Yiddish laments / MON 12-21-15 / Raised hairstyles / Arachnid's snare / Woman's name that means eat backward / Locale for bears thieves / Debtor's opposite
Monday, December 21, 2015
Constructor: Bruce Haight
Relative difficulty: Medium (maybe a bit tougher because of the non-clues...)
1. Something whose name is unknown or forgotten.2. A person regarded as stupid.3. Vulgar Slang The penis. (thefreedictionary.com)
[from The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler, 1953]
• • •
OYS on a scale of 1-10 OYS. The NE and SW corners are actually kind of interesting. I finished in under 3, but only barely. I got slowed down by the elliptical theme cluing, and by several wrong answers, starting right away, at 1A: Raised hairstyles (UPDOS). I wrote in AFROS, though as I was doing it, that little voice in the back of my head was like "Dude, it's UPDOS ... dude ... dude!" I went straight to the crosses, and sure enough, little voice was right.The fixing of that mistake ate up many seconds. I had to think for a bit about ENID, having EN- in place (8D: Woman's name that means "eat" backward). That clue is oddly phrased. I think it should say "when *spelled* backward. Because ... there's also backward pronunciation, and also ... if you say the clue aloud to yourself, it sounds like maybe her name means "eat backward," which is an odd phenomenon that probably doesn't have a name.
With -IC in place at 42A: Language of Egypt (ARABIC), I wrote in COPTIC (?!). Is that even ... what is that? I know it's a kind of Egyptian Christian. Is it also a language? Yes! Yes, it is. OK, I am going to pat myself on the back for a rather learned wrong answer. Another wrong answer that fit was MANIAC for 49D: Lunatic (MADMAN). Considering all the pitfalls and the ambiguous theme cluing, I'm feeling pretty good about my sub-3 time now. Anything else? Oh, I spent a painfully long five seconds or so trying to remember 39D: New York's ___ Island, even though like half of my students are from there. That is all. Gonna go destroy the pecan pie I made earlier today (completely from scratch). Little whipped cream (for the pie). Little bourbon (for me). Merry Christmas Week!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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