Bygone Korean automaker / TUE 5-5-15 / Small house in Latin America / Shoes named for antelope / Vera of haute couture / Vivacious wits /
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Constructor: Michael Blake and Andrea Carla Michaels
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (**for a Tuesday**) (time: 4:08)
THEME: ADDIE (69A: Girl's name that's a two-part hint to 1/20-, 27-, 45- and 53-Across) — put -IE on the ends of familiar phrases. You get wacky phrases.
- SWEET / GEORGIA BROWNIE (1A: With 20-Across, chocolaty Atlanta treat?)
- BAR STOOLIE (27A: One ratting out a group of lawyers?)
- RARE BIRDIE (45A: What the duffer shot on a hole, surprisingly?)
- SHOCKING PINKIE (53A: Little finger that makes you go "Oh my God!"?) [What? Even with ample wackiness leeway, that clue makes no sense.]
Daewoo Motors was a South Korean automotive company established in 1982, part of the Daewoo Group. It sold most of its assets in 2001 to General Motors, after running into financial trouble, becoming a subsidiary of the American company and being renamed GM Daewoo. In 2011, it was replaced by GM Korea. (wikipedia)
• • •
ADDIE, real or fictional, so puzzle feels massively contrived. Actually, I think I might know of one. Hang on (… goes to wikipedia…); yes, the basis for the movie Paper Moon was a novel entitled ADDIE Pray by Joe David Brown. My friend Shelah taught me this 20+ years ago (she loved the novel, as I recall). Why I remember this factoid 20+ years later, I don't know … maybe because No One Else In The Universe Is Named ADDIE. So anyway, the theme is odd. The theme *type* is super-basic. The add-a-sound / letter thing is older than God, and here, the wackiness results are just so-so. I don't know what "shocking pink" is. Is it a kind of pink? A shade of pink? I know of "hot pink," but not "shocking pink," so SHOCKING PINKIE is strange to me. All in all, this is a placeholder puzzle. Fill is stale but serviceable, and concept is stale but adequately executed. There are cheater squares* in the E and W (black squares below EARL and above WEAR, respectively), lord only knows why. Tiny sections like that are not hard to fill. Cheaters also follow WATER and precede VIRAL. Theme does not seem so demanding that you have to black-square it to death like this. Whole puzzle feels tired and slapdash. And, most importantly, ADDIE? Shouldn't a name you base an entire puzzle on be a name someone actually has (my apologies if that's your name—the only ADDIE I know is a guy, and he doesn't spell it that way).
Because of the multiple cross-referenced clues, and the very narrow connecting passages between N and S parts of the grid, and some odd, yucky, initially inscrutable fill like ECCLES (?), my time was way slower than normal. I had to recall DAEWOO, which was odd / unpleasant. I also had to go up against the Law Offices of ILO ESSE ESTO ESAI ERI and OLE (they're not good, but they'll bury you in paperwork). Honestly, this puzzle feels just plain lazy. The puzzle equivalent of a shrug. Not enough thought or care went into making this an entertaining, fresh, 21st-century puzzle. It'll do, but it won't do well. Where are SHARPIE? JUNKIE? MOUNTIE? ARCHIE? This could've Easily been a Sunday (and if the theme answers were a lot funnier, it could even have been a tolerable Sunday).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
*cheater squares = black squares that do not change the word count (added only to make filling the grid easier)
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