African desert that includes Skeleton Coast / SAT 12-12-15 / Cosmetics company founder Rocher / Longtime radio rival of Stern / State symbol with reduplicative name / Make squirrellike exit / Bathroom brand with Snaked Plus variety
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Constructor: Byron Walden
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: NAMIB (57A: African desert that includes the Skeleton Coast) —
The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means "vast place". According to the broadest definition, the Namib stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. The Namib's northernmost portion, which extends 450 kilometres (280 mi) from the Angola-Namibia border, is known as Moçâmedes Desert, while its southern portion approaches the neighboring Kalahari Desert. From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 kilometres (120 mi) inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment. Annual precipitation ranges from 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in the most arid regions to 200 millimetres (7.9 in) at the escarpment, making the Namib the only true desert in southern Africa. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55–80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world. (wikipedia)Also:
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region "The Land God Made in Anger", while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as "The Gates of Hell". (wikipedia)
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HORSEWOMAN or ANTI-PRESS or POST-SALES were real terms, though they were all easily inferrable.
Favorite clues were mostly in the NW, where [Skilled forger] tricked me briefly with its misdirection and [Job tester] didn't, though I admired its effort. The best clue, though, was 28D: It has issues with feminism (MS. MAGAZINE) Issues? Oh, issues! I got my first real grip on the grid with 2D: Balcony address? ("ROMEO, ROMEO"). Wanted MANTA (?) for MORAY (15A: Reef denizen) and AS IF I CARE for LIKE I CARE (56A: "Whatevs") and SHARK for STENO (37A: Pool party)—that last one is definitely my favorite wrong answer. One party in a pool game ... could be a pool SHARK. Why not? GRENOBLOISE sounds horrible as a word but delicious as a style of food preparation. I will apparently never ever ever remember Aretha Franklin's sister's name (38A: Franklin who sang "A Piece of my Heart") (ERMA). There are two cosmetics names in this grid: YVES and MERLE. I have nothing to say about this ... just noticed it, thought it was unusual. Now, with the unfortunate strains of "MY HUMPS" playing in my mind's ear, I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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