Kimono closer / WED 6-15-16 / Oxymoronic purchase at blowout sale / Red card issuer for short / Hyman main antagonist Godfather II
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Constructor: Jason Flinn
Relative difficulty: Medium
- FIFTY-FIRST STATE (17A: Country that's an extremely close American ally, so to speak)
- SIXTH SENSE (24A: Special perception)
- THIRD RAIL (36A: Power source for a subway train)
- FIFTH WHEEL (50A: Unwanted tagalong)
- conveying disapproval, displeasure, or disgust.
"The greatest writer in the English language? Feh!" (google)
• • •
FIFTH WHEEL. Neither of us had every heard the expression FIFTY-FIRST STATE (and she's a U.S. Historian). I guess the theme has a certain consistency and is kind of interesting. I'm mostly hung up on the fill, which was highly displeasing in several sections. It is really irksome when the places in the grid that give you the most grief are also the places in the grid with the worst fill, and that was certainly true for me today. SOLD AS, ugh. Clue was [Billed to be] and I had SO- and could think of nothing but SO-CALLED, but that wouldn't fit. SOLDAS. Just look at it. Gah.
But worse, empirically (and for me, personally) was DIE OF / FEH. Ugh to FEH in general, but DIE OF ... well, it's terrible, but worse is the first-letter cross, 1D: In the wrong place at the wrong time? (OFFSIDE). There is no reason for the "?" there. If you are OFFSIDE in soccer, or US football, you are literally "in the wrong place at the wrong time." No "?" needed. Also, other answers fit: OFFBASE, for one (my first answer). Also, OFFSITE (my second). I finished the puzzle and was staring at "TIE OF embarrassment," and all my crosses seemed to check out and I had no idea what was going on. Now that I know it's DIE OF, it seems obvious, but it Did Not seem obvious at first. So my biggest problem was in the area with junkiest fill—this always corrodes the puzzle-solving experience for me. It's one thing not to get something, quite another to have that thing be not at all worth getting.
[photo by Shannon Hazlitt]
Oh, I left out the part where, before the vigil started, the woman standing right next to me said to her mother "Let's work on the crossword!" and whipped out a book and they just went at it. Right there. Right next to me. It was slightly surreal. And yes of course I took a picture.
- 37D: Hyman ___, main antagonist in "The Godfather Part II" (ROTH) — just saw this movie last month. Didn't help.
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