Fictional character with ring of power / SAT 5-21-16 / Protagonist is Wilde's Canterville ghost / Gotcha in old lingo / Presidential moniker on west wing
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Constructor: Jason Flinn
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: "Rats Live ON NO Evil Star" (8D: Anne Sexton's palindrome-inspired poem "Rats Live ___ Evil Star") —
[source]A palindrome seen on the side of a barn in Ireland
After Adam broke his rib in two
and ate it for supper,
after Adam, from the waist up,
an old mother,
had begun to question the wonder
Eve was brought forth.
Eve came out of that rib like an angry bird.
She came forth like a bird that got loose
suddenly from its cage.
Out of the cage came Eve,
She was clothed in her skin like the sun
and her ankles were not for sale.
God looked out through his tunnel
and was pleased.
Adam sat like a lawyer
and read the book of life.
Only his eyes were alive.
They did the work of a blast furnace.
Only later did Adam and Eve go galloping,
galloping into the apple.
They made the noise of the moon-chew
and let the juice fall down like tears.
Because of this same apple
Eve gave birth to the evilest of creatures
with its bellyful of dirt
and its hair seven inches long.
It had two eyes full of poison
and routine pointed teeth.
Thus Eve gave birth.
In this unnatural act
she gave birth to a rat.
It slid from her like a pearl.
It was ugly, of course,
but Eve did not know that
and when it died before its time
she placed its tiny body
on that piece of kindergarten called STAR.
Now all us cursed ones falling out after
with our evil mouths and our worried eyes
die before our time
but do not go to some heaven, some hell
but are put on the RAT’S STAR
which is as wide as Asia
and as happy as a barbershop quartet.
We are put there beside the three thieves
for the lowest of us all
deserve to smile in eternity
like a watermelon.
• • •
[This is how I started: note my trusted quadstack strategy of Quickly Throw in Whatever First Comes To Mind For The Downs and See Where You're At. It worked!!]
LAS to ETS and then clued 50D THEMS as ["___ fightin' words!"]. This is because I hate everything about the word SLAVER and ditto AHEMS (though for very different reasons). To be clear, SLAVER is a word, so it's not empirically bad. It's just a matter of taste. I would rather sail around the unpleasant associations there If Possible. I guess you could change the clue on SLAVER to refer to drool, but gross (you've already got SNOT in the puzzle—why push it?). You could also change SLAVER to SHAVER, but you'd get HAS at 49A right next to *HAD* A HEART OF GOLD, so that wouldn't really work. My way gets you Hall-of-Fame pitcher and fellow Fresnan Tom SEAVER, a saucer full of ETS, *and* "THEMS fightin' words!" It's a winning combination.
[Here I was at the halfway point: just a handful of tiny openings to try to squeeze through]
I laughed at "Boy, DOI!" once I finally figured out it was "Boy, DO I!" "Boy DOI" is much more fun to say. Here is a poem I wrote from the answers in this grid about a beatnik who gets revenge on his square boss by ramming the boss's car with a shopping cart:
Take that, Sexton!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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