Soviet co-op / SAT 6-11-16 / French siege site of 1597 / Children's song about avain anatomy / Post-stunt provocation / Aye's opposite poetically / Ill-fated old-style / Poison also called white arsenic / Third-ever best actor oscar winner
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Constructor: Andrew Kingsley
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: somebody named ARLISS? (42D: Third-ever Best Actor Oscar winner) —
George Arliss (10 April 1868 – 5 February 1946) was an English actor, author, playwright and filmmaker who found success in the United States. He was the first British actor to win an Academy Award, as well as being the earliest-born actor to win one. // Disraeli is a 1929 American historical film directed by Alfred E. Green, released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., and adapted by Julien Josephson and De Leon Anthony from the 1911 play Disraeli by Louis N. Parker. // The title card states, Mr. George Arliss in "Disraeli". His performance as British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The story revolves around the British plan to buy the Suez Canal and the efforts of two spies to stop it. As with the original 1911 Broadway play and its 1917 revival, and the 1921 silent film, Arliss' wife Florence appeared opposite him in the role of Disraeli's wife, Mary Anne (Lady Beaconsfield). (wikipedia)
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"TOP THAT!", "I CAN EXPLAIN," MALL SANTA). Normally, strong longer stuff can make you forget the weaker short stuff, but there was just too much foreignisticness and bygoneitude (esp. in the proper name category), in addition to the prefixy abbrevibe of the 3- 4-letter stuff, for me to feel much joy. Problems started right away, when 1A: Ones hanging around a deli? was transparent to me because I swear I just saw it. Like ... just. SALAMIS was the first and only answer I thought of. And it fit, and the crosses worked. C'mon! "?" clues have a hardcore obligation to be Original. I sincerely thought I'd opened an old puzzle at first by mistake. But no. Then, things failed to get better. No idea what RATSBANE is (13A: Poison also called white arsenic), ALOUETTE is boring (16A: Children's song about avian anatomy), INTL is INTL, ABES were never a thing (it's like a longstanding crossword hoax, this ABES = $5 bills concept) ... then I turned the corner into the truly ACCURST part of the grid (fittingly crammed with the likes of PARI- and RARA and my good old friend ERST. Oof.) SELFIE STICK was a definite tick up in liveliness, and I like DEMIJOHN OK too. But AMIENS and J'AI were a pont trop loin after ALOUETTE. And then ONEL PTAS ... the whole thing just NE'ER got off the ground.
SO DOPE is the Green Paint of "modern lingo" (56A: Way cool, in modern lingo). DOPE, I buy. The SO part, not so much. SORAD, I also would not buy. See also SOBOSS, SONEATO, even SOCOOL. JOE COOL, however, would get a pass. I hate the word SEPAL because reasons. It reminds me of that other word I hate because I never see it except in crosswords ... SEP- something. Something Indian. Like an Indian soldier? Am I making this up? [googles] I'm not! SEPOY! Unh! Selfie High Five! Anyway, screw 5-letter SEP- words, man. Ancient, non-baseball-sitcom ARLISS (so, non-"ARLI$$") next to "Annette [Annette who!?! Funicello??] Sings ANKA" (!?) really made my knees buckle with ERST sadness. But the worst was having the last letter into the grid be the "T" in something called an ARTEL? (45D: Soviet co-op). I know you'd like me to accept that that is a thing, but that will NE'ER happen. Unless it's a motel just for arhats. Then I'm in.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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