do know that they're too related to hold down different theme positions. This theme is stretched a little thin. Hard to do. DONUT isn't going to give you many good answer options, and you've already got the edible sweet "jelly roll" represented here. Jelly sandals are definitely a thing, but maybe not a Monday thing? Anyway, I call "foul" on the JELLY Belly / JELLY bean redundancy.
I would've called foul on "ROLL OF THE DIE," because I have always heard "dice," but there's plenty of attestation for the answer in the grid. Overall, the fill is pretty decent, for the most part. OENO-, S'IL, and (*especially*) -ISE have no place in most grids, but especially in an easy Monday grid. The -ISE is clearly a casualty of the rampant Scrabble-f*cking there in the SW (you can see the same thing happening in the NE, only the result there are slightly less dire). Just for fun, I redid those corners, maintaining all the gratuitously Scrabbly letters.
["Dr. JAZZ Dr. JAZZ, make my JELLY roll…"]
Mid-range non-theme answers in this puzzle are quite good. EMMA PEEL + "The PRISONER" = '60s TV fabulousness and the JOHN DOE / FATALLY symmetry is very nicely done. Perhaps not intentionally done, but who cares? KIDNAPS, also good. Wish "ARCHER" had gotten the TV clue it deserves. Speaking of "TV," what is up with that TUVALU clue? (47D: Polynesian land whose Internet suffix is .tv) It's true, that is the most obscure thing in this otherwise easy grid, but it seems a little much to give away two letters in the clue. Crossword clues very rarely just hand you letters like that. Ouch, just saw INAS. Gonna stop now before I notice more warts. Puzzle was OK!