LBJ inlaw Charles / TUE 12-8-15 / Talkative half of magic duo / Precursor to reggae / 1990s Indian P.M. / 2000s Japanese P.M. / Qatari bigwig
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Constructor: Neville Fogarty
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: BREAKFAST (61A: Free motel offering nowadays ... or what 18-, 26-, 40- and 52-Across do?) — "FA" on one side of the theme answer, "ST" on the other:
- FAIRY DUST (18A: Sprinkle from Tinker Bell)
- FAMILY CREST (26A: The one for the Kennedys has three knights' helmets on it)
- "FATHER KNOWS BEST" (40A: Classic sitcom with kids called Princess, Bud and Kitten)
- FALSE ARREST (52A: Potential charge against a bounty hunter)
A lagniappe (// LAN-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure. // The word entered English from the Louisiana French adapting a Quechua word brought in to New Orleans by the Spanish Creoles. It derived from the South American Spanish phrase la yapa or ñapa (referring to a free extra item, usually a very cheap one). La is the definite article in Spanish as well as in French (la ñapa or la gniappe = the ñapa/gniappe). The term has been traced back to the Quechua word yapay ('to increase; to add'). In Andean markets it is still customary to ask for a yapa (translates as "a little extra") when making a purchase. The seller usually responds by throwing in a little extra. Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced in Louisiana. Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chili peppers or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase. The word is chiefly used in the Gulf Coast region of the United States [...] (wikipedia)
• • •
In 2009. With the same revealer and two of the same theme answers. How do I remember this? I don't. Neville told me his own damn self. If you search BREAKFAST in the cruciverb database, the 2009 puzzle is the first thing that comes up. But Neville had to go and use some other, possibly substandard database, and he wasn't very diligent about it so [sad trombone]! It doesn't really matter. It's a fine Tuesday concept with decent execution and a reasonably pleasant grid. Fill can get a little crusty in the small areas (I'm looking at LIRA, NETWT, RAO/ROBB, DAR, EMIR-on-ESPY...), but there's an overall enjoyable bounciness. BLUE STATEs and REDSHIRTS and SEX TAPES galore. Truly a Triple-X puzzle ... except there are four "X"s. EXTRA "X"! Roll in the HAY!
I was looking at the 2009 version of this puzzle. It's pretty much a push, themewise. I think "FALCON CREST" > FAMILY CREST, if only because of the Lorenzo Lamas factor, but I think FALSE ARREST >>> FALL HARVEST, so ... I'm gonna call it a draw. I didn't have too much trouble solving this one. Only a couple of sticking points. One was _ONKS (27D: Some frock wearers). I could Not get past the idea of a "frock" as a shift or dress....usually worn by girls/women. So even with _ONKS in place, I was baffled for a bit. I also had No idea that "ELF" had been made into a musical, so I needed crosses there (6D: 2010 hit Broadway musical with the song "Sparklejollytwinklejingley"). And "Lagniappe" is not a word whose meaning I could remember. I'm about as un-Southern as they come, I'm afraid. I believe I have seen the word before, but I believe I have seen it only in crosswords, and then only once or twice. Needed every cross to get EXTRA. If I had to write a million clues for BREAKFAST, I don't think I'd come up with this one ([Free motel offering nowadays...]), but I like it. I wish the clue had added something about how such BREAKFASTs are almost always unspeakably terrible, thus ruining one of the greatest meals God ever gave to man on this earth, but I can't stay mad at any clue with "motel" in it. All clues should feature motels or diners or bars or movie theaters (I just watched Barbara Loden's "Wanda" (1970), so I'm feeling the low-rent Americana right now).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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