Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Constructors: Don Gagliardo and Zhouqin Burnikel
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: ABC (64A: One way of ordering things, like all the consonants in rows three, six and nine) - the consonants in these rows are indeed ALPHABETIZED
- BOCA (17A) - DEFOG(18A) - HOJO(19A)
- KOALA (28A) - MEN (30A) - PIQUE (31A)
- ORS (44A) - TOV (45A) - WAX (47A) - YAZ (48A)
Word of the Day: SALTON Sea (51D: California's_______Sea)
|We went to the Salton Sea in 2013 and there were many, many dead fish. Photo by Russell Bates|
The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in
California's Imperial and Coachella valleys.The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riversidecounties in Southern California. Its surface is 234.0 ft (71.3 m) below sea level. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamorivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks.(wikipedia)
• • •Hi there Rexual Beings. I'm Amy and I'm filling in for Rex today. This was a last-minute arrangement and I just got back from a wine tasting, so please forgive me if I'm a little sloshy. I'm not sure I would have accepted this assignment on a similarly wine-fueled Thursday night.
This was a slightly more challenging and significantly more rewarding Tuesday puzzle than I've seen in some time. There's almost no crappy fill and some sections are truly delightful. While I didn't need to spot the theme in order to solve the puzzle, I found it very clever that constructors Don Gagliardo and Zhouqin Burnikel managed to arrange three solid lines of answers that cumulatively contain every English consonant in alphabetical order.
That said, as an alumna of the San Diego Zoo summer curriculum, I must take issue with the myth-perpetuation that a KOALA (26A) is a bear. A KOALA is a marsupial, and a slow, stupid (though adorable) one at that. As an aside, here in Los Angeles, the citizenry is bitterly divided on the recent Koala v. Mountain Lion controversy.
I wish ODIE (14A: "Garfield Drooler), AMIE (36A: French female friend) and MOIRE(57D: Wavy-patterned fabric) would take a break from crosswords. Maybe a forever break. I also hate ELIZ (35D: Part of QE2: Abbr) - who says "Eliz"? Nobody, that's who.
Brand names show up more than usual with SKOR (13D: Hershey toffee bar), TARGET (40A: Walmart competitor), DASANI (42A: Fiji competitor), PELLA (53D: Big name in windows), PIK (62A: Commercial ending with Water) and HARDEES (69A: Sister fast-food chain of Carl's Jr.).
I approve of ON A DIET(20A: Losing some love handles) and HOME GAMES (49A: They're never away), neither of which I've seen before in that context.
Signed, Amy Seidenwurm, Undersecretary of CrossWorld
[Check out Amy's website - You And What Amy]