Monday, February 8, 2016
Constructor: Paolo Pasco
Relative difficulty: Normal, probably
THEME: IT COUPLES (61: Tabloid twosomes ... or a hint to the answers to the starred clues)— theme answers have a couple of "IT"s each:
- ITSY BITSY (17A: *Like a nursery rhyme spider)
- NITTY GRITTY (11D: *Basics, informally)
- SWIMSUIT EDITION (39A: *Big seller for Sports Illustrated)
- CAPITAL CITY (26D: *Place often marked with a star on 24-Down [i.e. MAPS])
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed in September 1972 by Donald Dell, Bob Briner, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Drysdale became the first President. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the organization's name. In 1990 the organization was called the ATP Tour, which was renamed in 2001 as just ATP and the tour being called ATP Tour. In 2009 the name was changed again and is now known as the ATP World Tour. It is an evolution of the tour competitions previously known as Grand Prix tennis tournaments and World Championship Tennis (WCT). // The ATP's global headquarters are in London, United Kingdom. ATP Americas is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, United States; ATP Europe is headquartered in Monaco; and ATP International, which covers Africa, Asia and Australasia, is based in Sydney, Australia. // The counterpart organization in the women's professional game is the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). (wikipedia)
• • •
ATP in this puzzle. It's not a well known initialism, not like NFL or MLB or NHL or NBA, so while it's definitely valid, it's not something I'd use unless I *had* to (i.e. it's not, uh, good). And here, you don't have to. LOB / OTT is better. Even LIB / ITT is better, frankly. It is true that PRIG beats TRIG for, let's say, color, but ATP is sub-desirable, for sure, and since it's easily eradicated, it should've been. Still, I must concede, I'm probably not pointing out this minor infelicity if I don't typo my way into a mess there. Maybe OTT would've been seen as too close to OTTO, and ITT to ITSY BITSY (?). It's possible.
The theme! It's pretty OK. I had to look up to see if people still use the term "IT COUPLE(S)," and it looks like they do. Mildly impressive there are zero "IT"s outside the theme answers. The fill was clean and lively for a Monday. I especially approve of GOLFCLAP, as I was the first person ever to put that answer in one of his puzzles.* And in *exactly* the same position in the grid, too. Thanks for the homage, Paolo.
[LAT, Jan. 19, 2011]
*Someone in comments claims that GOLFCLAP was in a Jonesin' crossword from 2004. Not in any database I use / have seen, but it's entirely possible. Also, "my" LAT puzzle from 2011 (pictured above) was actually *co*-constructed with Angela Olson Halsted.
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