Milkman made famous by Zero Mostel / SUN 5-8-16 / Tricky start to tennis rally / 1982 coming-of-age movie / French suffix that's anagram of 4-Down / Second-largest moon of Uranus / Venetian dignitaries of old / Long-jawed fishes
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Constructor: David J. Kahn
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- CHANGE YOUR [WATER] WAYS (27A: Advice to captains plagued by pirates?) / FIS[HHO]OKS
- [WATER] MAIN COURSE (35A: Direction taken by a large pipe?) / GROWT[HHO]RMONE
- DOGGY [WATER] BAG (63A: Container to keep a canine cool?) / WIT[HHO]NORS
- HOT [WATER] WIRES (72A: Telegrams sent by those in trouble?) / RANC[HHO]USE
- GOOD AS GOLD[WATER] (95A: Conservative's opinion of the Republican presidential candidates?) / JEWIS[HHO]LIDAY
- SALT [WATER] OF THE EARTH (108A: Oceans?) / RUS[HHO]URS
• • •
GOOD AS GOLD[WATER], which puts WATER in an unexpected context. I don't even know what a "water bag" is (DOGGY [WATER] BAG). I also don't know what an ESTH is. Perhaps this is because they don't exist (see Word of the Day definition, above). They are bygone. Archaic. "Ancestors" of current Estonians. As if ESTH isn't bad enough as an answer, we have to endure this quintessentially Maleskan clue nonsense? Yikes. Just admit you have a biblical abbr. there and move along.
Here is a puzzle you should do. It's called "Squished Bugs" and it's by solving / constructing phenom Erik Agard. It plays like a very clever, very tricky Thursday. So eventually you'll get the gimmick, and you'll "finish" the puzzle and you'll think "that was really good." And then ... maybe you'll notice ... something ... about one of the puzzle's answers ... but enough hints. Just go solve. The solver response to this one has been really remarkable. (I recommend solving in .puz / AcrossLite, though you can print out the .PDF and solve it with a pen/pencil, no problem)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Looks like a bunch of people are getting Naticked at K.T. OSLIN (83A: Country music's K. T. ___) / Mark van DOREN. (63D: Poet Mark Van ___). I knew both, but I sympathize, and agree: those are not names that should be crossing. OSLIN was briefly well known, I think, in the '80s / '90s (?), and Mark Van DOREN won a Pulitzer for poetry, but that was a long time ago (1940) and really, how many Pulitzer winners for poetry can you name? That's not to say that their names don't belong in puzzles—they do! But don't cross them with other marginal names at hard-to-infer letters.
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