1955 Julie London hit / WED 12-24-14 / Old New Yorker cartoonist William / Return of Jedi dancing girl / Maserati competitor
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Constructor: Adam G. Perl
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- CRY ME A RIVER (17A: 1955 Julie London hit) / CRIMEA RIVER (62A: Certain waterway to the Black Sea?)
- GO-BETWEEN (33A: Intermediary) / GOBI TWEEN (44A: 11- or 12-year-old Mongolian desert dweller?)
- PARASAIL (21A: Glide, in a way) / PARIS ALE (55A: Left Bank quaff?)
• • •
1955 Julie London hit!!? This clue alone says everything about why this puzzle skewed hard for me. You know, there was a much bigger (and *much* more recent) song with this same title. It hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2002. But I guess 1955 is closer to the typical NYT solver's comfort zone. Still. Somehow.
MACRO and the tough clue on TIME (4D: Cons do it) and the so-horrid-I-didn't-trust-it APAIR, that NW corner was a bit of a bear for me. Also, I had no real idea what the theme was until near the very end. Actually, I had half this puzzle filled in before I had a single theme answer (I mean, before I had a single "?" theme answer in). I don't know what a NATAL chart is. EPEE relates to sign language? No idea. I actually think the theme is kind of cute, but virtually everything about this puzzle skewed older and well out of my wheelhouse.
The fill here is less than strong. The Scrabble-****ing (in NE, SW) is mysterious. I don't really understand it. I mean, I do, but I don't. Actually, the SE corner almost makes me wish there'd been some Scrabble-****ing over there. It looks like a bunch of anagrams of the same word, over and over. Lots of subpar stuff here = OOLA, APAIR, ARIP, ENEROS (!), QEII, NOBIS, the SITON / SETON crossing … it was all a bit of a slog. But I did kind of dig the geographical puns, in retrospect.
Gotta go because my computer is gonna die and I don't have my charger :(
Happy Christmas Eve.
P.S. I'd've liked APAIR if the clue had been ["Grow ___!"]