Orrery components / FRI 11-13-15 / Green-hatted Nintendo character / Product whose jingle was based on 1923 hit Barney Google / Metropolis misidentification / Wine of palomino grape
Friday, November 13, 2015
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: FILLIP (9D: Nice extra) —
nounnoun: fillip; plural noun: fillips
- 2.archaica movement made by bending the last joint of a finger against the thumb and suddenly releasing it; a flick of the finger.
"the Prince, by a fillip, made some of the wine fly in Oglethorpe's face"
- a slight smart stroke or tap.
"she began to give him dainty fillips on the nose with a soft forepaw"verb
archaicverb: fillip; 3rd person present: fillips; past tense: filliped; past participle: filliped; gerund or present participle: filliping1.propel (a small object) with a flick of the finger.
"our aforesaid merchant filliped a nut sharply against his bullying giant" (wikipedia)
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FILLIP"—the whole "bending the last joint of a finger ... and suddenly releasing it" bit? I've gonna start FILLIPing people off. Much more sophisticated way to do it. This puzzle is vintage Berry—wide open, Ridiculously smooth, accessible, varied in subject content ... just wonderful. He makes it look too easy here. Also, the puzzle itself *is* too easy. Hesitations were very few, and always easily overcome. I wrote ONION instead of ANISE (7D: Ingredient in five-spice powder), CLOP instead of CLAP (5A: Flamenco sound), HORSE TEAM instead of HORSE WHIP (27D: Coachman's handful) ... van Gogh's starry night was over the RHINE before it was over the RHÔNE ... stuff like that. Minor stuff. Otherwise, zoom. The one reason I want a Little more difficulty in a puzzle like this is so that I have more of a chance to appreciate its beauty. I want that feeling of having to work a little to break through, and then that "wow" feeling when you uncover something lovely. Here, it was just bam bam bam. Still lovely, but kind of like driving down Christmas Tree Lane, where the houses are all elaborately decorated and lit up, at 60 mph.
ORBS (1D: Orrery components) was a gimme, which made it obvious that I needed to supplant IGOR with OLAF. My proudest moment was getting RICE-A-RONI from just the initial "R" (14A: Product whose jingle was based on the 1923 hit "Barney Google"). That absurd old boxed rice product that they used to give away life supplies of on game shows, the one with the cable car ads from the late '70s/early '80s—this is exclusively how I know RICE-A-RONI. No idea why it popped into my head immediately, off just the "R," but once I sang "BAR-ney Google, the SAN FranCISco Treat!" in my head, I knew it was right.
Read 18A: Green-hatted Nintendo character as "green-haired," but the -U--I pattern meant I go the right answer instantly anyway (LUIGI). Favorite revelation of the puzzle was probably looking at 30D: Metropolis misidentification, looking at my grid (which had --SAPLANE in place!) and having no idea how it could be right. DISAPLANE? Then I got the N.B.A. on TNT and realized that I was supposed to be thinking about "Superman"! "It's a bird, IT'S A PLANE..." Very nice cluing.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Happy birthday, mom
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