Whitesmith's medium / SUN 3-22-15 / Martin's wife on 1990s sitcom Martin / Facilities overseen by CDC / Captain America portrayer Chris / 2007 film featuring Raphael Leonardo Donatello Michelangelo / Old-fashioned fraternity activity / Down Under marsupial
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Constructor: Jeremy Newton
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Upsides" — cute, clever title. Why? Because the Across answers at the east and west edges of the grid are CLIMBING / THE WALLS (38A: With 91-Across, super-antsy … or like 24 Across answers in this puzzle?)
- STRAW BALE / STRAINED / STRONG DRINKS / ST LEO II
- NOTE TO SELF / NOT EVEN A LITTLE / NO TAX / NORTH
- DECAF TEA / DECALS / DECISION TREE / DENUDES
- YOUTUBED / DAUBED / SHARE ONE'S BED / BRAISED
- LESSER EVIL / TASMANIAN DEVIL / ANVIL / AVAIL
- PANTY RAID / UNAFRAID / DIGESTIVE AID / LEGAL ID
Pope Leo II (611 – 28 June 683) reigned from 17 August 682 to his death in 683. /
He was a Sicilian by birth (the son of a man named Paulus). He may have ended up being among the many Sicilian clergy in Rome, at that time, due to the Islamic Caliphate attacks on Sicily in the mid-7th century. Though elected pope a few days after the death of Pope St. Agatho (10 January 681), he was not consecrated till after the lapse of a year and seven months (17 August 682). Leo was known as an eloquent preacher who was interested in music, and noted for his charity to the poor. (wikipedia)
• • •Twitter) is flavored coffee. I don't drink the stuff. Don't like it. But I know some do, and I assume they enjoy it. So I think of this puzzle as good flavored coffee—if you like that kind of thing, this is a good version of that thing.
YOUTUBED is just wrong. I am on YouTube every day, and I assure you I have never YOUTUBED. At a bare minimum, it's a transitive verb. You can't just YOUTUBE. Hey, you wanna come over and YOUTUBE? Hot Tub, sure. YOUTUBE, no. TV DAD is iffy, and the Cosby angle (13A: Cliff Huxtable and Ward Cleaver) makes it slightly icky. SHARE ONE'S BED is ridiculous. EAT ONE'S LUNCH! (that's me saying something equally ridiculous, something similarly Not a stand-alone phrase). But overall, I think the fill is quite strong—very light on the Klunkers. I don't think I would've gone with [Ghetto blaster?] for GAT, no matter how clever I thought the wordplay. The ethnic / racial implications are gross. "You know how those poor ethnics are with their loud music (and now, guns)." Ugh. Also, when I google [gat ghetto] I mostly get hits that suggest google thought I meant [gay ghetto]. So the GAT-ghetto connection: not strong. GAT is slang for revolver or pistol. No class / race implications. Crime implications, sure. But why drag the "ghetto" into this? I think I'm balking at what looks like the NYT's indulgence in white racial fantasies. Look, many dictionaries will tell you the phrase "ghetto blaster" ("a large radio and tape recorder that can be carried around, and is often played very loudly in public places") is sometimes considered offensive, so I don't know why you touch it as your base phrase. It's not like the NYT crossword is the most racially inclusive thing in the world. Maybe have less of a tin (and white, and privileged) ear next time.
After this, I went up into the NE and then just circled back down to SW corner. Pretty uneventful.
PS "TMNT" (45A: 2007 film featuring Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo) stands for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." I *know* some of y'all were like "?????"