Peer Gynt enchantress / FRI 7-17-15 / Black Tulip novelist / Voice of Pixar's Mr Fredricksen / Goddess of wisdom to Homer / 1990s sitcom set in New York
Friday, July 17, 2015
Constructor: Paolo Pasco
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: TAMAR (26D: Daughter of David, in the Bible) —
Tamar (Hebrew: תָּמָר, Modern tamar, Tiberian tāmār) is a person in 2 Samuel in the Hebrew Bible. She was the daughter of King David, and sister of Absalom. Her mother was Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. According to the narrative in 2 Samuel 13, she was raped by her half-brother Amnon. [...] Absalom, who hated his half-brother Amnon for his rape of Tamar, waited for two years and then had Amnon murdered.(wikipedia)
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I'm told this constructor is roughly my daughter's age (b. 2000). This is insane. Partially because no one that young should be able to do anything, according to me, and partially because this grid looks like it was put together by a competent, experienced, middle-aged constructor. It's conservative in terms of its content—in a good way. It's a solidly general-interest grid with very little in the way of aracana, contemporary or ancient. And yet it's not boring, and it looks simpler than it is. That middle—where three 11s run through three more 11s—is impressive. No easy feat to bring that off with all lively, unawkward answers. Corners are less interesting, but they do no harm. Might've wanted to have another go at that NE, where ANITRA and ESTOPS give off a faint whiff of mothballs. But emphasis on the word "faint." I assume this is a debut—with a 15-year-old constructor, It Better Be! [shakes fist at no one in particular]. If so, it's very promising. It's also the highlight of the NYT puzzle week thus far, for sure.
So this started LGS DIGS IN CAN IT I'M IT (I don't mind the two "IT"s because I'd rather have I'M IT than the abbr. IMIT.). Then I was able to draw on my vast experience in Having Lived Through The '90s (something this constructor Did Not Do WTF!?) to get "MAD ABOUT YOU" (and, not much later, "TIME COP").
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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