Card table cloth / SUN 2-28-16 / Nougaty treats / World Heritage Site in Andes / Queen pop nickname / 1961 space chimp / 1994 bomb based on SNL character
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Court Jesters" — basketball terms with wacky non-basketball "?" clues
- 23A: Fly swatter? (BUZZER BEATER)
- 34A: Drool from both sides of the mouth? (DOUBLE DRIBBLE)
- 51A: Tip of an épée? (POINT GUARD)
- 58A: Busted timer? (SHOT CLOCK)
- 66A: Desi Arnaz? (BALL HANDLER)
- 79A: Winning an Oscar for "Norma Rae"? (FIELD GOAL)
- 88A: Acrophobe's term for a route through the mountains? (NO-LOOK PASS)
- 101A: Lament from an unlucky shrimper? (NOTHING BUT NET)
- 116A: Writing "30 and single" when it's really "50 and married" e.g.? (PERSONAL FOUL)
- 16D: Violation of Yom Kippur? (FAST BREAK)
- 79D: Rug dealer's special? (FREE THROW)
orthogonal pivot axes, may be used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of the rotation of its support (e.g. vertical in the first animation). For example, on a ship, the gyroscopes, shipboard compasses, stoves, and even drink holders typically use gimbals to keep them upright with respect to the horizon despite the ship's pitching and rolling. // The gimbal suspension used for mounting compasses and the like is sometimes called a Cardan suspension after Italian mathematician and physicist Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576) described it in detail. However, Cardano did not invent the gimbal, nor did he claim to. The device has been known since antiquity and may not have a single identifiable inventor. (wikipedia)
• • •
BALL HANDLER was just disturbing to me—no need to go to a clue that asserts / reinforces male dominance like that when there are other ways to get a wacky funny loony "?" clue out of that particular word pairing. Animals have handlers. Come on, man.
[Gutter ball?] (ALLEY OOPS)
Gonna take a wild guess here and say there is No Way that BAIZE was originally in this puzzle (12D: Card table cloth). I mean, that answer hasn't been in any NYT puzzle in 13 years. Yikes. That thing was obviously MAIZE, and then someone caught the MANS dupe at 63D: "Jeez!" (OH, MAN). Because no constructor in their right mind is knowingly, voluntarily going with BAIZE over MAIZE. And yet this decision still makes no sense, as you could easily change NRA to IRA or SRA or TRA, keeping MAIZE and getting rid of MANS. So I have no idea what kind of cluing thinking was going on there. All I know is that BAIZE is desperation fill, and there was absolutely no need for desperation here. GIMBAL has never appeared in the NYT before. Totally new word to me. I guess I just don't understand the taste that's driving this puzzle, or the rationale for much of what's happening with the theme or fill. Puzzle was mostly easy, but then [Popinjay] (???) for FOP crossing [Go through] (?) for EXPEND caused me to just stare at a single blank square for a while. ALECTO is spelled with two "L"s in the translations of "The Aeneid" that I know of, so that answer was not easy for me.
Haec ubi dicta dedit, terras horrenda petivit;See. Two "L"s. Both versions. But ALECTO is the spelling in the wikipedia entry, so it's legit. Just not Virgilian (and thus, dead to me).
luctificam Allecto dirarum ab sede dearum
infernisque ciet tenebris, cui tristia bella
iraeque insidiaeque et crimina noxia cordi.
When she had spoken these words, fearsome, she sought the earth:
and summoned Allecto, the grief-bringer, from the house
of the Fatal Furies, from the infernal shadows: in whose
mind are sad wars, angers and deceits, and guilty crimes.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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