Football Hall-of-Famer Michael / MON 11-17-14 / was here WWII catchphrase / Classic video game with ghosts / Crimean conference site
Monday, November 17, 2014
Constructor: Tom McCoy
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: TWINS (67A: Minnesota baseball team … or what 18-, 30-, 44- and 53-Across all are) — I guess all the theme answers are twins, then. That seems to be what the clue is telling me.
- KOFI ANNAN (18A: Ban Ki-moon's predecessor at the U.N.)
- ASHTON KUTCHER (30A: "Two and a Half Men" co-star starting in 2011)
- MARIO ANDRETTI (44A: Sporting champion with a drive for success?)
- VIN DIESEL (53A: "The Fast and the Furious" co-star)
A chick magnet means someone who has many female admirers, or an object which has the property of attracting them (eg. a sports car).Chick Magnet may also refer to:
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TWINS. The baseball clue on the revealer is just the arbitrary cherry on top of the flimsy sundae. It's like an anti-puzzle, an un-puzzle, a deconstruction of Mondayness. This puzzle's got your Monday theme right here [grabs crotch]. Theme schmeme, look at this grid. I mean, you can take OBE and ORI back whence they came, and IRES is easily the worst piece of fill you'll see this week, but the rest is clean, cool, smooth, glistening, joyous. The long Downs shimmer, delightfully yin-yanging the conventional masculinity gamut, while the relatively open center comes off with barely a hitch, and the longer symmetrical Acrosses toward the middle echo my elementary-school self upon entering any pizza parlor, convenience store, or other video-game containing establishment: "YES, YES! PAC-MAN!" It's not a great puzzle, by any means, but I definitely did ENJOY myself, and honestly, I don't know what else to ask from a Monday. Be entertaining, be clean, exit stage right.
- 11A: Place ___ (part of a table setting) (MAT) — had about 3 seconds of refusal time, during which I refused to move forward on account of I thought "placemat" was one word. Spellcheck's not flagging it, so ...
- 38A: Gumshoes, in old crime fiction (TECS) — I teach old crime fiction, I am deep into Chandler's The Long Goodbye right now, and also deep into a "Noirvember" film noir binge. I have yet to see TECS anywhere. Gumshoe, occasionally; shamus, for sure. Peeper, Op, Dick, Sleuth, all good. But tec … that's rare to the point of invisibility, at least in hardboiled American crime fiction.
- 7D: Reading place … or a reading device (NOOK) — clever pick-up of Barnes & Noble's Kindle rival. I had the terminal "K" and wrote in DESK. Made sense at the time. Not now, of course.