She in Lisbon / WED 6-8-16 / Former Israeli PM Barak / Proselytizer's handout / Metallurgist's sample
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Constructor: Sean Dobbin
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: wacky celebrity "-ing" pun phrases
- HOLDEN TANK (17A: Military vehicle for actor William?)
- BACON POWDER (24A: Makeup for actor Kevin?)
- DANSON SHOES (36A: Footwear for actor Ted?)
- WALKEN STICK (47A: Cudgel for actor Christopher?)
- LANDON GEAR (57A: Equipment for actor Michael?)
Omsk stretches along the banks of the north-flowing Irtysh at its confluence with the smaller Om River. The city has an elevation of 87 meters (285 ft) above mean sea level at its highest point. // Omsk is an important railroad hub, and is the junction point for the northern and southern branches of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city also serves as a major hub for the regional highway network. River-port facilities handle both passengers and freight, giving the city access to navigating the extensive waterways of the Irtysh and Ob River. The waterways connect Omsk with the coal and mineral-mining towns further up the river in Kazakhstan, as well as with the oil, natural gas and lumber operations of northern Siberia. Omsk is served by the Tsentralny Airport, which offers access to domestic and international (primarily, German and Kazakh) destinations, making the city an important aviation hub for Siberia and the Russian Far East. (wikipedia)
• • •BERN crossing CRATERS? Interesting. It's at least mildly ironic to get a "Feel the BERN" reference today, considering what a historic night Clinton had last night. So the slogan makes it into the crossword at the very moment that the slogan becomes (or begins to become) historically erst (BERN crossing CRATERS....). Speaking of erst yore bygonedness—the clue on KODAK (48D: Big employer in Rochester, N.Y.). Constructors / editors / anyone who will listen—you might want to update your cluing database. Maybe you heard what happened to, uh, film over the past two decades or so. Long story short, KODAK is no longer even in the Top Ten of Rochester-area employers. Longtime solvers of erstwhile puzzles will still associate that company with that city, but as a firm believer that puzzles should dwell in the present, I want clues to be current. 2016 puzzles, 2016 data, please. I don't have much to say about this theme. It has an ersty feel to it as well—corny wordplay, of a kind I am certain I've seen before. Puns are cute, but not LOL-worthy. Some of the short fill is unfortunate. Most of the fill overall is acceptable, but no better than that. I'm a big fan of UMPTEEN, but not much else.
["... last year, on that stupid 'Dame EDNA' special.."]
Took a while to put together HOLDEN TANK, but after that, things whipped right along. I wrote DUB in at 29A: Burj Khalifa's home: Abbr. which was simultaneously smart and dumb (it *is* in Dubai, but DUB ... is not an abbr. ... for that ... place). Had trouble getting LL BEAN from 44D: Competitor of The North Face since I think of LL BEAN as a store and a catalogue and The North Face as just a brand. So NW and SE gave me a little trouble, but the rest was very simple. Here are some late-night puzzle thoughts from some of my Twitter followers:
And here's Indie 500 Crossword Tournament Best Handwriting winner Brian Cimmet not-so-quietly judging me for my Worst Handwriting medal. I would show you our handwritings side by side (as tourney organizers did when they posted them on the wall at the back of the ballroom), but I don't want to spoil the puzzles for people who are solving at home...
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