English monarch called magnificent / SUN 6-21-15 / Relative of halberd / Peace to Pushkin / Shark girl in west side story / North-flowing English river / Former Houston athlete / Opposites of fantasts / Bath-loving TV character / 100 Iranian dinars
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Medium
- TRUEFALSETESTS (34A: Exams that students get F's on?) — TESLA makes [Automobiles]
- POSTAGESTAMP (31A: What may be forever?) — SEGA makes [Video games]
- THREEKINGSDAY (62A: Annual celebration on January 6) — NIKE makes [Sportswear]
- INTHATRESPECT (75A: When viewed one way) — SERTA makes [Mattresses]
- HOWWASITOKNOW (82A: Response deflecting blame) — OTIS makes [Elevators]
- SETSINMOTION (116A: Initiates) — OMNI … makes? are? … [Hotels]
- LOGICALFALLACY (118A: Part of an unsound argument) — AFLAC … deals in … [Insurance]
Sugarloaf Mountain (Portuguese: Pão de Açúcar) is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 meters (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. It is known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city. (wikipedia)
• • •
ISIS (1A: Sunni jihadist grp.) crossed with SEALERS (4D: Some arctic hunters)!? Yeesh. way to lead with the carnage. But things lightened up considerably after that. My first thought upon discovering the theme was "we just had a Sunday puzzle with this theme, didn't we?" I'm pretty sure I've seen the basic conceit (here it is in reverse). But the rationale here strikes me as a very good one—the "climbing" isn't gratuitous, but fits right in with and neatly visually exemplifies the title phrase, "Climbing the Corporate Ladder." Take familiar phrase, turn it into wordplay. That's a pretty common crossword-maker gambit, and I thought it worked well here. It took me a while to understand the bracketed Down parts of the theme answers. My gut reaction was "How is [Mattreses] SERTA, singular? Shouldn't it be SERTAS?" But then I saw that those clues weren't ordinary—they indicated the product dealt in by whatever business was being spelled out by the riser part of the theme answer. And since the fill didn't bug me much at all, I have to declare this one a reasonable success.
Today I remembered AGFA, which almost never happens. Do they still make film? Even when they did, I was never familiar with AGFA, and learned it (and repeatedly forgot it) through crosswords. But today, victory. I've been seeing a lot of good press for "Masters of Sex" recently, so 9D: Study for a Masters? (SEXOLOGY) didn't fool me at all. I had a bunch of initially wrong answers—not uncommon on a Sunday. My [Bank deposit] was SILT before it was SNOW. Had a double screw-up at 108A: Whole essence crossing 103D: Some madrigal singers. Instead of the correct BE ALL / ALTI, I had BEING / ANIS … they're blackbirds … it's a crossword thing. What can I say, it felt right, for like three seconds. My best error, though, came when I had -OL-WATER for 35A: Liquid harmful to vampires and I went with … [drum roll] … COLD WATER. So basically I would be the guy in the movie who throws cold water on the vampire, resulting only in a cold, wet vampire. Then I'd get bitten or just destroyed. Speaking of vampires, there's a Christopher Lee marathon on TCM on Monday, so look for that.
[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]