Website for customer reviews / MON 12-1-14 / Spoon-bending Geller / Mineral layer involved in tracking / Sleuth in old crime fiction
Monday, December 1, 2014
Constructor: John Guzzetta
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: blank my blank — "adoring" expressions from people of different professions (if you accept "arsonist" as a profession…)
- "ROCK MY WORLD" (17A: "You really___!," said the adoring seismologist)
- "SUIT MY FANCY" (11D "You really___!," said the adoring tailor)
- "FLOAT MY BOAT" (51A: "You really___!," said the adoring ship captain)
- "LIGHT MY FIRE" (25D: "You really___!," said the adoring arsonist)
A redoubt (historically redout) is a fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on earthworks, although others are constructed of stone or brick. It is meant to protect soldiers outside the main defensive line and can be a permanent structure or a hastily-constructed temporary fortification. The word means "a place of retreat". Redoubts were a component of the military strategies of most European empires during the colonial era, especially in the outer works of Vauban-style fortresses made popular during the 17th century, although the concept of redoubts has existed since medieval times. A redoubt differs from a redan in that the redan is open in the rear, whereas the redoubt was considered an enclosed work. (wikipedia)
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PEE (!?), and I think the "arsonist" clue really ruins the "professional" consistency of the theme clues, but other than that, I think this puzzle works. It's easy, the theme is bouncy, the fill is clean and interesting. ARDOR and "arson(ist)" are etymologically related, but something tells me nobody but me will notice that, so no foul. Most of my trouble came with REDOUBT, both because I never use and never see that term anywhere (thus often completely forgetting that it exists at all), and because I had a typo in the third letter, and thus was looking at a word starting RES- (instead of RED-) for far too long. YELP gets a nice modern clue (18D: Website for customer reviews), though URI is still down there "bending" spoons (seriously, that PEE corner needs a total reboot). I had SUIT MY TASTE at first, instead of SUIT MY FANCY; went with the "I" spelling of REATA; and couldn't make any sense of the chicken clue, both because I wasn't sure if "Ready" was a verb or an adjective, and because, well, the clue just looked silly somehow—couldn't process it. As a chicken … readies things for market? Seriously, that clue is going along just fine until it hits "chicken," and then the wheels kind of come off (and again, I say, the house at PEE corner must go). But ALL TOLD, this gets a thumbs-up.
[trying to fact-check my claims about ARDOR / "arson," I accidentally looked up "ardor urinae," which is an ardor no one is going to make a movie about any time soon, I tell you what …]
P.S. I *completely* forgot that the first Monday of every month is guest blogger ANNABEL's day … my bad. She graciously agreed to do next Monday instead (12/8).