Popular sheepskin boots / WED 6-24-15 / Region known for its black tea / Monch Eiger for two / BC animal that goes ZOT / Classic Langston Hughes poem
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Constructor: Ian Livengood and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Relative difficulty: Medium
- THE PIERRE (17A: Luxury hotel overlooking Central Park)
- OMAR BRADLEY (23A: First chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949)
- SOUTHERN CROSS (33A: Constellation visible in Melbourne and Sydney)
- CHINESE FLAG (47A: Flier over Tiananmen Square)
The Pierre is a luxury hotel located at 2 East 61st Street at the intersection of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, facing Central Park. The hotel, which was designed by Schultze & Weaver, opened in 1930, and was later acquired by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces of India. Standing 525.01 feet (160.02 m) tall, it is located within the Upper East Side Historic District as designated in 1981 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. (wikipedia)
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Jewish Association Serving the Aging), but this one seemed a bit weak. The core concept just isn't that interesting or entertaining. And it doesn't cohere that great either. I've heard of a five-star general and a five-star hotel, but not a five-star constellation or a five-star flag. SOUTHERN CROSS and CHINESE FLAG are associated with stars, sure, but the number "five," not so much. Also, if, like me, you get your sense of the SOUTHERN CROSS from the flag of New Zealand, then you were under the (apparently mistaken) impression that the constellation actually had four stars. So that was weird. Also, do people who don't live in NYC know THE PIERRE? I'd never heard of it. I get that the class (like the puzzle) is NY-based, so there's nothing *wrong* with a parochial answer like that, but I don't think that answer's going to resonate much in the sticks (i.e. outside the five boroughs). Ian and his class have certainly polished the puzzle well—I hope you can see the difference between puzzles made by experienced, conscientious constructors (Joel on Monday, Ian today) and run-of-the-mill, under-edited puzzles that the NYT runs. No wincing! All answers real and (mostly) interesting! OK, ARMLET is weird, but I'm pretty sure it's real. Anyway, this wasn't terribly exciting. Acceptable, for sure, but too basic, conceptually, and too wobbly in the execution for my tastes.
Biggest troubles were in and around THE PIERRE, just because I'd never heard of it. Wanted SCHEMATA for SCENARIO (3D: Plot outline). Wanted TO-DO for STIR (29A: Hubbub). Wanted STALLS for STABLE (11D: 35-Down [i.e. HORSE] quarters). Oh, I also had trouble around RODGERS, because I also don't really know who Richard RODGERS is. Is he RODGERS and Hammerstein RODGERS? Ah, yes, look at that—so he is. Not knowing him made FRIED and LOVED and SKI TRAIL all weirdly tougher than they should've been. I somehow thought the AMA was the ["Protecting and promoting your health" org.]—that's a mistake I can understand and live with. I still think the expression is TRUE DAT but there's plenty of evidence that, at least on paper, I'm wrong. Or, rather, TRUE THAT is more popular. Crossword mainstay Michael CERA recently released an album entitled "TRUE THAT," so put that in your crossword trivia pipe and smoke it.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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