Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Constructor: Kurt Mueller
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Vampire's banes... — bunch of stuff that kills vampires
- THE HOLY BIBLE
- DIRECT SUNLIGHT
- GARLIC NECKLACE
- SILVER BULLET
- STAKE (through the) HEART
Sônia Maria Campos Braga (born 8 June 1950) is a Brazilian actress. Nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy Award, Braga is best known in the English-speaking world for her performances in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Moon Over Parador. Her television credits include Sex and the City, Alias, American Family and The Cosby Show. (wikipedia)
• • •STAKE through the HEART. It's also an anomalous element. The other themers are a rather contrived assortment, with adjectives and other words added to make the answers symmetrical. For instance, what other bible would it be besides "The holy" one? And I think crucifixes are much more common banes, actually. GARLIC is the bane, and the necklace is just one form in which people can wear it to protect *themselves*. It's more repellent than bane. And SILVER BULLET? No one associates that w/ vampires. That's werewolves all the way. I'm sure some list somewhere says "sure, those kill vampires too," but if you say "SILVER BULLET" the only thing people are going to think is "werewolves." Or Coors Light. Or Bob Seger. Or maybe Vampire Bob Seger. But not plain-old vampires.
So there's one clever bit, dead center (stake thru heart is also the primo A1 way to kill a vampire), and then there's ... the rest. And again, too much gucky fill. TO ALL ALII, A LIE, A DAB! U AR an EGGSAC AGER. I might've had some love for KGBSPY, but I just saw it. Where did I see it? I forget? Was it NYT? I do too many puzzles. Anyway, that's a decent answer. How do you not go with "Kiss of the Spider Woman" for the Sônia BRAGA clue in a monster-themed puzzle? Seems like a missed opportunity to creep things up. This grid is super-choppy. Lots of black squares, lots of short fill. This leads to very little interest outside the themers, though DIEHARD, BLOSSOM, and CHEERIO have a certain bounce. Lately we've been getting dusty fill and loose or low-bar themes. The cluing here is also super-straightforward. Boring. Hoping mid-/late-week puzzles pick it up some.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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