Dadaist Max / MON 12-22-14 / Ugly Middle-earth characters / Title cop played by Al Pacino / Hidalgo home / Repeated word in Banana boat song
Monday, December 22, 2014
Constructor: Lynn Lempel
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: PED XING (39A: Something often seen on a street corner, briefly … or , literally, something seen in eau corner of this puzzle) — four crossing "PED" letter strings:
- SPED AWAY/ IMPEDIMENT
- SHARP EDGE / PEDRO
- STAMPEDE / BRAKE PEDAL
- PIPE DREAM / HOPED
Athenian lawgiver and poet. His reforms preserved a class system based on wealth but ended privilege by birth. [Thus…]n.
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SHARP EDGE) rather than simply sits inside a word (STAMPEDE) or (worse) sits inside one word in a two-word phrase, leaving that second word just flapping there in the non-thematic wind (SPED AWAY). There are many PEDs to deal with here, so phrase-spanning PEDs in every case would be too much to ask for, but it would have been elegant to have them in all the longer answers. And then 2. I prefer when embedded words find themselves in phrases in which their base meaning is disguised. In this case, that would've meant no "PED" where "PED" was referring to feet. But both IMPEDIMENT and PEDAL have the same Latin root (interestingly, STAMPEDE appears to have no etymological relationship to L. pes, pedis 'foot'). I can forgive IMPEDIMENT, since it isn't so obviously foot-related, but PEDAL feels too spot-on. Too related to the PED in PED XING. Yes I'm over thinking this, but (also) yes I think elegance is a worthy consideration, even in a Monday.
- 11D: Simple aquatic plant (ALGA) — this is one of three spots where I had some hesitation. Actually, here, I wrote in a flat-out wrong answer: ALOE.
- 32D: Late (TARDY) — Had TAR-Y. Wrote in TARRY—a weirdly related but clearly wrong answer.
- 70A: Wise man (SOLON) — Had the S- and couldn't come up with it immediately. Forgot SOLON was a generic term and not just a specific Athenian lawmaker.