Popular Bach piece for lute / WED 2-24-16 / College benefactor Yale / Politico lampooned by Fey / Football legend Amos Alonzo / Apple originally marketed to schools / Central figure in Mussorgsky opera / Property recipient in law
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Constructor: Ruth Bloomfield Margolin
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: SUBMERGES (37A: Goes underwater ... or a hint to the answers on the perimeter of this puzzle) — answers on the perimeter are real words that don't fit the clue unless you mentally supply the prefix "SUB-"
- LIME, URBAN, DUES, STANCE, MARINE, SIDE, TRACT, TEXT, SCRIPT, LETTER
Bourrée in E minor is a popular lute piece, the fifth movement from Suite in E minor for Lute, BWV 996 (BC L166) written by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece is arguably one of the most famous pieces among guitarists. // A bourrée was a type of dance that originated in France with quick duple meter and an upbeat. Though the bourrée was popular as a social dance and shown in theatrical ballets during the reign of Louis XIV of France, the Bourrée in E minor was not intended for dancing. Nonetheless, some of the elements of the dance are incorporated in the piece. (wikipedia)
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SUBMERGES. My friend Jesse just suggested "You merge sub with the word in the grid, I guess." Uh ... what? Is that right? I thought maybe (Maybe) the idea was that the SUB edges MERGE into each other ... at the corners ... but that doesn't make sense either, so I guess Jesse's right? The idea of mentally supplying a prefix is being framed as a "merge"? Dreadful. That revealer is borderline incoherent. And why are the answers on the margins, then? What does that have to do with "SUBMERGES"? Baffling. And the fill, man oh man. ENBANC over BOURRÉE pretty much says it all, but LSTS crossing ELIHU says a little more, and then EMAC (!) ESSENES STAGG ouch ouch ouch. Ouch. 2/3 of the parts of M.I.T. in abbrev. form ... I don't understand this puzzle or what it thinks it's doing or what its idea of "entertainment" is. Honestly, one of the grid doctors or Shortz himself had an Obligation to tear out that entire NE corner, from BOURRÉE up (at a minimum) and redo it. 'Cause it's a disaster as is.
Couldn't pick a CITRON out of a line-up. Looks like ENRAPT just means ... RAPT (47D: Totally absorbed), so that was weird. Had LEOTARD instead of UNITARD (11D: Acrobat's wear). Had WAWA / LISA for ECHO / EMAC, and was happier. I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on the very existence of BOURRÉE in this puzzle. Look at that clue. It's got "popular" and "lute" in it. Those words have nothing to do with each other. They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near each other. Popular ... among lutists? Lutenists or whatever they're called? Louts? We are badly, perhaps fatally, stretching the meaning of the word "popular" here. And to have the obscure Frenchism sitting under ENBANC, that's a pont trop loin, mes amis. I asked some of my friends to say nice things about this puzzle, since I appear to be incapable. Lena: "it's [an] impressively open grid for a weds. and honestly I think the theme is neat" (though when pressed she agreed that the revealer didn't make much sense). Patrick: "I liked the clue for ENO" (25A: Composer of music "as ignorable as it is interesting"). I don't know who's being quoted there, but yes, fun clue, and with crosswordese like ENO, a new clue is always welcome. OK, that's enough. Good night.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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