Duck lookalike / FRI 7-8-16 / Oz salutation / Ilmenite is chief one / Discoverer of New Zealand / 1995 Emmy winner Sofer / European city whose name means eat
Friday, July 8, 2016
Constructor: Barry C. Silk
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: Kirmans (7D: Kirmans, e.g.) —
Kerman carpets (sometimes "Kirman") are one of the traditional classifications of Persian carpets. They are named after Kerman, which is both a city and a province located in south central Iran, though, as with other such designations the term describes a type which may have been manufactured somewhere else. Kerman has been a major center for the production of high quality carpets since at least the 15th century. In the 18th century, some authors considered the carpets from the province of Kerman, especially at Siftan, to be the finest of all Persian carpets, partly because of the high quality of the wool from the region, known as Carmania wool. (wikipedia)
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BLACK FRIDAY) and 64A: Follower of 1-Across on the calendar (CYBER MONDAY). It's a Friday, no need to condescend with the additional information. My first impulse would've been a date anyway (I was thinking CHRISTMAS EVE / NEW YEAR'S DAY ... those didn't pan out). The puzzle was reasonably enjoyable overall, though the cross-references were a little out of control—two sets of cross-referenced pairs, and then two more clues that require you to look elsewhere in the grid for the information. Nuisance cluing. You can have one or two cross-references, but six? Come on. Also, duplicate clues? Not that exciting, and again, today we get an overdose (2xWord of Warcraft figure, 2xCivil War battle site). Overall, the grid was pretty smooth, if overly reliant on overly familiar stuff. Nothing about the grid really stands out, but it was pleasant to solve.
The only thing that was interesting from a personal solving standpoint was that in both the north and the south I could not parse one of the Acrosses until I got to its very last square, and the squares in question are perfectly symmetrical. I had TITANI_MORE ... then had an ultra-brief moment of "who's TITANIA MORE?" and then I figured it out. (This is where knowing what Kirmans are would've come in handy (7D)). Then on the other side of the grid, right at the end of the solve, I completely missed the twist on the meaning of "port" (59A: Port authority?) took "Port authority" literally, and wondered what kind of Native American word I was looking at that started WINE.. (which I was mentally pronouncing "win-uh"). So the "S" in what turned out to be STEWARD was my last letter in the grid. I didn't know a SAWYER was a lumber mill employee. Without that "Y" there I was thinking "Are there two ... "W"s ... in SAWWER? One who saws is a SAWWER?" I don't know any Sawyers except Tom and Diane. Turns out a sawyer *is* actually "one who saws," though not a "sawer" (or "sawwer," probably).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. woke up to find my wife had insomniacally solved the puzzle in the middle of the night. She, a kiwi, is none too happy about the TASMAN clue (20A: Discoverer of New Zealand). I'll let the first line of "The History of New Zealand" wikipedia page tell you why: "The history of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land." I hate it when facts are so PC! What's happening to this country!?
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