Old Toyota sports car / THU 6-18-15 / Salinger dedicatee / Uncle on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air / Third-largest city of Roman Empire / German electrical pioneer / Mentaiko at sushi bar / Carrier to Seoul
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Constructor: Jason Flinn
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: -onym — familiar phrases have "-ONYM" added to their ends and then are reclued accordingly.
- 17A: The Olympics or Andes Mints (MOUNTAIN TOPONYMS) ["mountain top" + -onym]
- 23A: White and lighted (BLACK ANTONYMS) ["black ant" + -onyms]
- 39A: Deadly or human (MORTAL SYNONYM) ["mortal sin" + -onym] — this one is the only one that involves a spelling change to the base phrase ("sin" to "SYN"); not a problem—they all still work perfectly, sound-wise.
- 51A: Wall Street and Madison Avenue (NEW YORK METONYMS) ("New York Met" + -onyms)
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NEW YORK METONYM and thought "ha ha, that's funny, sounds like 'things named after the New York Mets…'" and that's when my brain went "D'oh!" and saw that all the themers were like that—ordinary phrases before you add "-onym(s)" to the end. NEAT little twist. Fill actually isn't terrible—just grimy in the short stuff, mostly in the corners (STLO OHM LTYR in the NE, ESME ODEUM NOTTE in the SE, AWHO … just being AWHO). But solid longer Downs largely drown out that noise. I found this all decidedly acceptable.
Had remarkable trouble getting going in the NW. Bygone Toyota was not coming to me at all, and SAMI was not at all obvious from 1D: Arctic residents, and even when I got -MI I wrote in SUMI (?), and I had IN ON before UP ON at 2D: Acquainted with, and I had no shot at ANTIOCH (5D: Third-largest city of the Roman Empire) until I came at it from the other end, so lots of sputtering up there to start. But once I got going, progress was pretty regular, and there were no major sticking points. Didn't get the HENS clue at first (7D: Roosters … or not roosters?), but do now (first "Roosters" = "Ones who roost"). Had NICE instead of NEAT (41D: "Ooooh!"), ODIUM instead of ODEUM (54A: Theater) (very different words), and RECUTS instead of REDYES (40D: Changes the locks again?). All in all, untroublesome and non-STICKY (22D: Awkward).
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