Politico who said buck up or stay in truck / WED 7-13-16 / Shoe brand that sounds like letter number / Rhyme for Israel in carol / Rendezvoused near
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Constructor: Tom McCoy
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: from words to initals — familiar phrases are clued as if the last word (three letters in every case) were an initialism, i.e. clued wackily!
- COMMON E.R.A. (17A: Stat shared by many pitchers?)
- "LET 'ER R.I.P.!" (26A: "Leave that lady's tomb alone!")
- DISAPPEARING A.C.T. (40A: Exam that's losing popularity in high schools?)
- MAMMA M.I.A. (52A: Example of bad parenting?)
- PICK ME, U.P.S. (66A: Cry from an eager applicant for a delivery job?)
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Very tough getting started, as the clues in the NW were often ambiguous. I had the rider using a ROPE with her "Giddy-up!" Maybe a CROP. Probably not a WHIP. Singular SPUR (!) would not have occurred to me. Plural, sure, perhaps. I don't ride. Maybe you just need the one. UNMAN is not a word I ever think of, so that was hard. [Some puppets] are, indeed, SOCKS, but that is a tough clue for SOCKS. [Bent] for KNACK, also tough in its ambiguity. OH NO are [Words of dawning realization], sure, but nothing in that clue suggests you are realizing something bad. I had I SEE, as I'm sure many others did at first. Oddly, the first answer of which I was certain up in that quadrant was ROMCOM (4D: "Sleepless in Seattle," for one). Even 2D: Give a buzz (PHONE) wasn't clear to me.
Had a question about one of the themers—namely, why would a "tomb" say R.I.P.? Shouldn't that be "grave"? But then I immediately answered my "why not 'grave'" question by looking at the answer that runs through that particular themer, namely GRAVE PERIL (8D: Serious danger). So "grave" was never an option. Still, I'd probably have said "Leave that lady's headstone alone?" I'm not that familiar with tombs. Maybe they do say R.I.P. But headstones are so much more common, seems like you'd want to go that direction. Only other clue complaint was the horrendous x 2 clue [Order for a "D, E, A, N, S" list?]. First of all, it makes no sense and is in no way clever. May as well just say [Anagram of "deans"]. "Order for..."??? You make the Dean's List or you don't. The wordplay doesn't even land. Further, neither clue has content, which is a terrible, wasted opportunity for interesting cluing (again, x 2). Nothing about cars in SEDAN clue, nothing about mountains in ANDES clue. Just a cornball pun, and a failed one at that. Sorry: two, at that.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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