Founder of Egypt's first dynasty / SAT 1-9-16 / Ultimate object to Aristotle / Chemistry concentrations / Org that tracks baby name popularity / Ruler's title from which word chess is derived / Popular cologne that shares its name with literary character / Boy's name repeated in nursery rhyme
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Constructor: Jason Flinn
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: BEA Benaderet (48A: Actress Benaderet who voiced Betty Rubble) —
Beatrice “Bea” Benaderet (April 4, 1906 – October 13, 1968) was an American actress born in New York City and reared in San Francisco, California. Her major breaks in radio came on The Jack Benny Program and as a member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre repertory company. She appeared in a wide variety of television work, which included a starring role in the 1960s television series Petticoat Junction and Green Acres as Shady Rest Hotel owner Kate Bradley, supporting roles as Blanche Morton in The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and as the original voice of Betty Rubble during the first four seasons of The Flintstones, and in The Beverly Hillbillies as Pearl Bodine. She did a great deal of voice work in Warner Bros. animated cartoons of the 1940s and early 1950s, most famously as Granny. (wikipedia)
• • •
I don't get and will never get quad stacks. They appear to be a challenge the constructor sets himself (I would say "him/herself," but ... honestly, this is exclusively, tellingly, a guy thing), with little to no regard for the greatness of the 15s themselves, and usually even less regard for the solver's experience. Martin Ashwood-Smith pretty much owns the quadstack as a form, and he's virtually the only person capable of making a tolerable one because he's had So Much Practice. While both stacks today appear to be made up completely of solid, real names and phrases, none of the 15s is what you'd call a winner. Seriously, who is breathless with excitement at the sight of UPPER PALATINATE (17A: Bavarian region that the Danube passes through)? I liked ROSIE THE RIVETER fine (16A: One saying "We can do it!), but it's been done, and recently, *and* I got it with zero crosses—just look:
I can't begin to imagine what nursery rhyme TOM is repeated in. I've got "James, James said to his mother / Mother he said, said he / You must never go down to the end of town / If you don't go down with me" running interference in my head—curse you, A.A. Milne. Also, curse you E.A. POE, whom I love as a writer but whom I hate in EAPOE form. Although I shouldn't be too hard on good ole EAPOE, as that answer provided the occasion for my awesomest wrong answer of the day. Faced with ---OE at 37A: Subject of a museum in Richmond, Va., for short, I quickly wrote in ... G.I. JOE! I figure a "real American hero" might live in Va. ... maybe working for the C.I.A now, I don't know. What I do know is G.I. JOE > EAPOE, at least where crossword fill is concerned.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS it looks like "TOM, TOM the Piper's Son" is a nursery rhyme ... in England? This is the first I'm hearing of it.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]