American Progress muralist / MON 7-13-15 / TV journalist O'Donnell / Rapper with Harvard hip-hop fellowship named in his honor / Bygone cross-Atlantic jet for short
Monday, July 13, 2015
Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Relative difficulty: Slightly harder than your average Monday (for me, 3:14)
- LIKE WHITE ON RICE (17A: As close as close can be)
- COMMENT ÇA VA? (29A: "How's it going?," in Paris)
- SHARE PRICES (48A: Stock quotes)
Word of the Day: NORAH O'Donnell (28D: TV journalist O'Donnell) —
Norah Morahan O’Donnell (born January 23, 1974) is an American print and television journalist, currently serving as the co-anchor of CBS This Morning, a position she has held since July 2012, when she replaced Erica Hill. Before that, she spent one year as Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News in Washington, D.C., after moving to the network from NBC. She is also the substitute host for CBS' Sunday morning show, Face the Nation. (wikipedia)
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article about Natick, MA that I've randomly chosen from the Boston Globe. You can see a bunch of "buttons" at the top (also at the bottom). The FB one will allow you to "Share" the article (you should share it—it's got a great opening paragraph). Anyway, if you go around the internet, you will see "Like" buttons and "Share" buttons. You will not see "Comments" buttons. Buttons connect your site to FB. Comments, on the other hand, generally appear right on your site, and even when they're powered by FB, there's generally no "button," per se. Just your typical hyperlink, or maybe not even that. Just a "Comments" box. "Comment" is odd man out here, is what I'm saying. A huge outlier, compared to LIKE and SHARE. Here's an experiment. Google the following three phrases (in quotation marks): ["Facebook Like button"], ["Facebook Share button"], and finally ["Facebook Comment button"]. Now compare the numbers. Prosecution rests.
Fill was typical, old, tired. NEWSBOY I kind of like. The rest, excessively familiar in the short stuff, dullish in the long stuff. ARLO ACLU ROIS GIL ODIE HAI ATIT ORES SERT (ugh) OLE SST (ugh) ACTI LAOS ASIS ETD EMIR and that's just the tired stuff I picked up on a first scan of the grid. I did appreciate the NAS trivia, though. Otherwise, I think PEORIA is probably more exciting than this puzzle's non-theme fill. LIKE WHITE ON RICE is the marquee answer of the day—maybe the bar is so low on Monday that one winning 15 is good enough. Not sure. It's coolness is totally offset by SHARE PRICES, which you would be hard-pressed to surpass in boringness. Not too thrilled that LIKE and SHARE retain their pronunciations in the theme answers but COMMENT, yikes, way different. But they are all repurposed, meaning-wise, so maybe that's enough.
Also, I've seen Facebook action themes before. This just didn't strike me as special or clever (or smooth, or tightly executed) enough for the NYT.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on FACEBOOK and also Twitter]