Tylenol producer for short / WED 4-15-15 / Mammal with flexible nose / Businesswoman with nickname queen of mean / Auction house eponym / Ode title words / Whimsically odd
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: BILATERAL SYMMETRY (44A: With 46-Across, feature o fthe answers to this puzzle's six starred clues, in a sense) — theme answers are seven-letter words where first three letters are the same as last three letters:
- ALL Y'ALL (14A: *Southern pronoun)
- GIORGIO (16A: *Designer Armani)
- MADE MAD (15A: *Angered)
- ILL WILL (59A: *Animus)
- DINED IN (62A: *Enjoyed home cooking)
- DO-SI-DOS (63A: *Square dance moves)
Then two other answers round out the symmetry theme:
- 24A: Landmark that exhibits 44-/46-Across (TAJ MAHAL)
- 28A: Insect that exhibits 44-/46-Across (BUTTERFLY)
Word of the Day: ODEUM (9D: Concert hall) —
• • •
BILATERAL SYMMETRY of the words and the BILATERAL SYMMETRY of a BUTTERFLY and the TAJ MAHAL are different. The puzzle invites you to contemplate the question: "How are these words like a butterfly?" and the answer is: they aren't. The words don't have mirror symmetry, butterflies and taj mahals do. So the puzzle passes on a technicality (that is, BILATERAL SYMMETRY is indeed in play in all cases), but I hate technicalities. Boo. Also, BUTTERFLY and (esp.) TAJ MAHAL are pretty arbitrary examples of symmetry. Also, there's a "MAD" dupe, but don't think I care about that very much. I care much more about the fact that MADE MAD is terribly contrived fill than I care that it dupes the "MAD" in "MAD MEN" (my favorite 21st-century TV show). Now LON Nol (60D: With 60-Down reversed, 1970s dictator), *that* guy had some butterfly symmetry. Get that man in the game!
Fill is fun, mostly, so at least there's that. GIRD UP is weird. Clues seems to indicate GIRD. The "UP" part is mysterious to me. Not sure how you'd use that phrase. TO TERM is kind of weird as a stand-alone phrase. It doesn't have wide (or any?) application beyond the phrase "carry to term," so it really has no business pretending it can fly solo. I feel like "tough spot" is more spot-on than BAD SPOT, but close enough. I don't like Helmsley, but I like HELMSLEY. And right underneath TYRANT! Nice. I also like the colloquial verve of "UM, OKAY…" and even "HIYA" and especially "ALL Y'ALL." I had LENTIL soup yesterday and it was good so yay LENTIL. I am teaching "SAGA" this week (probably the greatest ongoing mainstream comic book series in the U.S. right now), so yay to that as well.
[Listen ALL Y'ALL!]
I had my poissons swimming in the MER, and I had HINDER before HAMPER. That's about it for flat-out screw-ups. Onward.
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