Clothing brand with long vowel mark in its name / TUE 11-10-15 / Jazz combo's cue / Venom conduit / Sitcom equine of 60s / New Left org of 60s
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Constructor: Will Treece
Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Tuesday)
THEME: names that belong to two different famous people —
- ANNE HATHAWAY (19A: "Les Misérables" actress [or] Wife of the Bard)
- GRAHAM GREENE (32A: "Dances With Wolves" actor [or] "The Third Man" author)
- MATTHEW PERRY (39A: "Friends" actor [or] Naval officer who sailed to Japan in 1853)
- STEVE MCQUEEN (53A: "The Great Escape" actor [or] "12 Years a Slave" director)
Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858) was a Commodore of the United States Navy and commanded a number of ships. He served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican–American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and helped develop an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the US Navy and came to be considered The Father of the Steam Navy in the United States. (wikipedia)
• • •
GITS and ENDO and ASNO and RTE and OLEOLE and ATA etc.). Also, I prefer my long non-themers running Down rather than Across. There's nothing illegal about having them go Across; it just feels awkward. They're really long and running Across, so they feel like they could/should be themers, but they're not. But mainly I just wish the fill were cleaner. I don't think AIR INTAKE is good enough to justify the 9 stacks. Better to lose one of the 9s in each corner, release pressure on the grid, and fill it better.
Why is the cluing so incredibly straightforward and dull? I know it's Tuesday, so you want to be easy, but gah! Liven it up a bit. The clue on ECKŌ (54D: Clothing brand with a long vowel mark in its name) was the most interesting but also the most bizarre—accurate enough (the "long vowel mark" is also known as a "macron," btw), but ECKŌ is already the least well known thing in the grid, and that clue doesn't bring people any closer to it. It's not definitive / distinctive enough of a feature to really make a cluing difference. But again, I'll take weirdness over the painful ploddingness of the rest of the clues. My only hesitation today came at 1D: Muslim's headscarves (HIJABS), where I thought maybe NIQABS, and then tested the "Q" cross at 17A: Tilters' contest (JOUST) and briefly thought "... QUEST?" But I didn't end up stuck in that hole for long. Pretty easy Tuesday overall.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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