Five-time Olympian Torres / TUE 6-21-16 / Spanish soccer star Sergio / Big part of ship's rigging / Steaming Mexican treat
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Constructor: Julie Bérubé
Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Tuesday)
THEME: SUPER / CALI / FRAGI / LISTIC / EXPI / ALID / OCIOUS — those parts of the "Mary Poppins" song appear in circled squares in the grid
Word of the Day: Saoirse RONAN (7D: "Brooklyn" actress Saoirse) —
Saoirse Una Ronan (/ / SUR-shə; born April 12, 1994) is an Irish-American actress. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee; receiving Best Supporting Actress nomination for Atonement (2007), and a Best Actress nomination for Brooklyn (2015). She also received three BAFTA Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, two Screen Actors Guild nominations and two Satellite Award.
She had her feature film debut in the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007). Other notable film roles include City of Ember (2008), The Lovely Bones (2009), Hanna (2011), The Way Back (2010), Byzantium (2012), The Host (2013), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). // In January 2016, Ronan featured in Forbes '30 Under 30' in both the European and USA editions. In March 2016, Ronan made her Broadway debut in a revival of The Crucible, playing the role of Abigail Williams. In June 2016, Ronan appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine, one of ten young leaders selected as 'Next Generation Leaders'.
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RAMOS. I didn't see "Brooklyn," but I watched the whole interview Colbert did with Saoirse RONAN and still couldn't come up with her name. Those two names alone accounted for 50% of the difficulty in this puzzle, which was otherwise pretty easy. RONAN was particularly vexing, as I had no idea about the "R" cross (6A: Mate) because I just had --O and all I could think of was "TWO" (?!) and the "B" in BRO wasn't coming because even by the time I got -OOTIE into place at 6D: Baby's footwear, I hesitated. Thought maybe FOOTIE was a thing (though I see now that "foot" is in the clue so that was always impossible). RAMOS I was able to take down through crosses a little more expeditiously. I also had FERMI winning gold medals at the Olympics in the '20s (60% correct), but that worked itself out fairly quickly as well.
As for the theme, it's cute, of course. I mean, who doesn't like that song, Julie Andrews, etc. It's not a theme you want to scrutinize too hard though, because you'll notice that normal thematic symmetry has been completely chucked out the window, and that CALI is a total outlier for not being pronounced in its answer the way it is in the song, and that the real divide, syllabically, should be ALI / DOCIOUS, not ALID / OCIOUS (just listen, or sing it, you'll see), and that ATROCIOUS is a cop-out since that word (unlike all the other theme answers containing song syllables) is actually *in* the song. Prominently. FEROCIOUS might've been nice there. Anyway, as I say, if you just finish the puzzle, hum the tune, put the puzzle away, you're good.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. also, just last year, there was this epic version of this same theme. So, constructors ... maybe save that "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" crossword you're working on 'til, I don't know, 2026, at least. :)
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