Old TV news partner of David / SAT 5-31-14 / Sect in ancient Judea / Discreet music musician / 1978 Broadway revue that opens with Hot August Night / Lead role in film known in France as L'Or de la vie / Woolly bear becomes one
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Constructor: John Lampkin
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: Jordan's Mount NEBO, from which Jericho can be seen (18A) —
Mount Nebo (Arabic: جبل نيبو Jabal Nībū; Hebrew: הַר נְבוֹ Har Nevo) is an elevated ridge in Jordan, approximately 817 meters (2680 feet) above sea level, mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of thePromised Land that he would never enter. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan. The West Bank city of Jericho is usually visible from the summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day. (wikipedia)
AGR and REROOTED being the only real graters), but very little on the high end. Comme ci, come ça. Little bit of this, little bit of that. Win some, lose some. Etc. etc. Wasn't even particularly easy or difficult (though it leaned toward easy). Made consistent, methodical progress on it, from the west clockwise, until a bit of a stall in the NW (hardest for me by far). Really should've gotten ROUGHRIDER earlier (17A: Follower of Roosevelt). It's so literal, now that I look at it, I don't know what went wrong. I was kind of out of guesses after Truman. I have seen those foam noodles in pools before, but do not think I've seen or heard the full phrase POOL NOODLE before, so that one I was slow to accept (15A: Foam item at a water park). Key to my unlocking that corner was getting SPREE off just the terminal "E." Here's how weird a solver I am: ESSENES was a gimme (22A: Sect in ancient Judea), and EL GRECOS went in very shortly thereafter, very early in the solve, but all that other, more mundane stuff in the NW? It stopped me cold (for a bit). Still, the overall experience was not that taxing.
Is "In" being used … how is it being used? (32A: "In" => LIKED) Why is it in quotation marks? Even if it's being used slangily, it shouldn't require quotation marks. Or it should, and I just have no idea what's going on there. I managed to get "DANCIN'" despite never or barely having heard of it (39D: 1978 Broadway revue that opens with "Hot August Night"). Hmm, I just learned that Danny Terrio (who should appear in puzzles more often with a name like that) was in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is what happens when an answer you don't know stirs a memory of some cheesy dance TV show from your youth that you can't quite remember, except for the fact that the host had an Italian name, and then you do a bunch of Googles, and under Dannys Bonnaduce and Osmond, you see "Terrio," and you're like "yes!", then you notice his name is actually "Deney" (!?!?!?!), and then you read his wikipedia entry.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld