Suffragist Carrie Chapman / WED 2-11-15 / Overzealous copy editor / Kool-aid alternative / Region next to Chad / Competitor for Jules Verne Trophy / Former barrier breaker
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Constructor: Will Treece
Relative difficulty: Easy (with wide variations probable)
If you solved in the actual newspaper, this:
[Note the much cruddier western section, which they realized was TOO cruddy TOO late to make changes in the paper version. TOO BAD]
THEME: Overzealous copyediting (?) — musical acts (with oddly spelled names) spelled like they sound:
- DEAF LEOPARD (3D: *"Hysteria" group, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
- THE BEETLES (18A: *"Rubber Soul" group, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
- LUDICROUS (23A: *"Chicken-n-Beer" rapper, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
- LINCOLN PARK (26D: *"Meteora" band, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
- BOYS TO MEN (53A: *"Evolution" group, to an overzealous copy editor?)
- MOTLEY CREW (60A: *"Dr. Feelgood" band, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries. Their following studio album Meteora continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200album chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium. Billboard ranked Linkin Park No. 19 on the Best Artists of the Decade chart. The band was recently voted as the greatest artist of '00s in a Bracket Madness poll on VH1. In 2014, the band was declared as the Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now by Kerrang. (wikipedia)
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ONE wasn't built into the center of the grid (where ICE currently sits). It's clued thematically (47A: Chart position reached by all the albums seen in the starred clues in this puzzle), so … yeah, that's weird. I think I'm realizing now why I don't like the theme cluing—seems like the cluing could've been a *lot* funnier (or, funny, period) if the musical acts were clued in relation to their (often ridiculous) copy-edited names. I want a good DEAF LEOPARD clue! Just having them all end "… to an overzealous copyeditor" is monotonous and humorless. Still, I am down with this concept of "properly spelled" band names. Fresh, fun, contemporary, playful, good. Helps that the fill is pretty good. Slightly above average for an easy puzzle, I'd say, EHS and AHH and OLA and EDUC and AND notwithstanding.
CHEESES made me laugh, solely because it's in almost the exact grid location that the much-loathed (by me) SWISSES was in a few days ago. DARFUR did not make me laugh (4D: Region next to Chad), but I like it as fill. I had ERROR instead of TO ERR and WINE instead of WINO for a bit (41D: Grape nut?), but no other missteps, resulting in a very fast solve. I think many will not find the puzzle so easy, but only because of musical ignorance, i.e. I think it highly likely that many solvers won't ever have heard of LINKIN PARK. They're nearly too recent for me (I actually couldn't tell you a single thing they've done, but I've seen their name a lot). Many won't know Christopher Brian Bridges, aka Luda, aka LUDACRIS either, even though he's been crazy prolific for well over a decade. Won't surprise any of you that rap is a blind spot for your average crossword solver. But then so is contemporary music generally. I know that feeling locked out of a puzzle's cultural playing field can be frustrating, so I'd understand if this puzzle were less than thrilling for some of the less pop-musically inclined. But I liked this a lot.
PS Looks like dead-tree edition has different clues in the west. Well, that's … idiotic. Two words: regime change.