All students at Eton / MON 3-4-16 / Actress Uta / Billiards variant / Went in haste / Billionaire Aristotle
Monday, April 4, 2016
Before we begin, I just want to say that this puzzle was very disappointing, even for a Monday. The lineup of the corners was all wrong, and the clues were predictable. Indeed, as I puzzle over my morning coffee and newspaper, I have to think about the fact that I am feeling very grouchy at the moment, and....APRIL FOOLS IT'S AN ANNABEL MONDAY!!!!! (@Rex, ISWEAR I am laughing with you and not at you! alsopleasedon'tfiremethanks)
Constructor: David Kwong
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: BACK COUNTRY — Circled letters in theme answers spell out the names of countries, backwards.
- 17A: Actor who portrayed Newman on "Seinfeld" (WAYNE KNIGHT - Kenya)
- 22A: Obvious indication (CLEAR SIGN - Israel)
- 34A: It may keep cafeteria food warm (HEAT LAMP - Malta)
- 43A: Billiards variant (NINEBALL - Benin)
- 54A: Ushers' offerings (PLAYBILLS - Libya)
- 61A: Rural area...or what could be found in each set of circled letters? (BACKCOUNTRY)
Word of the Day: NINE-BALL (CLUE) —
(Wikipedia)Nine-ball (sometimes written 9-ball) is a contemporary form of pool (pocket billiards), with historical beginnings rooted in the United States and traceable to the 1920s. The game may be played in social and recreational settings by any number of players (generally one-on-one) and subject to whatever rules are agreed upon beforehand, or in league and tournament settings in which the number of players and the rules are set by the sponsors. During much of its history, nine-ball has been known as a "money game" in both professional and recreational settings, but has since become established as a legitimate alternative to eight ball, straight pool and other major competition games.In recent decades, nine-ball has become the dominant tournament game in professional pool, in the World Pool-Billiard Association, Women's Professional Billiard Association and United States Professional Poolplayers Association. Matches proceed quickly, suitable for the time constraints of television coverage, and the fast-paced games tend to keep the audience engaged.
Alright, yes, I cheated. I'm a Cheaty McCheaterpants. But I couldn't find my mistake anywhere! I was absolutely positive that the Italian word for new is NUEVA, not NUOVA...note to self: put "learn at least a little more about Italian" on my TODO list! Also, BAD ODE ROW makes me want to write a poorly-constructed poem about a crew team, and GOP ADMITS HIM is a decent little sentence fragment. Apart from that, the fill was pretty meh. Or maybe I'm just bitter because it had a lot of celebrities I'd never heard of. (Aristotle ONASSIS has a pretty cool life, though. You learn something new every day.)
I was actually a huge fan of the theme!!! First of all, I understood it from getting 61A right rather than the other way around, which is always good for a Monday theme I think because it makes it more fun to go back and think about what might fit into the theme clues. Second of all, I love the BACKCOUNTRY. My high school used to go on these trips where it would just be us, the wilderness, ginormous bulging backpacks that felt heavier than we were, and a tarp to sleep under. I think we pretty much survived on bagels and oatmeal. Ahhh, those were the days.
- REF (39A: Red or yellow card issuer) — So, did you know that in rugby, the sport where the ball is basically just there so you have an excuse to beat each other up, you're supposed to be suuuuper respectful to the ref? You have to call them "sir" or "ma'am" and only ever gently suggest things to them. I am saying this because we had our first rugby game of the season today and it was super cool - literally, we played in the snow. Oh well. As one of my friends said, at least we didn't have to ice our rugby-induced injuries after the game, since they were getting plenty of ice on them during the game.
- ORBE (32D: "Kill ____ killed) — If you like games at all, and haven't played "Undertale," I highly recommend it.
- SURF (27A: Explore, as the Internet) — My sister learned to surf one time. A couple of her teeth got knocked out, but she still loves it. Takes after her sister.
- WAYNE KNIGHT (17A: Actor who portrayed Newman on "Seinfeld") — You think the current co-owner of a dog named Little Jerry Seinfeld was gonna let this one slip by her?
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