Home of Team Coco / WED 12-31-14 / Muslim princely title / Firth of Clyde island / Pioneering sci-fi play / Actor with movie line Me I always tell truth even when I lie
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Constructor: David Woolf
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: PRNDL (68A: Quintet representing the ends of the answers to the five starred clues) — theme answers end in PARK, REVERSE, NEUTRAL, DRIVE, and LOW
- THEME PARK (18A: *Legoland, for one)
- DOUBLE REVERSE (29A: *Tricky football play)
- GENDER NEUTRAL (34A: *Like you or me?)
- INTERNAL DRIVE (44A: *Essential feature of a PC)
- SWEET 'N' LOW (57A: *Equal rival)
cat native to Central and South America. In 2002, the IUCN classified the jaguarundi as Least Concern, although they considered it likely that no conservation units beyond the megareserves of the Amazon Basin could sustain long-term viable populations. Its presence in Uruguay is uncertain.In some Spanish-speaking countries, the jaguarundi is also called gato colorado, gato moro, león brenero, onza, tigrillo, and leoncillo. The Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation of its common English and Portuguese name is IPA: [ʒɐɡwɐɾũˈdʒi]. It is also called gato-mourisco, eirá, gato-preto, and maracajá-preto in Portuguese. Jaguarundi comes from Old Tupi yawaum'di. (wikipedia)
ARRAN and ETH rate as sub-optimal (from my POV). In the SW (the other area with 2 eights crossing 3 themers), things are quite a bit worse, starting with RRR (never good) and EYRA (an answer that has never been in a Shortz-era puzzle before, and has, per cruciverb.com, been in only one crossword from a major publisher … ever. One.). O'MARA and PLAT are mildly wobbly, and then there's NAWAB (50D: Muslim princely title), another answer of EYRA-like obscurity (it's been in only one NYT puzzle since I started blogging 8+ years ago). On the plus side, I actually like those parallel 8s in the SW (DETECTOR and EYES ON ME). But I think the puzzle would've been better overall with a higher-word-count grid that allowed the themers to breathe a little, and took some of the pressure off the short stuff.
- 37D: School basics, in a manner of speaking (RRR) — Should've put this in right away, but resisted, both because I had PUMA for EYRA (grrr…), and because I felt sure there was some other expression that would've fit that I was forgetting. But I think I was thinking of ABCS, which, of course, wouldn't fit.
- 40D: Big name in jeans (LEVI) — wrote in LEE'S. Then, as if to taunt me, LEE showed up with the same clue (47D).
- 49A: Art house showings (INDIES) — I love that this answer is over MALL COP, since it makes me think of "Paul Blart: MALL COP" and "Paul Blart: MALL COP 2" (!!?), which are, let's say, not INDIES.
- 1A: Manual (STICK) — I guess this is a theme answer too, now that I think of it. Or an anti-answer, since PRNDL really applies only to cars with automatic (non-STICK!) transmission.