Shooter video game franchise / MON 5-11-15 / Jersey Shore pal of JWoww / Palmtop organizers for short / Onetime colleague of Roger Ebert
Monday, May 11, 2015
Constructor: Joe DiPietro
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Mall of America / Wall of Sound / All of Me / etc. — theme answers follow the following pattern: "-ALL OF whatever"
- CALL OF DUTY (16A: Shooter video game franchise)
- BALL OF FIRE (29A: Very lively sort)
- HALL OF FAME (45A: Cooperstown or Canton destination)
- FALL OF ROME (61A: Empire collapse of A.D. 476)
Erich Seligmann Fromm (German: [fʀɔm]; March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. […] Beginning with his first seminal work of 1941, Escape from Freedom (known in Britain as Fear of Freedom), Fromm's writings were notable as much for their social and political commentary as for their philosophical and psychological underpinnings. Indeed, Escape from Freedom is viewed as one of the founding works of political psychology. His second important work, Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, first published in 1947, continued and enriched the ideas of Escape from Freedom. Taken together, these books outlined Fromm's theory of human character, which was a natural outgrowth of Fromm's theory of human nature. Fromm's most popular book was The Art of Loving, an international bestseller first published in 1956, which recapitulated and complemented the theoretical principles of human nature found in Escape from Freedom and Man for Himself—principles which were revisited in many of Fromm's other major works. (wikipedia)
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GENE SISKEL, SMALL WORLD). I didn't like ENWRAP (48D: Bundle up). It seems to mean "wrap." Also, no one ever uses it. So it's yucky, especially in an *easy*-to-fill grid like this. But otherwise, except for SNOOKI (an answer that already feels embarrassingly dated), there's nothing off-putting here. It's all familiar. I think I would've appreciated a more ambitious grid here—maybe a MALL OF AMERICA across the middle. But that would've made filling the grid cleanly much harder, and no one who cares about complexity of theme or density or any of that stuff really pays much attention to Mondays anyway. I think if I were trying to make this puzzle as elegant as possible, I'd've eliminated other "-ALL" words from the grid (SMALL WONDER, WALL-E). But no matter. It's a placeholder puzzle. EASY. Fine. Moving on…
I have circled (in pencil) the three parts of the grid where I hesitated or otherwise lost momentum. Only one of these parts is interesting. The two non-interesting parts: I blindly wrote in JPG where GIF was supposed to go (before I'd even finished entering JPG, I knew it was wrong and GIF was right; crosses confirmed this) (10A: Internet image file, familiarly); also, I had -UFFY at 46D: Common cat name and could think only of SCRUFFY, which didn't fit, and then SCUFFY, which I don't think is an ACTUAL cat name. But WALL (of) E got me FLUFFY. Which brings me to my one interesting screw-up: I'm flying through the grid, not noticing any theme (typical for a Monday) when I come to an answer that ends -FROME (61A). So naturally (well, naturally to me), I didn't even look at the clue; I just wrote in ETHAN. I mean, what else ends in "-FROME," I ask you.