Bonkers in modern lingo / WED 5-25-16 / Eastern mediterranean port since ancient times / Dough in hand redundantly / Acronym on Beyonce records
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Constructor: Andrew J. Ries
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: JOHNNY ON THE SPOT (38A: Person who's ready and able to help ... or a literal description of four occurrences in this puzzle)— theme answers start with words that are also the last names of famous JOHNNYs, and each of those first words sits on top of an "AD" (aka a radio or TV "SPOT"):
- CASH MONEY (17A: Dough in hand, redundantly)
- CARSON CITY (25A: State capital near Lake Tahoe)
- BENCH PRESS (52A: Gym activity that works the pectorals)
- ROTTEN EGG (64A: Last one in, say) (this clue isn't right—it's "Last one in, in a familiar expression," not "... say"; ROTTEN EGG is not a synonym for "Last one in"—in fact, "Last one in" is only a ROTTEN EGG in that one expression)
Daryl Christine Hannah (born December 3, 1960) is an American film actress. She is known for her performances in the films Blade Runner (1982), Splash (1984), Roxanne (1987), Wall Street (1987), Steel Magnolias (1989) and Kill Bill (2003). She is also an environmental campaigner who has been arrested for protests against developments that are believed by some groups to threaten sustainability. (wikipedia)
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ADEE, ADLAI, ADA. I don't understand why JOHNNY itself is not on top of an "AD"—seems like, conceptually, that would've been more consistent / elegant. Instead you've got ATTA under there, which is as bad as anything in the grid (see ADEE). But I think the theme works and I like the little "AD" twist and so it seems like a fine Wednesday puzzle overall.
I blanked on DRAKE (9A: "Take Care" rapper, 2012), even *with* the "K" in place. I own two DRAKE albums. So that's oddly embarrassing. "Hotline Bling" rapper, I'd've gotten. Had TWIST CAP for TWIST TOP (40D: Resealable bottle feature). I also didn't get FEED at first go round (61D: Farm store purchase) and took a couple passes to back my way into the SW corner (BENCH PRESS and OH COOL not coming immediately to mind). That is the full tally of all my problems. Otherwise, this one was just see-clue-write-answer fast. Bam bam bam (3:36). Faster than yesterday, which was a pretty easy Tuesday. So the whole week is running super-simple so far.
Looks like we got EDINA back, after having to endure that not-famous Minneapolis suburb whose name I've already forgotten this past Sunday. DEANE? Oh, no, right: EAGAN. Blargh. The constructor is a Minnesotan, so EDINA is this puzzle's version of a home-state shout-out, I imagine. See also OH COOL, both because Minneapolis / St. Paul is a cool place to be (I visit my best friends there whenever I can) and because it's *&#^%ing cold there, but if you live there, you're used to it, so when you walk outside in January, you're like, "OH ... COOL. Better put on pants."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. it occurs to me that you can SPOT someone MONEY (a ten-SPOT, perhaps) and you SPOT someone on the BENCH PRESS and ... I don't know, a CITY (like CARSON CITY) is a SPOT (i.e. a location), and EGG ... uh, something to do with spot? SPOTted egg? Honestly don't see the egg angle. But maybe that's the elusive theme element the constructor is crowing about.
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