Constituent part of Russia bordering Mongolia / THU 3-17-16 / 1990s fad game piece / Vin classification / Home invasion in police shorthand / Live ESPN broadcast every June / Some repurposed corn fields / Repeated title role for Jim Carrey
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Constructor: David Woolf
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: TURN OF EVENTS (59A: Unforeseen development ... or a feature seen four times in this puzzle's answers?) — four answers take a 90-degree "turn" somewhere in the middle of the letter string "EVENT":
- PREVENTABLE (17A: Like many disasters, in hindsight)
- SEVENTEEN (10D: Hearst monthly)
- ACE VENTURA (37D: Repeated title role for Jim Carrey)
- TURN OF EVENTS
Russian: Респу́блика Тыва́, tr. Respublika Tyva; IPA: [rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə tɨˈva]; Tuvan: Тыва Республика, Tyva Respublika, [təˈvɑ risˈpublikɑ]), Tyva or Tuva (Tuvan: Тыва, Russian: Тува́), is a federal subject of Russia (a republic, also defined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation as a state). It lies in the geographical center of Asia, in southern Siberia. The republic borders the Altai Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, and the Republic of Buryatia in Russia and Mongolia to the south. Its capital is the city of Kyzyl. Population: 307,930 (2010 Census). // From 1921 until 1944, Tuva constituted a sovereign, independent nation, under the name of Tannu Tuva, officially, the Tuvan People's Republic, or the People's Republic of Tannu Tuva. The independence of Tannu Tuva, however, was recognized only by its neighbours: the Soviet Union and Mongolia. // Forests, mountains, and steppe make up a large part of the geography of Tuva. // A majority of the people are Tyvans, but Russian is also spoken extensively. Tuva is governed by the Great Khural, which elects a chairman for a four-year term. The current chairman is Sholban Kara-ool.
• • •
SATANISTS! gleefully, but here we are (20A: Devilish sorts?). OPEN TABLE, likewise great (5D: Restaurant availability). The cluing was a little on the easy side, which seems a reasonable strategy for offsetting the difficulty of figuring out the loopy grid trick. Though the puzzle seems to want me to be angry (SEETHE! ENRAGE! RANT!), I liked this one a whole lot: clever, clean, fun to solve.
The only parts that gave me a little scare were those teeny tiny corners. I honestly thought I might get stuck in the SW when the two little Downs ended up being mutually cross-referenced, and I couldn't figure out 66A: 100+, say (HOT). But then I calmed down and thought "Question that's an anagram of a question... there aren't really many options here." So WHO and HOW and done. In the NE corner, likewise, I wasn't sure if it was NAP or NOD (11A: Drift off), and for all I know Ginsberg wrote a poem about Plutonian ORE, so ... there was a little bit of muddling around up there before it all fell into place. None of the other nooks and crannies gave me trouble.
EVA PERON). I was weirdly happy to see the return of the Ampersandwich, i.e. the letter+AND+letter-patterned answer. Today: B AND E (15A: Home invasion, in police shorthand). I feel like we used to see these a lot more. I find them slightly charming, and they add to trickiness levels. I was also happy to end on a high note (figuratively) and end in a high place (literally)—last answer in the grid was APEXES (51D: Tops).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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