Actress Strahovski of 2000s TV / SUN 12-21-14 / Computerdom informally / Roy Rogers's real last name / Risky chess move / Zion National park material / Tree whose pods have sweet pulp
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Season's Greetings" — add "HO" sound for wackiness:
- HO HUM DINGER (22A: Homer that leaves people yawning?)
- HOKEY WORD (24A: "Shucks!" or "Pshaw!"?)
- BLACK-EYED HOPIS (42A: Southwest tribe after a fistfight?)
- DESPICABLE HOMIE (67A: Backstabbing pal?)
- NO-MONEY HOEDOWN (91A: Barn dance that's free to attend?)
- CROSS HOBO (114A: Vagrant after getting kicked off a train, say?)
- HOKUM TO PAPA (117A: Stuff your dad finds ridiculous?)
Mara Liasson (/ /; born June 13, 1955) is an American journalist and political pundit. She is the national political correspondent for National Public Radio and also a contributor at Fox News Channel. (wikipedia) (I will never not make public radio correspondents my WOTD … I'm coming for you, Ira Flatow …)
• • •
My coup of the day was remembering SLYE (14D: Roy Rogers's real last name). Took me just 25 short years to commit that old-school GEM to memory. Yay me. TIM COOK (5D: Steve Jobs's successor at Apple) and EBOLA VIRUS (16D: Cause for quarantine) give the puzzle a very up-to-the-minute feel, while YOGA POSE and SOY LATTE show that the NYT *knows* its demographics. KUDOS also to BAR SCENE and its clue (11A: Likely feature of a college town). Took me a lot of crosses too see it, but when I did: your prototypical "aha" moment.
PUZZLE NEWS: Matt Gaffney's (amazing) Weekly Crossword Contest is going to a subscription-only basis in 2015 (and good for him—good puzzles are worth paying for). 52 top-tier meta-puzzles for just $26. All the details here. For aficionados and aficionados-in-the-making. Get some.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. SOY LATTE anagrams to SLYE TO A T. Like, when you describe a young Roy Rogers perfectly. "That's SLYE TO A T!" she said, delightedly.