Adriatic peninsula shared by Italy Slovenia Croatia / THU 2-12-15 / British PM during Seven Years War / Part of Rimbaud's oeuvre / World Heritage site that's more than 4000 years old / 1998 BP acquisition
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Constructor: Jules P. Markey
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: CORNERSTONE (36A: Where one might find a date … with a hint to this puzzle's theme)— rebus puzzle with "STONE" in every [… wait for it …] corner.
- STONEWALLS / STONEHENGE
- STONEMASON / GEMSTONE
- TOUCHSTONE / STONE AGE
- RHINESTONE / GRINDSTONE
Extra theme answers
- INSCRIPTION (30A: Writing on a 36-Across)
- TIME CAPSULE (43A: Something found behind a 36-Across)
Istria (//; Croatian, Slovene: Istra; Italian: Istria; Istriot: Eîstria; German: Istrien), formerly Histria (Latin), is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy (wikipedia)
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CORNERSTONE puzzle in the cruciverb database, the CORNER-type theme is old, old hat. There's a CORNERLOT puzzle in the NYT a few years back, with "HOUSE" in every corner (that was pretty good). There's a New York Sun puzzle from a while back (god I miss that puzzle…) that used FOUR CORNERS as its revealer and put the two-letter postal codes of the states involved (UT, CO, NM, AZ) in all the corners. So, it's been done, often, and usually more interestingly than this. This incarnation of the corner-theme is just too basic. The revealer gives away too much. "So … I just put 'STONE' in every corner? … OK." The attempt to liven it up with bonus theme answers only adds excessive pressure to the grid, which (not surprisingly) buckles. Repeatedly. The fill is good in places, but deeply unpleasant in others. OSA CRIT ISTRIA / TOPE POEME / TER SIMI SAMI LIENOR ISH / ET ALII ITO. Lots of ugly groupings. Long Downs look pretty great, but they aren't nearly enough. Dullish theme and subpar fill keep this one from passing.
I also didn't know CORNERSTONEs were so intimately associated with TIME CAPSULEs. This is a phenomenon of which I was unaware (though piecing together the answer wasn't hard at all). What else was I unaware of? ISTRIA's existence, for one. I have a hard time being happy learning new things when those things are so obviously desperation fill. Will try to be grateful for the new geographical knowledge, but it's not going to be easy. No idea what "Idiotest" is, either, so GSN was slow in coming (24A: Cable channel that has "Idiotest," for short). Not amusing that there is not one but two channels in the puzzle (see also TBS at 9D). There oughta be a limit. Thought LAC was MER, but didn't have too much wrong-answer trouble, otherwise.