Peg solitaire puzzle brand / SUN 3-27-16 / Longtime soap actress Hall / Latin word in back of dollar bill / Composer of Windows 95 start-up sound / 1914 battle site / One-named hitmaker of 1950s-60s
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Constructor: Patrick Blindauer
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Pitch Imperfect" — famous advertising slogans, but with one word anagrammed into another word, creating wackiness and "?" clues and all that...
- DON'T SQUEEZE THE RICH MAN ("Charmin")
- WE LOVE TO SEE YOU SLIME ("Smile") (what slogan is this??? oh ... looks like it was a McDonald's slogan for a few years in the early '00s)
- THIS DUB'S FOR YOU ("Bud's") (Budweiser)
- OBEY YOUR T-SHIRT ("Thirst") (is this Gatorade? Gah, YAH, Sprite! My bad...)
- THE FABRIC OF OUR VEILS ("Lives") (Cotton)
- YOU DESERVE A BAKER TODAY ("Break") (... another McDonald's!?!?! That seems ... like a foul)
Word of the Day: HI-Q (6D: Peg solitaire puzzle brand) —
board game for one player involving movement of pegs on a board with holes. Some sets use marbles in a board with indentations. The game is known simply as Solitaire in the United Kingdom where the card games are called Patience. It is also referred to as Brainvita (especially in India). // The first evidence of the game can be traced back to the court of Louis XIV, and the specific date of 1687, with an engraving made that year by Claude Auguste Berey of Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Princess of Soubise, with the puzzle by her side. The August, 1687 edition of the French literary magazine Mercure galant contains a description of the board, rules and sample problems. This is the first known reference to the game in print. // The standard game fills the entire board with pegs except for the central hole. The objective is, making valid moves, to empty the entire board except for a solitary peg in the central hole. (wikipedia)
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UNFRIENDED (79D: Cut ties with, in a way) and ROOMBA (76D: iRobot vacuum), this puzzle felt quite staid and dated. There were several patches of short fill that were very, very rough (ERES EVRY SEI RIEN—three languages in four adjacent answers?!; ISS SHH DEI OSHEA; TRURO DREI ESAU; etc.). It all felt somewhat old, somewhat uninspired, and the theme just didn't hang together neatly, or feel very special.
There must be a million advertising slogans, but it's actually probably very hard to find one where you can anagram a single word and make a wacky phrase out of it, so perhaps the theme is tighter, or at least harder to pull off, than I imagined at first. That said, the slogan seems to be "PLEASE Don't squeeze the Charmin," so some fudging has been allowed. That's fine. Was SMELT IN YOUR MOUTH, NOT IN YOUR HAND too long? Oh, yeah, way too long. GOOD TO THE LAST PROD? A LITTLE BAD'LL DO YA? LET YOUR FRINGES DO THE WALKING? THINK MALLS? I dunno. It's kind of fun to come up with these, but the concept still seems slightly weak. There's some hardcore old school proper noun crosswordese here, like TRURO and LEMA (both of which I learned from crosswords, both of which I've seen only in crosswords, only one of which I remembered today). ENDO ORDO AERO ... and then JEOPARDOUS, which is a word no one has ever used ever. I just kept waiting for this one to perk up, but it never did.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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