Ancient alpaca herder / MON 1-4-16 / Actress Thompson of TV's "Family" / Jimi Hendrix hairdo / Hoity-toity sort / Burrito alternative
Monday, January 4, 2016
Hi!!!! I had to miss the last couple puzzles because I was sick, then busy, finals were kicking my REARMS...okay that doesn't really work, especially since it's supposed to be "re-arms"... but anyway, as I'm sure you've already figured out by the mention of finals and the number of exclamation points that have been used so far, it's finally another Annabel Monday!
Constructor: Herre Schouwerwou
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "PFFT" — Theme answers are two words, each beginning with the letters P_____F_____.
- PINK FLOYD (3D: "The Wall" rock band)
- PARTY FAVORS (18A: Gifts for guests)
- PILLOW FIGHTS (27A: Friendly scuffles at sleepovers)
- PETIT FOUR (35D: Small frosted cake)
- POUND FOOLISH (48A: Not good with large sums of money, in a saying)
- POPPIN' FRESH (62A: Real name of the Pillsbury Doughboy)
Word of the Day: SADA (43A: Actress Thompson of TV's "Family") —
Renowned and highly respected actress Sada Thompson has earned critical acclaim both on stage and TV for her noble, strong-minded matrons, but her more challenging and compelling work has come when her characters have displayed darker, more neurotic tones.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, she was the eldest of three children of magazine editor Hugh Woodruff Thompson and his wife Corlyss Gibson. After a family move to New Jersey, Sada developed an interest in acting, performing in school plays. She subsequently studied drama at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
Anyway, like I was saying, this was a good puzzle! Some of the clues were a little lackluster; I felt like ONUS is wasted if you're going to refer to it as ON US rather than a single word, and that analogy clue for EWE was kinda boring. (Also, there are better SETHs than MacFarlane, but that's a whole 'nother rant about how all his shows are identical unfunny Simpsons rip-offs and--oops, see, don't get me started OAR you'll have to read paragraphs and paragraphs of this.) It would also be cool if there was something that tied the theme together, but since it was such a casual theme, I think it's okay the way it is. And the fill was definitely good for a Monday.
Also, seriously, I keep thinking about POPPIN' FRESH. Who knew the Pillsbury Doughboy had a name? And what kind of a name is POPPIN' FRESH? How'd he get it? Does he have a nickname? Maybe he introduces himself like this: "Yeah, my name's Poppin', but my friends call me Pops or P-Fresh."
...Okay, maybe I shouldn't look that much into it.
- SNOOT (32A: Hoity-toity sort) — I couldn't stop giggling whenever I looked at this one, because it reminded me of "I'm gonna give you a boop on the snoot!"- AKA, I'm gonna poke you on the nose. It's really cute.
- PSIS (27D: Letters between chis and omegas) — OK, so the reason I immediately knew this one was not because of my immense knowledge of the Greek language, but because of how geeky I get about EarthBound. It's a pretty-well-known RPG for the SNES from the 90s, and it's really cute. Anyway, in the game you can use these PSI abilities, which are psychic or something, and here's a video of the cool sounds they make. (Warning for flashing lights!!)
- ICY (38A: Dangerous, as winter sidewalks) — Sigh...I wish it was ICY! We had a 70-degree Christmas here in Maryland, which means I totally have not gotten to go sledding or anything so far this year. Fingers crossed for tons of ice and snow once I get back to Boston.
- SPINAL (15A: Backbone-related) — The clue might as well have been ______ Tap, because that was all I could see once I looked at the puzzle.
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