Discharge from RAF / FRI 11-7-14 / Kierkegaardian concept / Title film character whose last name is Patel / University dubbed Country Club of south / Decisive board game victory / Alibi Ring Lardner story
Friday, November 7, 2014
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: GAMMON (3D: Decisive board game victory) —
A victory in backgammon reached before the loser has succeeded in removing a single piece.tr.v. gam·moned, gam·mon·ing, gam·mons
To defeat in backgammon by scoring a gammon.
[Probably from Middle English gamen, gammen, game, from Old English gamen.]
2. n.1. Misleading or nonsensical talk; humbug. 2. Gammon See Shelta.
v. gam·moned, gam·mon·ing, gam·monsv.tr.To mislead by deceptive talk.v.intr.To talk misleadingly or deceptively.
3. n.1. A cured or smoked ham.2. The lower part of a side of bacon.
[Middle English gambon, from Old North French, from gambe, leg, from Late Latin gamba, hoof; see gambol.]
4. tr.v. gam·moned, gam·mon·ing, gam·monsTo fasten (a bowsprit) to the stem of a ship.
[Origin unknown.] (thefreedictionary.com)
• • •
GAMMON except as a suffix of "Back." I've probably seen Cary Grant's birth name before, but you'll forgive me if it's not tip-of-my-tongue stuff. He died when I was 15. Speaking of when I was 15, where's a good Robin LEACH clue when you need one? Champagne wishes! Caviar dreams! BIG BUCKS! "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" was crucial '80s viewing. I'd've nailed a Robin LEACH clue.
["Television's Unchallenged Authority on Wealth, Prestige and Success"]
So, yeah, you know it's gonna be a weird day when the first thing you put in the grid is DEMOB (6A: Discharge from the R.A.F.), a word I learned from crosswords. And that's what was weird about this puzzle—I'd get stuck, then I'd buzz saw through a section (following DEMOB, the whole N and NE), and then I'd just be stuck again.
Took me a very long time to get into the middle—BULLETIN BOARD, DESTINATION, and BLINDALLEYS were vaguely clued enough that even having their front or back ends in place didn't help much. But MELINDA was mine once I finally found her … in the grid … FINELY hid …
[from the BBC…]
FURMAN is a school whose existence is news to me, and man can I name a lot of schools. A lot. Not FURMAN, though. But if ELON weren't in crosswords all the time, I probably would've have heard of that either. But I got around FURMAN pretty easily. It's the NW that left me desperate at the end, even with THREEFOLD, ARMREST and LOOSE-LIMBED thrown in there. I know the "Harold and KUMAR" movies, but … they didn't pop into my head until I finally just guessed SCARS at 4D: Warrior's collection, and then the -AR gave me KUMAR, which gave me ALKALI, and I was able to close things from there. The proper noun stack of LEACH / KUMAR running through the unheard-of GAMMON really messed me up in a way no other part of the grid did. But I got it all done. Not an epic struggle. Just a minor one, offset by much easier patches. This one was not stunning, but it was definitely enjoyable.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld