Director Besson / THU 10-29-15 / Addie's husband in As I Lay Dying / 1881 novel for children those who love children / Las Vegas casino opened in 2009 / Partner to Kenan in 1990s Nickelodeon sitcom
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Constructor: Sam Trabucco
Relative difficulty: No idea (solved while watching World Series / GOP debate)
THEME: LION'S SHARE (66A: Almost all ... and a hint to the five circled letters)— theme answers are two-word answers where first word ends and second word begins with same letter. Those repeating letters appear in one square together, i.e. they share a square. The shared squares spell out, sequentially, LIONS. Thus (I think) LIONS share squares (?). [Apparently, EVEN THOUGH THE SOFTWARE ACCEPTED THE ABOVE GRID AS CORRECT, you are not supposed to put a double-letter in the circled squares ... rather, the single letter (that is supposed to go there) is "shared" by first and second words.] [frowny face]
- SOCIAL LIFE (17A: Partygoing and such)
- SKI INSTRUCTOR (24A: One whose work is going downhill?) (at this point, I thought the two "I"s in the single square represented skis and I was excited to have the circles represent someone skiing down a mountain ...)
- DO OVER (41A: Second chance)
- CHICKEN NOODLE (53A: Campbell's variety)
- LION'S SHARE
Friedrich Ebert (4 February 1871 – 28 February 1925) was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925. // Ebert was elected leader of the SPD on the death of August Bebel, and the SPD later became deeply divided because Ebert led it to support war loans for World War I. A moderate social democrat, Ebert was in favour of the Burgfrieden, in which domestic political squabbles were put aside and all forces in society were expected to support the war effort. He tried to isolate those in the party opposed to the war but could not prevent a split. // Ebert was a pivotal figure in the German Revolution of 1918-19. When Germany became a republic, he was its first chancellor. His policies at this time were primarily aimed at restoring peace and order and at containing the more extreme elements of the revolutionary left. For this he allied himself with conservative and nationalistic political forces, in particular with the leadership of the military under General Wilhelm Groener and the right wing Freikorps. With their help, Ebert's government crushed a number of leftist uprisings that were pursuing goals that were similar to those of the SPD. This has made him a controversial historical figure.
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Long Downs are good. Overall fill just OK. ANSE, however, is revolting (72A: Addie's husband in "As I Lay Dying"). Just ... godawful. I can't say enough bad things about ANSE. One notch above ASE'S (yes, that is a thing you sometimes see in crosswords a surprising amount). I think I was reasonably satisfied with the fill until that moment (ANSE crossing NEE), at which point I think I shouted "Nooooo..." dramatically, like in the movies. I found the whole N/NW section very hard. [Call at night] for HOOT, ["You got me"] for OUCH, [Come down hard] for POUR, the adjacent cross-referenced answers at 5D and 6D ... all this made things rough up there for me. [Partygoing and such] sounds way more ... specific than just SOCIAL LIFE, so I had -IAL LIFE and still had no idea. Seemed like JOVIAL LIFE from the clue, but JOVIAL LIFE is not a thing. Then there's the EBERT clue, ugh. WTF? Better (much better, a thousand times better) a funny / clever / tough Roger EBERT clue than this century-old snoozefest of a trivia question. PUZZLES SHOULD BE FUN. Make it so.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS this is Sam Trabucco's NYT debut, but he had a BuzzFeed puzzle a couple weeks back. Get it here.
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