Spiral-horned grazer / SUN 9-13-15 / 1991 breakup newsmaker / Loggers jamboree / 1985 instrumental hit beverly hills cop / Monopoly token replaced in 2013 / Nutrition bar introduced in 1960s / Malibu Simpsons parody doll /
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Constructor: Joe DiPietro
Relative difficulty: Medium (hard side of Medium, probably)
THEME: "To Put It Differently" — clues are all-caps phrases that the answers (familiar phrases) describe literally, e.g. [COMPLETE PLAN] => FINISH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE, because a word meaning FINISH (i.e. "Complete") comes AHEAD OF (in the sense of "prior to" or "before") a word meaning SCHEDULE (i.e. "plan")
- FINISH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE (21A: COMPLETE PLAN)
- AGE BEFORE BEAUTY (34A: GRAY FOX)
- GRAND OPENING SALES (50A: BIG DEALS)
- WAY BEHIND THE TIMES (75A: NEWSPAPER ROUTE)
- ONE AFTER ANOTHER (88A: MORE UNITED)
- FORM FOLLOWING FUNCTION (106A: GO FIGURE)
nounnoun: kudu; plural noun: kudus; plural noun: kudu
- an African antelope that has a grayish or brownish coat with white vertical stripes, and a short bushy tail. The male has long spirally curved horns. (google)
• • •
Love the concept on this one. Literalization can be fun. My main issue is with the cluing. While all the theme answers are solid, real phrases that stand alone with no problem, the same can Not be said for the clues. Some, yes. But not even most, let alone all. Here is my rating of all the clues, based on their solidity as Actual Phrases:
- COMPLETE PLAN — IFFY
- GRAY FOX — OK
- BIG DEALS — OK
- NEWSPAPER ROUTE — GOOD
- MORE UNITED — OH HELL NO
- GO FIGURE — FANTASTIC
[64D: "Beat it!"]
Fill-wise, things hold up pretty well. You can forgive a lot when the longer answers are as nice as I'M AN IDIOT and ACTIVE ROSTER. Probably would've redone that ROLEO / AXELF corner. "X" is not that worth it. Couple of other side-by-sides got a little ugly. INST/MAH. ALANA/NAGGY. I would also no-go KUDU if at all possible (it's a definitely a lesser member of the startlingly large antelope crosswordese lexicon...). A singular SCAD remains not a thing in my book, and EMAG is like smoking, in that it's technically legal but it's super bad for you, so just stop. But much more good than bad today, that's for sure.
- 114A: One in business? (SILENT I) — second time I've seen this answer in past couple days. Can't say I like it. The weirdest thing about "business," to me, is the pronunciation of the damn "u." Freaky.
- 80A: Series of lows (MOOING) — great, great MOOING cluing
- 98D: Conservative I.R.A. asset (T-NOTE) — I had T-BOND. Isn't that an exciting error!?
- 47D: Carpentry fastener (T-NUT) — T-NUT or T-NOTE, that is the question. Well, it's *a* question.
- 115A: Malibu ___ ("The Simpsons" parody doll) (STACY) — Yessssss. More like this.
- 51D: Stressful work? (POESY) — as someone who teaches poetry (which is the actual word) all the time, please allow me to assert that a clue for POESY that doesn't somehow signal its, uh, fanciful archaicness from times of yore is at least partially dishonest.
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