Architect Louis / THU 10-9-14 / Comic Cenac formerly of Daily Show / Subject of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius / Mil mess personnel / Feature of Polyphemus from Odyssey / Bygone brand in shaving aisle /
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: Louis KAHN (38D: Architect Louis) —
Louis Isadore Kahn (born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky) (March 5 [O.S. February 20] 1901 – March 17, 1974) was an American architect, based in Philadelphia. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957.From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn's works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative unbuilt proposals, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of this death he was considered by some as "America's foremost living architect."
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CASH / CROP and JEAN / JACKET and so on. And with nothing to tie them together, no … hook or revealer or meta or anything, the whole thing felt like a pointless exercise. Fill is unremarkable except for PARASKI (cool, original) and SKINNY DIP (not the answer so much, but the clue, for sure—63: Be unsuited?). ONE EYE and KPS and a few other answers are pretty subpar. Yesterday, the theme was tight, it made sense, it was well executed, so the unremarkable fill was not an issue. Here, the theme is unremarkable (it's more physical peculiarity than theme), and yet its density puts terrible stress on the grid, resulting in mediocre fill. Since theme answers are boring as answers in their own right, and since there's not very much good non-theme fill to grab our attention, MPAA and OEDS and HEMA and KIP and ABED and TRA and LDOPA etc. and such stand out. And irk.
Goes without saying (though it shouldn't) that this gimmick is largely lost on the (large and ever-growing number of) people who solve on-screen. I had heard that the puzzle had some element that wouldn't be as impressive in AcrossLite, so I solved at the NYT site, but all that got me was a clunkier interface. Because you don't see the clues laid out in space, and because clues appear right over the grid depending on where your cursor is in the grid, the whole "no Across/Down" thing doesn't really register. I don't think solving in the paper would've made much difference, except I'd've noticed the clue gimmick quicker. Feeling of pointlessness would likely have remained. I had no real trouble with this except at the very end, where I had Real trouble filling out the little western portion. Couldn't get YOLK from [White counterpart] for a long time, even with YO- in place, and couldn't remember if it was BUNSON or BUNSEN / BURNER, and never heard of KAHN, and think of LATE as a word much much much much more often used at the beginning of pregnancies than at the end of them. So I stood still for a bit. Then YOLK came to me.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld