Coin to pay for passage across River Styx / SUN 5-31-15 / Anti-revolutionary of 1776 / Seasonal linguine topper / Choco Klondike treat / Park opened in 1964 / Chocolate mint brand with peaks in its logo / Hematophagous creature
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Constructor: Tom McCoy
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Making Projections" — theme answers "project" one letter above and below, and when you read the "projected" letters clockwise, starting with the top center letter, the letters spell out "SORE THUMB."
- [S]HARKFIN (9D: Seafood soup base)
- [O]LD FAITHFUL (12D: Attraction that operates under its own steam?)
- [R]ADIO ANTENNA (15D: Catcher of some waves)
- SUNSHINE STAT[E] (59D: Words below a orange on a license plate)
- VAMPIRE BA[T] (72D: Hematophagous creature)
- OCEAN TRENC[H] (67D: Mariana, e.g.)
- DROP-DOWN MEN[U] (62D: It might contain a list of postal abbreviations)
- [M]OUNT MCKINLEY (4D: Peak that's known as "The Great One")
- [B]EAN SPROUT (6D: Crisp bit in a stir-fry)
Charon's obol is an allusive term for the coin placed in or on the mouthof a dead person before burial. Greek and Latin literary sources specify the coin as an obol, and explain it as a payment or bribe for Charon, the ferryman who conveyed souls across the river that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. Archaeological examples of these coins, of various denominations in practice, have been called "the most famous grave goods from antiquity." (wikipedia)
• • •
[Crossword blogger Amy Reynaldo, giving attitude and taking home hardware]
I should say that we got the premise early, but not the Big Reveal, which I'd say is the one thing about this puzzle that is special—playing, as it does, on the expression "to stick out like a sore thumb." But the easy-to-grok premise and easy-to-solve themers made the solve less-than-scintillating. The cluing was pretty tough, though (in a good way), so at least the puzzle put up a reasonable Sunday-fight. I didn't have many interesting *moments* while solving, though I do have some disparate observations, and here they are:
- OBOL! — I remembered this. As you know, when you don't know something, and then you learn it from crosswords, and then you remember it in a subsequent crossword, you feel a huge onrush of victory in your veins.
- EKE BY! — The longer I look at this, the more ridiculous it seems. You eke out or you scrape by. EKE BY can eke on by, as far as I'm concerned.
- HELENA! — crossword constructor Doug Peterson was born there. Also, HELENA is the name of the best character on "Orphan Black." So there's some double-trivia for you.
- MOREL! — I did not know these were "seasonal." (19D: Seasonal linguine topper)
- REORGS! — this answer can also eke on by.
- SUH-WEET! — far and away the greatest thing in this grid. I was sort of psyched when I thought the answer was going to be "SWEEEET!" But "SUH-WEET" is DEF. better.
I think I'm done for the evening. Gonna see a game at Camden Yards tomorrow (if it doesn't get rained out) and then trek home. Annabel has the Monday tomorrow, so I'll see all y'all on Tuesday.
PS here is a link to my wife's public (Facebook) album of photos from Saturday's Indie 500 Crossword Tournament, in case you're interested.
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