Key Largo gangster Johnny / SUN 7-10-16 / Painkiller first sold in 1950 / Nonhuman 1930s film star / Sitcom whose title character was Fran Fine / Longtime Texas politico Phil / Journalist columnist Carl / Beeper from a long time ago / Disputed North Pole visitor / Comp-sci acronym / U people / Music's Prince of Soul / Treated with preservative as telephone poles
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Double Quote" — double letters throughout grid: when you read them in order (top down, left to right) you get a quote from YOGI BERRA (114A: Speaker of this puzzle's "double quote"): "A NICKEL AIN'T WORTH A DIME ANYMORE"; since the quote is doubled ... the nickel *is* ... worth a dime ... then? Honestly, at the moment I don't understand. Maybe something having to do with the idea of not having "two nickels to rub together"? And the adjacent (doubled) letters represent that ... rubbing? I'm tryin' real hard here...
Word of the Day: ASTON Villa (59D: ___ Villa (English football club)) —
Aston Villa Football Club (/ /; nicknamed Villa, The Villa, The Villans, The Lions) is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were the originators and founding members of the Football League in 1888. They were also founding members of the Premier League in 1992. In June 2016, the club was sold by American businessman Randy Lerner to Recon Group, owned by Chinese businessman Dr Tony Jiantong Xia. (wikipedia) (they were in the Premier League, but they *just* got relegated, wah WAH...)
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What is there even to say? The double-letter thing occasionally leads to some interesting fill, like "I INSIST" (27A: "No, no, it's my treat") and CHUKKERS (which, in a weird coincidence, I just encountered accidentally in the dictionary the other day) (36A: Time periods in a polo match). I would've said SAW LOGS, not SAW WOOD, so that was strange. I did like that brief moment where I had no idea what *four* circled squares in a row could signify (i.e. that moment before I realized it wasn't four, but two and then two more). Had trouble with the final vowel in HIASSEN and they hyper-formality of BY YOUR LEAVE. Also had trouble with the seeming avalanche of "?" clues, esp. 62A: Tank tops? (GAS CAPS) right on top of 66A: Corresponding expense? (POSTAGE), which was crossed by something called a FLAT CAR, which I had as a FLAT BED for a while. Clue on SCAPEGOAT was also oddly misleading, so that whole ENE section was probably the roughest for me. But in the end, it wasn't hard to solve at all. Just thematically bewildering.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. please stop emailing me explaining who Yogi Berra was (I know) and that he was famous for his muddled / nonsensical quotes (I know). The "humor" of the quote is not the question here. The nonsensical "doubling" theme is the problem. Two nickels make a dime. Two quotes *about* nickels and dimes make ... two quotes about nickels and dimes.
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