Flat-bottomed boat / THU 1-15-15 / Ottoman honorific / Nearly blind jazz great / Fashionable 1980s item resembling bit of astronaut's attire / Popular recreational watercraft / Sussex river where Virginia Woolf tragically ended her life
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Constructor: Herre Schouwerwou
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Quote by Ogden Nash, with punctuation included:
- "I COULD HAVE / LOVED NEW YORK / HAD I NOT LOVED / BALTI-MORE"
The dory is a small, shallow-draft boat, about 5 to 7 metres or 16 to 23 feet long. It is usually a lightweight boat with high sides, a flat bottom and sharp bows. They are easy to build because of their simple lines. For centuries, dories have been used as traditional fishing boats, both in coastal waters and in the open sea. Variant spellings are doree and dori. (wikipedia) [note to constructors: please immediately forget that you ever saw those variant spellings, thank you]
• • •
THURSDAY'S PUZZLE — Needs More John Waters
ILLSAY. "When will I get full representation!?" wails EER. The LIL TMEN are probably saying something too. I'm just saying there's no value added w/ that damned hyphen square. I was fully prepared to leave that square blank, until I went back and read the theme clue more closely. I'm bugged by the fact that the quote doesn't appear to be a poem—it has no rhyme, no metricality. Or maybe you elide the second "I", which would leave you with something vaguely iambic. Also, I'm not sure why loving BALTIHYPHENMORE precludes your loving New York. I myself am municipally polyamorous. Don't judge.
UTICA. That was my first entry. Clue says it's a city in New York, it's five letters long … UTICA! Good ol' UTICA. Gateway to … somewhere north of here, I'm sure. After I got going there in the NW, I sort of sidled down the west side of the puzzle and then up into the middle until I had shot through much of the quotation. Then I inferred (most of) the quote and finished the remaining couple of corners thereafter. Cluing seemed toughish in parts, perhaps because it had to be to keep this thing at all Thursday-worthy. For some reason [Sports division] seemed a really vague clue for EAST, and I had to start running the alphabet to get the "B" at 52A: Trust fund? (BAIL) / 52D: Exhibit some immodesty (BRAG). I'm not familiar with Stephenie MEYER. She really, really sounds like the person who wrote "Twilight," but I suspect not. Oh … wait, she *is* the author of "Twilight," and I totally misread the clue. I somehow processed ["The Host" author Stephenie] as ["The View" host Stephenie]. Well … that was disturbing. I wonder what other massive emendations my brain is engaged in on a daily basis.
Though I didn't care for the theme today, I do admire the way the constructor handled the long Downs. Lovely pairs in the middle and then longer bookends in the NE / SW. All colorful and interesting. Grateful for the '80s throwback MOON BOOT (37D: Fashionable 1980s item resembling a bit of astronaut's attire). I'd forgotten those existed. Would've been better in the plural, but I'll take this. It offsets the clue/answer pair at 6D: Bamboozle (EUCHRE), which I nominate for the olde-timiest puzzle entry ever. EUCHRE's already a pretty marginal / bygone card game, but slang for "bamboozle," which is itself pretty olde-timey?! That's … nuts. When was the last time anyone used EUCHRE to mean "bamboozle," keeping in mind that I won't believe you if your answer is any later than 19-aught-5.
Knock knock. OUSE there? Good night.