Confectionery brand with logo designed by Salvador Dali / TUE 11-11-14 / Town with Yiddish speakers / Powdered lunch product from Lipton / Steep slope around rampart / Digital device used to access Netflix Hulu
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Constructor: James Mulhern
Relative difficulty: Challenging (like, off the charts for a Tuesday)
THEME: DOUBLE UP (60A: Share a single bed … or a hidden feature of 17-, 23-, 36- and 50-Across) — letter sequence "UP" appears twice in each theme answer:
- CUP-A-SOUP (17A: Powdered lunch product from Lipton)
- SUPER DUPER (23A: Just marvelous)
- SUPPORT GROUPS (36A: Alcoholics Anonymous and others)
- CHUPA CHUPS (50A: Confectionery brand with a logo designed by Salvador Dali)
Word of the Day: CHUPA CHUPS —
Chupa Chups (/ˈtʃʌpətʃʌps/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtʃupaˈtʃups]) is a popular brand of lollipop and other confectionery sold in over 150 countries around the world. The brand was founded by Enric Bernat in 1958, and is currently owned by the Italian multinational corporation Perfetti Van Melle. The name of the brand comes from the Spanish verb chupar, meaning "to suck". (Wikipedia)
• • •
CHUPA CHUPS are "sold in over 150 countries around the world," you say? Is one of those countries the U.S., 'cause … what the hell? I'm not saying no one has ever heard of these, but I am saying that every other answer in this puzzle is eleventy times more famous than that answer. Literally 110 times as many people will have heard of CUP-A-SOUP, is what I'm saying. I not only needed every cross to get CHUPA CHUPS, I didn't believe the crosses when I got them. The bit about Dali is interesting trivia, but does Squat in terms of helping the solver. Since I had ECHT for ACHT (54A: Eight, to Dieter), and [Hors d'oeuvres toppings] just made no sense, I was in real danger, briefly, of not getting CHUPA CHUPS at all. PATÉS in the plural is not something I've seen, and certainly not something I'd've clued that way (vaguely). Between that and the legit-tough NW (the somehow non-O-containing CUP-A-SOUP, the absurd attempted cuteness on the clue for SOO, the word ESCARP (!), and the odd specificity of APPLE TV), this was my slowest Tuesday ever. Slowest in the last five years, at any rate. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but not by much. TUNA OIL clued as [Good source of omega-3 fatty acids]?? TUNA seems like a good answer to that clue. TUNA OIL sounds like the crap in the can you pour out.
CHUPA CHUPS thing … I just can't get around it. I have never seen that brand. I have never heard of that brand. I like candy. I am nearly 45 years old. Clues were all over the map. Innocuous AFTER DARK gets ridiculous murder mystery clue [Under the cloak of night]. And SOO, ugh. Talk about swinging and missing. SOO = SOO Canals or Jack SOO and that is it. You're going to need a lot more "O"s if you want me to believe your answer is a rough equivalent of 14A: "Your point being…?" Actually, you can add a million "O"s—won't matter. That clue's just wrong. The answer is SO. Maybe ["ANYway …"] would work, but again, you'd need at least one more "O." And how is SPLOSH the [Quiet sound of water on the side of a pail, say]? Water makes no sound on the side of a pail unless the pail is on its side and the water is dripping onto it, in which case the sound is not SPLOSH. However, if we are going to stipulate that water in a pail somehow makes a sound against the side of said pail, then first just how big is this pail that its water is making sounds?, and second that sound is a SLOSH, at best. The "P" implies an impact that is absent in pail water. Now SPLISH and SPLASH are certified water sounds (established in the 1958 case of Bobby Darin v. Bathtub). I have no idea what SPLOSH is.
It's a shame that the rogue theme answer and clunk-tacular moments like ESCARP / SOO had to drag this one down. It really does have some delightful parts, from "LOVE CHILD" to LOUIS C.K. But the decent grid and decent theme end up being victims of some bad cluing and very bad scheduling. This should've been a Wednesday, or else drastically reclued.
Also, KEN-KEN is not popular (42A: When repeated, a popular puzzle). Just stop.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld