Monday, November 3, 2014
Well, it's November 3rd, and you know what that means - a new month, a new selfie, a newbie doing the write-up! That's right…
Constructor: Janet R. Bender
Relative difficulty: Medium-challenging (on a Monday! for a newbie!)
THEME: CC - theme answers are two words, both starting with C
Word of the Day: REO (42D: 1920s car that had its inventor's initials) —
(Wikipedia)The REO Speed Wagon (alternatively Reo Speedwagon) was a light motor truck manufactured by REO Motor Car Company. It is an ancestor of the pickup truck.First introduced in 1915, production continued through at least 1953 and led to REO being one of the better known manufacturers of commercial vehicles prior to World War II. Although the basic design and styling of the chassis remained consistent, the Speed Wagon was manufactured in a variety of configurations (pickup and panel truck, passenger bus) to serve as delivery, tow, dump, and fire trucks as well as hearses and ambulances. Other manufacturers provided refits for adapting the Speed Wagon for specialized purposes. The Speed Wagon used REO's "Gold Crown" series of engines and was well regarded for power, durability, and quality.
• • •This one was actually pretty hard for me, I will admit. I spent a very long time on the top right square; the answers were all pretty vague, so I had BOARD for 9A (Writing surface for chalk), SCARE for 11D (Frighten), and SHORT for 12D (like one-word answers) all in there at some point. However, clues like AVES(7D: Birds, scientifically speaking), NIKE(59D: Brand with a swoosh) and TOGAS(57A: Ancient Roman robes) were like MANNA (36D: Food from heaven) to a Latin student!
The theme was potentially not the most original at first glance, but in addition to CC, the puzzle seemed to contain a good amount of double letters. Lots of EE's and LL's. So that was a pretty cool way to expand it!
I really liked the bottom left square - the inelegance of WOOER(54D: Beau with roses, say) contrasts very nicely with IONIA(63A: Ancient 71-Across land in modern-day Turkey), which in turn ties directly into GREEK (71A: Like Zeus and Hera). WOOER is also next to ICING (53D: Cake topper), both things you would associate with a wedding cake. Just an all-around well-woven square! The same good vibes are in the top middle with SLAV/WAVE/SWAP/AMES (5A: Bulgarian or Croat; 15A: Something a surfer catches; 5D: Exchange; and 18A: Iowa State's city, respectively).
- COMPASS COURSE (20A: Ship heading) This one frustrated me very much! COMPASS BEARING? COMPASS HEADING? I even tried COMPASS POINT. As a sailor, I really should have gotten this, but I really have never heard COMPASS COURSE...
- COLBY COLLEGE (27A: Liberal arts school in Waterville, Me.) Did somebody say college?!?! Shhh. I just submitted my first application, and there are many more to come, and it's all very stressful, and I think maybe we should stop talking about college now. Puppies! Let's talk about puppies...
- COLOR COPYING (49A: Service at Staples or FedEx Office) This pretty much sums up how I feel about copying machines.
- COUNTRY COUSIN (58A: Person in overalls sucking a piece of straw, stereotypically) At the risk (okay, forget "risk;" it's happening) of going into video overload, did somebody say…
- OREO (46A: Cookie sometimes dunked in milk) — You already know how I feel about this one. Now excuse me while I buy the last few packs of Halloween Oreos before they disappear!
- YOICKS (52D: Bygone cry of good spirits) — Alright, this is my new word of the day. It's just so much fun to say!...And apparently dates back to an eighteenth-century fox-hunting cry, although it sounds like a '70s Scooby-Doo yelp. Which would explain why it's so difficult to use in a sentence. Yoicks!
- ALARM (11D: Frighten) — All I can say is that I'm happy that mine went off an hour later today. Thank you Daylight Savings Time! Thank you Benjamin Franklin! Now I can sleep until 10AM instead of 11AM, and people won't judge me so much!
- DONTASK (45A: Exasperated response to "How was your day?") — An appropriate clue for a Monday, eh? This immediately made me think of this song:
Finally, I wanted to thank you all for the positive feedback from last month. As an amateur blogger, that kind of thing means a lot to me. All of you deserve an ODE (29D: Praiseful poem) for your kindness! (Or in that one anon's case, your honesty...haha!)
AT, tired high school student.