Green person for short / WED 4-13-16 / Dogie-bagging rope / Oil dispenser on Food Network show / Comic srip featuring Satchel Pooch Bucky Katt / Knights villainous group in Force Awakens
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Constructor: Tony Orbach
Relative difficulty: Challenging (for a Wed.)
THEME: ET SEQ (45D: Bibliographical abbr.)—this isn't the theme, but it's close. The "ET" sound follows ... a familiar phrase, to make a new, wacky phrase, clued wackily ("?"-style):
- TELEVISION CRUET (17A: Oil dispenser on a Food Network show?)
- MOUNTAIN DUET (28A: Genre for "Dueling Banjos"?)
- VANITY FERRET (46A: Weasellike animal kept as a fashion accessory?)
- MAGAZINE RACQUET (60A: Equipment endorsed by Inside Tennis?)
Get Fuzzy is an American comic strip written and drawn by Darby Conley. The strip features the adventures of Boston advertising executive Rob Wilco and his two anthropomorphic pets, a dog named Satchel Pooch and a cat called Bucky Katt. Get Fuzzy has been published by United Feature Syndicate since September 6, 1999. It appears in over 700 newspapers worldwide. (wikipedia)
• • •
WALSH (never watched one second of "Grey's Anatomy") (3D: Actress Kate of "Grey's Anatomy") and, despite teaching a course on Comics, I've never heard of "GET FUZZY." Like, ever. Well, maybe that's not true—I was able to put it together from "GET F----," so it must've been in there somewhere, but that strip is not in our paper and even looking at it now it is Not familiar. Also, I saw "The Force Awakens," but it did not register that there were "Knights of REN" or that they were a villainous group" in that movie. Kylo-REN ... I remember. But somehow I just thought of that REN as a patronymic or suffix or something. A whole group? Again, yikes. So many proper nouns, so many of them beyond me. I know the phrase "lay into." I do not know the phrase "LACE INTO" (9D: Give an earful). Since SEED (12D: Sow) and CDS (22A: Ones put on the rack?) were both clued tough, I had a very hard time picking up CRUET, and even when I did, I could not see the theme / wordplay. Only after getting MOUNTAIN DUET did I notice what was going on (and thus understand that "television crew" was the base phrase in that first themer). Theme feels really loose, and without a good revealer ... I don't know. Loose. That's all I got. Not tight. Seems like you could do this theme all day long (DEER TICKET, BE A PALLET, etc.), though the actual themers all involve respellings of the original (base phrase) words as well as the added -ET, so maybe the theme's tighter than I imagine. But then again, you've got a problem with DUET—it's an outlier because the "-ET" actually gets the stress (i.e it's not DOO-et, it's doo-ET), where the other -ETs are unstressed. So maybe, once again, the theme is too loose.
Only one of the themers (VANITY FERRET) really made me te(e)hee. There is some lively fill here and there. SCHERZO, for instance—that's lively, I hear (23A: Lively movement). Not sure how I feel about ENVIRO crossing ETHNO. Those are two prefixes. I see ENVIRO is trying to pass as a stand-alone word, but I believe that about as much as I believe ARISTO is a stand-alone word, i.e. not much. The clue on WANDS is so hard! (68A: They may be waved at concerts). I assume these are the metal detector WANDS they might "wave" over you as you enter to make sure you're not packing? I can't imagine what other WANDS could be at issue. Well, whether it's security WANDS or some other WANDS I don't understand: hard [UPDATE: so ... everyone says it's conductors that wave WANDS. I'm sure this is right, but I am also sure this is wrong. Conductors. Wave. Batons. They aren't. Bleeping. Magicians. Thank you.]. [And now younger people are insisting it's these WANDS ...
... and professional conductors are telling me WANDS is b.s. as a substitute for "baton" so ... I remain #teamsecuritywand. You can vote for whatever you want. Takeaway here: this clue is terrible.] [Final update, I swear: Amy Reynaldo tells me the WANDS clue was not Tony's—he had a Harry Potter clue. Constructor, exonerated.]
ERUCT is giving me minor indigestion. Or maybe that's the coffee milkshake I had for dessert. Either way, I think I'll just sleep on this one and hope for something sweeter and more soothing come Thursday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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