Maude's cousin on 1970s TV / SAT 5-23-15 / to the stars autobiographer / Mork's supervisor on Mork & Mindy / Led Zeppelin's final studio album appropriately / County of Lewis Carroll's birth / Hollowed out comedic prop / It's not for me to say crooner / Form of xeriscaping
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Constructor: Peter Wentz
Relative difficulty: Medium (leaning toward the easier side)
Word of the Day: STEM fields (31D: ___ fields) —
STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science,[note 1] technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy. The acronym arose in common use shortly after an interagency meeting on science education held at the National Science Foundation chaired by the then NSF director Rita Colwell. A director from the Office of Science division of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists suggested the change from the older acronym SMET to STEM. Dr. Colwell, expressing some dislike for the older acronym, responded by suggesting NSF to institute the change. (wikipedia)
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Nice work from Mr. Wentz, full of all kinds of traps and potholes, but ultimately very solvable. Fill is fantastically polished (except ONEHR, wth?), and the grid is teeming with good-to-great longer answers. It was a light workout, but I'll get my heavy workout (probably) tomorrow with the Newsday Stumper. This one fought me hard enough. I made many mistakes, but none of them fatal. I like a scrappy puzzle that isn't dickishly hard or full of rank obscurities. Here's what my opening gambit looked like:
[Me, after getting 17A: "Is that racist?" Answer: "No, not really"]
Hardest answer for me to get was, oddly, OINK (39D: Word repeated before "here," in song) ("SONG" is in the grid (14D) ... but we'll just let that slide). This is partially because I misread the clue (yet again), and was thinking not "repeated before" but "before and after. Wanted OVER here... then thought maybe O, I AM here ... you gotta get pretty deep into "Old MacDonald" before you hit "with an OINK OINK here ..." It's not exactly a definitive lyric. Hence my struggle. So, yes, many traps, but still not too much difficulty. Fine weekend fare.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. we're just one week away from the inaugural Indie 500 Crossword Tournament in lovely downtown Washington, D.C. Solve six puzzles by some of the top young constructors in the country! Hang out with dorks just like you! Realize you have no hope of winning and realize also that you don't care because that's not why you go to crossword tournaments! (That last one applies especially to me). Also, there will be pie. I have been promised. The puzzles will be good and the vibe will be loose and fun and if you've ever been tourney-curious, this will be a good place to start. All the info you need is here. Hope to see you there: Saturday, May 30, D.C.
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