Ancient Hebrew liquid measure / SUN 10-25-15 / Cribbage one-pointers / Eponym of hot dog chain / Turbaned sort / Stimpy's TV pal / Like some Roman aphorisms / Gamer's prefix with pets / Petty braggart / Party straggler / Actress Kedrova / Common sitcom rating / Noted remover of locks
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Constructor: Bill Zais
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Halloween Costumes" — words are added to beginnings of famous people's names to create spooky names, or, I guess, theoretically costumed famous people, though who would go trick-or-treating as "EYE OF NEWT," I have no idea...
- WEREWOLF BLITZER (23A: Halloween costume for ... a CNN anchor?)
- TOMBSTONE PHILLIPS (39A: ... a former "Dateline" host?)
- EYE OF NEWT GINGRICH (58A: ... a onetime House speaker?)
- GRAVEDIGGER PHELPS (85A: ... an old Notre Dame basketball coach?)
- GHOSTBUSTER KEATON (104A: ... a silent film star?) (No—is he dressed up as a "ghost"? Or a Ghostbuster? By logic of the puzzle, the latter, but that is absurdly out of step with the rest of the more generic, decidedly non-corporate "costumes" in this puzzle...)
- BLACK CAT STEVENS (122A: ... a pop/folk singer with numerous 1970s hits?)
North American informalnoun: guck
- a slimy, dirty, or otherwise unpleasant substance.
"he got mud and cow guck all over his white jersey"
• • •
QUAINT. Shrug. It's 6 days early ... I think it would've been better as a day-after-Halloween puzzle than a 6-days-before-Halloween puzzle, but honestly, I wouldn't have liked it then, either. The concept is tired, the fill is terrible. Really. I doubled over and winced at ORECAR, and that was before I'd even seen TID or SEEPY (the worst dwarf), and all of that was before I Ever Got Out Of The NW. OY(S)! NOBS! Lots of IFFY fill, for sure (7D: Doubtful). What the heck is up with that POOH clue?! (73A: "Tush!"). "Tush!"? Do you shout that when you see someone with a nice ass? I hope not. That would be rude. I kept interrupting my solve to gripe about it, so I have no idea how long this would've taken me under normal, unbroken solving circumstances, but I never struggled much at all, and the themers were all super duper easy, so ... Easy. OOMPAH, TRALA, I'm done. Perhaps you have some deep insights into the mysterious nuances of this puzzle. Not me. I'm out. Me and my PITMEN are gonna take the ORECAR downstairs to "Top Gun" land. Danger zone! I've only been drinking a little.
Good night/day. Boo!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS, just noticed (just now, for first time) HIN (119A: Ancient Hebrew liquid measure) ... wow. Really? Unreal. That is ... wow. How ...? OK, yeah, I'm done.
PPS, you might enjoy this lovely article by Lesléa Newman, a reflection on how crosswords connect her to her mother, who recently died. Check it out: "Always a Crossword between Us"
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]