Small slim daggers / SAT 5-7-16 / Mother or son Philippine president / Hall of Fame NBA player known as Worm / Show title shown on license plate / One of singing Braxton sisters / Longtime nickname in comics / Wehre Bambara is widely spoken
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Constructor: Kyle Mahowald
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (all easy *except* NE corner, where I got stuck for a bit)
Word of the Day: PONIARDS (1A: Small, slim daggers) —
Poignard, or poniard, (Fr.), refers to a long, lightweight thrusting knife with a continuously tapering, acutely pointed blade and crossguard, historically worn by the upper class, noblemen, or the knighthood. Similar in design to a parrying dagger, the poignard emerged during the Middle Ages and was used during the Renaissance in Western Europe, particularly in France, Switzerland, and Italy. (wikipedia)
[let google write the clues for you!]
• • •
MAC PRO is a thing that exists. I am only just learning this. I owned a MAC*book* PRO for years, so that, I'm familiar with. But MAC PRO? No. Wikipedia tells me that "It is the high-end model of the three desktop computers in the current Mac lineup, the other two being the iMac and Mac Mini." So there we are. I would've gotten IMAC and MACMINI, for the record. MAC PRO, ugh. What really makes me angry is that of course the *first* thing I thought of on seeing the clue 9A: Apple variety was computers. It's Saturday, so of course it's computer apple and not apple apple. Only, not knowing this brand, I went back to apple apples ("Clever move, puzzle—going all Monday when you know I'm *looking* for Saturday," I thought). And so I was looking for the edible kind of apple. Like some kind of rube.
Got a very fast start. Guessed at AFT and RIGS and then tested my first Acros—bam: SIGHT GAG (17A: Many a Harpo Marx joke):
[just ignore the typo, thanks]
I thought the longer answers here were fantastic, and that's what you want them to be in a themeless. Well, any time your answers are fantastic, that's great, but since you aren't hemmed in by theme material on themelesses, you really should be able to deliver "fantastic" (as opposed to just "solid") at least a few times. I didn't cringe at anything here. I can take a little crosswordese (EES, ONE-A) when everything else is humming. It was really, really easy though (NE corner notwithstanding). ELENA Ferrante, Dennis RODMAN, the DYNAMIC DUO—all this stuff is right in my wheelhouse. I went through the bottom half of the puzzle like it was Tuesday or Wednesday, esp. the SE, which was a blur.
Wanted: NOGOZONE (instead of -AREA) (3D: Place to be avoided). ARID (instead of ARAB) (25A: Like Egypt). Otherwise, no issues outside of that NE corner.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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