Disney bigwig Bob / TUE 3-8-16 / Cuckoo from Yiddish / Rebellious Turner / Virgin island that's 60% national park / Marry cutie on qt / Like Beatles in 1960s lingo
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
- FUSEBOX (17A: Something to check if the lights go out)
- SET THE TABLE (22A: Lay out plates, silverware, napkins, etc.)
- OTTO PREMINGER (37A: "Anatomy of a Murder" director)
- MINUTE STEAK (48A: Quick-cooking cut of meat)
Saint John (Spanish: San Juan ; Dutch: Sint Hans; French: Saint-Jean ; Danish: Sankt Jan) is one of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea and a constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an unincorporated territory of the United States. [...] Since 1956, approximately 60% of the island is protected as Virgin Islands National Park, administered by the United States National Park Service. (wikipedia)
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PAX (7D: ___ Romana). That's a pretty wide-open corner for a Tuesday. Hard to get traction. Had a little trouble in the NE corner as well; but by the time I got to their symmetrical counterparts, I was flying through them with no effort. Just having MINUTE STEAK in place, which gave me the first letters for the 5-letter Downs in the SW, meant that I tore that corner up without hesitation—every answer went straight in with just one glance at the clue. This is just to say that having a single answer in the right place can be the difference between struggling with a section and eating it for breakfast.
The very idea of FURCOATs is nauseating to me (unless you're an Inuit or a 19th-century Russian or Aretha Franklin), so I am constitutionally unable to Love this puzzle, but it's well made. The whole wrapping conceit is old hat, but it's executed nicely here. This was definitely spicier and bouncier all around than your average Tuesday (which is too often boo!-sday). I know nothing about ST. JOHN (8D: Virgin Island that's 60% national park), but was able to get it from the terminal -HN (not a lot of options with that pattern). Wrote in EPCOT for SOCAL (which ... yeah, I have no good excuse. I have only poor excuses) (20A: Disneyland locale, briefly). I lived in southern California for four years and never called it SOCAL, so that abbr., while completely legal, always irks me somehow. Looking these corners over now, the Across stacks are all very nice-looking. Clean, solid Tuesday. One thing, though: crossing MAME (39D: Broadway auntie) with MAMIE (41A: Mrs. Eisenhower) seems ... lame? Lamie? It *feels* like a violation, even if it isn't. Or maybe it's a *feature*—a little sing-songy crossing to brighten your day. Or maybe it's a meaningless accident. Or a pterodactyl. You decide.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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