Armored as horse / SUN 11-30-14 / Singer whose I Get Ideas was on charts for 30 weeks / Julius Wilbrand invention of 1863 / Where Indiana Jones reunites with Marion / Flowering tropical plant / Textile patented in 1894 / English glam-rock band with six #1 hits / Its icon is Spaceship Earth / Digicam component
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Constructor: Matt Ginsberg
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Zap!" — the ADs have been "zapped" from familiar phrases. So the "AD"s are visible, but they've been rebused into individual boxes (a visual representation of fast-forwarding?); wacky "?" clues reference the "AD"-less phrases (though you need the "AD"s in the crosses). Actually, now that I think of it, maybe the ADs are not there in the Acrosses, but are there in the Downs … this is, of course, impossible to represent visually … but it explains the "AD"-containing crosses. Anyhoo, here are your long themers:
- BRO[AD]-MINDED (19A: Focused on one's fellow fraternity members?)
- IRISH BALL[AD] (24A: Dublin dance?)
- CHANGE OF [AD]DRESS (36A: What Clark Kent needs to become Superman?)
- ON THE SH[AD]Y SIDE (45A: Somewhat bashful?)
- FIVE O'CLOCK SH[AD]OW (63A: Local afternoon newscast?)
- [AD]OPTION AGENCY (83A: Business offering the right to buy and sell securities?)
- FOLLOW THE LE[AD]ER (93A: How to find what a creep is looking at?)
- L[AD]IES FIRST (109A: Says "I didn't do it!" before fessing up?)
- LEGAL [AD]VICE (115A: Cigarettes or booze?)
Tony Martin (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012), born Alvin Morris, was an Americanactor and singer who was married to performer Cyd Charisse for 60 years. (wikipedia)
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RED SHOE thing these days. Clue is still correct, historically, but the first thing RED SHOE made me think of was "uh uh."
ADDS (!?). I see only one other instance of "AD" in the grid (at ADANO), meaning that it wouldn't have been hard At All to zap them. Just do it! Get rid of 'em. Come on. Raise the bar, NYT. A theme idea this good deserves commensurate execution.
Biggest trouble spots for me were the SE and NE. I got into the far SE corner pretty easily, but the rest of that quadrant, yikes. Might've helped if I'd ever heard of CANNA, or knew what West ELM was. Had to infer the S and the S and the Y in MESSY to pick it up and then travel up from there. Harrowing! But I had a much worse time in the NE, where the phrase IRISH BALLAD just … didn't seem like a coherent thing to me, I guess, so much so that I had IRISH --LLAD and thought I must have an error. I had never heard of either of the missing crosses there: IMAGER (OK, maybe I've heard that, but yuck, is that really the term for the viewfinder?) and BARDED (I've read soooooo many works with armored horses in them, and have never ever seen this word). If I didn't know that SLADE was an [English glam-rock band with six #1 hits], I might've had fatal trouble up there. I had GIRDED for BARDED and my first glam-rock answer was T-REX. But I survived. And overall, I enjoyed the challenge.
Puzzle Worth Noting this week goes to Tyler Hinman's seasonal creation for American Values Club crossword, which does some truly stunning things with the black squares. It's titled "Open Up," and you can get it for $1 here, or just subscribe already, what the hell?