Sagan wrote about his brain / WED 1-6-16 / gibbon zoo primate / Sikorsky of aviation / Taiwanese PC maker / Automaker whose name means listen in Latin / Jazz saxophonist Coleman
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Constructor: Jules P. Markey
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: CROSS-REFEENCES (34A: "See also" notations ... or what can be found in the circled squares in this puzzle?) — OED (Oxford English Dictionary, a major "reference" work) crosses OED four times in this grid
The lar gibbon (Hylobates lar), also known as the white-handed gibbon, is a primate in the gibbon family, Hylobatidae. It is one of the better-known gibbons and is often seen in zoos. (wikipedia)
• • •LAR (!?!) to CHRON to CHOU, but it would be very hard to fill any better, given the OED placements. In the SW, the ramifications are somewhat less dire: just crosswordese like TSKED and OTOE, and then whatever BROCA is (!?!?!). The OEDs are handled somewhat better in the two other instances, but still, the fill suffers tremendously, everywhere: AEIOU NNE TEAC ENERO IDES AMO LEROI ECTO TROU (in addition to the aforementioned stuff). The longer Downs are pretty shiny—even the "OED"-containing ones—and the revealer is decent, with a nice metacrossword, self-referential aspect to the cluing. But the basic concept was a. too easy (you can fill in all the circles once you pick up the gimmick) and b. too restrictive for the fill to come out nice and tasty. I mean, jeez ... LAR? Jeez...
This puzzle pretty much exhausts the _OED options: TOED, HOED, COED—just to give you an idea of how severely limiting the "OED" letter string is. There's an odd strain of stupidity running through the grid, with IDIOTs and DODOS and a DENSE guy (on a SEAT in the corner). The climate is DRY. ARID, even. Like my house in ENERO (i.e. right now). HIDE is also a Facebook action, and would've completed the FB trifecta (along with TAG and POST) nicely. The roe deer all want to know why they were left out of this puzzle, as do the all the robots in the ROBO-education classes. Robots and deer, amassing on my lawn as we speak, asking "Why!?" Gonna put on ORNETTE Coleman now, and sip some bourbon ON ICE. Happy January 6th.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]