Some Eurasian deer / WED 6-10-15 / Regatta foe of Radley / Shampoo introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947 / Coastal inlet / Faddish 1960s jacket style / Bipedal Aussies informally
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Constructor: Tracy Gray
Relative difficulty: Medium (maybe harder depending on how much the gimmick threw you)
THEME: head over heels — common phrases related to turning, where the thing that turns literally turns (in the circled letters in the grid). Thus:
- MEGOROUND (17A: Ride on which to try for a brass ring)
- Y R
- SPINNINGWHE (29A: Textile machinery of old)
- S E
- D O
- LR (48A: Once-popular TV serial set in Oakdale, Ill.)
- S O
- EN (64A: "Gimme Shelter" band)
Word of the Day: MAISIE Williams (37A: Williams of "Game of Thrones") —
(born 15 April 1997) is an English actress and dancer. She is best known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which earned her the 2012 Portal Awards for Best Supporting Actress – Television and Best Young Actor, and the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actor in 2013. She has also received nominations for the Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011), and the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actress(2013) for her performance. (wikipedia)
• • •
We've had a gimmick very much like this one recently—a Thursday puzzle from back in February:
The February puzzle was quite a bit trickier, in that theme answers had to loop up and then come back down and rejoin with their base answers again. Also, the loops in the February puzzle were actual loops, by which I mean they were symmetrical, and thus plausible approximations of circles or ellipses. Today's circled square arrangements get pretty wonky, and the spun word doesn't have to meet back up with the base phrase, creating a feeling of discontinuity (except in the two theme answers where the spinning happens at the very end). Still, today's concept was cute, and the theme execution, while not elegant, was reasonably consistent. The fill was a jarring mix of cool and terrible. IRENEE!? (60A: The "I" in E. I. du Pont). Yipes. That made me look back fondly at NOEAR, which is saying something. But beyond those, only AFTS and (to a lesser extent) OSTEAL were really jarring. Longer Downs were always at least interesting, and while ROT OUT seems slightly made up, it's vivid, and it gives the grid some character.
- 8D: Revitalizing snooze (POWER NAP) — I accidentally fell asleep at 8pm only to awaken at 10pm, disoriented and untoothbrushed. So I got up and did the puzzle and now here I am. Toothbrushing, presumably, to follow. I think once the sleeping goes past an hour, it ceases to be a "nap." It certainly ceases to confer "power."
- 43A: Precisely (TOATEE) — always looks dumb in the grid. Like a diminutive form of its other incarnation, TOAT.
- 39D: Like some rye (SEEDLESS) — Had SEEDL- and without even looking at the clue wrote in SEEDLING. Reading clues—always a good idea.
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