Persion ruler dubbed great / FRI 10-10-14 / Hail farewell / 1949 show tune with lyric Here am I your special island / City where Lehigh Delaware rivers meet / Presidential candidate who wrote No Apology
Friday, October 10, 2014
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: PANTY (13A: Raid target) —
informalmodifier noun: panty
• • •
TROUSSEAU, PROPMAN and "PLEASE DO" were probably my favorites, though that last one gave me fits til almost the last cross (the "D" in ADA)—I had "PLEASURE!," as in "It'd be a …" and then wast trying to figure out how "PLEASE TO" could possibly be right. Apparently the "bridges and canals" in 6D: Org. concerned with bridges and canals were about teeth, not waterways. I could tell that first word of 7D: "Unfair!" had to be "YOU…" though, so I worked that corner out eventually. Only way I got going, however, was by starting at the bottom of the corner and mentally inserting -ING at the end of 2D: Extending the life of (REUSING). That got me PANG and off we go. This is a typical hack for late-week / tough puzzles. Got nothing? See if you can't predict an -S or an -ED or an -ER or an -ING at the end of an answer. Sometimes a single accurately predicted letter from a word ending gets you a cross, and you're in.
I don't get the whole "CH-" thing in the middle of the grid. I've seen other constructors do versions of this—try to make the visually boring eternal slant-stack of 7s do something … coordinated. Here, all it did was make the puzzle easier; once I noticed a few CH- answers, I just started guessing CH- at the beginning of some of the lower answers. I like *solving* my Fridays, without the aid of such cheap help. Also, what's the point of "CH-"? Someone's initials? There's not point. And pointlessness is another thing I'm not fond of, puzzle wise. But, as I say, the grid doesn't suffer under these restrictions, so even if they are arbitrary, not much harm is done. Toughest part for me was the CHANTEY / AT SEA cross-reference. Weird to see a phrase replaced by a cross-reference (i.e. [Number 10-Down] = Number AT SEA). Usually you're just looking for a single word. Plus that whole NE corner was odd. I cannot accept PANTY. They come in pairs. Only in pairs. I don't care if the phrase is "PANTY raid"—that's fine, then clue it as a partial. But if you talking about the [Raid target], it's panties. They don't come in singular. PANTY is like jean that way.
SE was a piece of cake because of the XEROXED gimme (assuming you got CHATTERBOX already). I even got OVERALLS off just the "O." So that corner played way, way, way easier than any other part of the grid (another pitfall of these super-segmented grids—difficulty inconsistency). Overall, this was solid, enjoyable fare.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld