Locale of a 1984 industrial disaster / SUN 5-3-15 / Archetypal postwar suburb / New York Giants founder who's in Pro Football Hall of Fame / Constellation next to Scorpius / Benefit offsetter / Epitome of attention to detail
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Constructor: Dan Schoenholz
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Non-starters" — No "N" starters, i.e phrases starting with "N" have the "N" dropped, creating wackiness that goes on for days and days (actually, just seven answers)
- A NOOK OF THE NORTH (23A: Arctic hideaway?)
- EAR TO ONE'S HEART (34A: Neck-stretching yoga position?)
- ORMAN CONQUEST (45A: Big win for a prominent TV financial adviser?)
- ARROW-MINDED (65A: Like makers of one-way street signs?)
- OISE POLLUTION (85A: Environmentalists' concern in northern France?)
- ICE PIECE OF WORK (96A: Igloo, e.g.?)
- EURO TRANSMITTER (111A: One sending money from France or Germany?)
The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world's worst industrial disaster.It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its way into and around the shanty towns located near the plant.Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases.The cause of the disaster remains under debate. The Indian government and local activists argue that slack management and deferred maintenance created a situation where routine pipe maintenance caused a backflow of water into a MIC tank triggering the disaster. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) contends water entered the tank through an act of sabotage. (wikipedia)
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EAR TO ONE'S HEART? [Impossible yoga position?], maybe. Man that clue was irritating. Here I thought "oh, the answer will have something to do with yoga. I got this." But no. Absurd. All the themers are absurd. Cutesy, without actually being cute. Far from hilarious. Not much to say about this one beyond "no." This theme could probably be done all over again, with completely new themers, and be mildly entertaining. But these merit only the mildest of chuckles, at best.
Forgot what APGAR was (56A: ___ score (newborn health measure)), so DONE UP was wicked, wicked hard for me (30D: Beautified). See also REDLINES. I had RE-LINES and had no idea (29A: Strikes). Ran the alphabet. DONE UP and BHOPAL (never heard of it) were total outliers, difficulty-wise. I mean, the whole thing was clued pretty tough, but DONE UP was weirdly, ridiculously resistant to my solving machinations, and BHOPAL crossed LIAO (106D: Chinese dynasty of a thousand years ago), which made it treacherous. Wife knew, when I asked about BHOPAL, what it was, vaguely. I have no memory of it at all. I was 14 when the chemical spill or whatever it was happened. I have never seen BHOPAL in crosswords or encountered it anywhere ever. I accept that it's crossworthy, but crossing LIAO (!?) makes it rough. Chinese dynasties are crapshoots, and among the lowest form of fill there is. I guessed "L." I guessed right. I hate when any square is the result of guessing.
Overall fill is fine. Not great. OK. What the heck is a TIM MARA? Yikes? (18A: New York Giants founder who's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame) Needed all the crosses there. Massive outlier, familiarity-wise. Luckily the crosses were all solid (unlike BHOPAL, gah). I am three sheets to the wind (actually one julep to the wind, but man, my wife made it powerful), so I'm gonna go eat some Derby Pie (pecan, chocolate, bourbon, heaven) and sober up. Hope you enjoy your Sunday.
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