Startling newsmaker of 10/4/1957 / THU 12-25-14 / Cassava lookalike / Backdrop for Chamonix / Duck Hunt console for short / Aquarium giant / Samosa topping /
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Constructor: Xan Vongsathorn
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging? Does that sound right? I was live-tweeting and drinking, so I have no idea ...
- AMO[UNT] / G[UNT]OTING
- WE[TNU]RSE / OU[TNU]MBER
- CH[UTN]EY / SP[UTN]IK
- RO[TUN]DA / PE[TUN]IA
- DOW[NTU]RN / TARA[NTU]LA
- [NUT]MEG / MIXED[NUT]S
Word of the Day: Joe Quimby (46A: Joe Quimby on "The Simpsons," e.g. => MAYOR) —
Mayor Joseph "Joe" Quimby, nicknamed "Diamond Joe," is a recurring character from the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, and first appeared in the episode "Bart Gets an F". A member of the Democratic Party, Quimby is the mayor of Springfield, and is a composite parody of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and certain other members of the Kennedy family who have entered politics. (wikipedia)
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Merry Christmas. This will be one of my TERSEST write-ups ever, as it is late on Christmas Eve and everyone is heading off to bed in their new Christmas pajamas and I want to do same, asap. I was excited to see Xan's name as constructor today, as I haven't seen it for a while, and I like his work. I found this one quite hard at first, and then much less so, which is pretty standard with rebuses—they're brutal, then you pick up the gimmick, then they're not brutal. This grid doesn't even have an unusual name or term in it—I know, I looked. The fill is remarkably straightforward, though (mostly) not in a bad way. Outside the theme stuff, OPEN PIT is about as outré as it gets.
Fill in this one gets pretty rough in places, most notably in ETCHA / EHS / HAHAS territory. Yipes. But considering the theme density and the amount of very short fill, this thing's reasonably clean overall. My first thought on hitting the revealer was "I know I've seen this theme before." In fact, MIXED NUTS has been the revealer two other times since I started blogging, but one simply had rearranged "NUTS" hidden inside various theme answers, and the other rearranged specific nuts (i.e. CASHEW, PECAN, etc.) in the same fashion, and neither one of them was a rebus that worked in both directions and took all anagram permutations into account, so … I think this one wins. And to all a good night.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld