Postprandial woe / Classical record on Norman Bates's turntable in Psycho / Linguistic origin of Mulligatawny
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Constructor: Erin Rhode
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: Robert MUELLER (7D: Robert ___, F.B.I. director from 2001-2013) —
Robert Swan Mueller III (born August 7, 1944) is an American lawyer. He served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (wikipedia)
• • •
FOOD COMA and FAT LIP. Alliterating colloquialisms! My first thought at 1A was FOOD BABY but that's only because constructor Finn Vigeland taught me that disturbing term and I now can't get it out of my head every time I think about eating too much. But I decided a BABY probably wouldn't be clued as a "woe," so then COMA went in and when several crosses worked out, I figured I was on to something. FARCE seems a rather high-falutin' (albeit accurate) word for what "Broad City" is (1D: "Broad City," for one), but I do love seeing "Broad City" in the puzzle—especially in semi-symmetrical relation to "BABY MAMA" (61A: 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy)—different generations of female comedy duos. Good stuff (the "Broad City" comedians, by the way, have Fantastic crossword names: ILANA Glazer and ABBI Jacobson). I normally hate all things poker, but I loved "A(AAAAA)ND I'M OUT" (15A: "That's it ... too rich for me"); somehow the addition of the conjunction makes it feel much more alive—like something coming out of actual people's mouths. The big winner of the day, though, is "I CAN'T EVEN" (13D: "This is too much"), which looks partial but is quite complete and totally captures the "OMG" zeitgeist of the social media world.
PASS A TEST (14D: Prove one's worth) is about one step up from DRIVE A CAR in terms of stand-alone-worthiness, and I can't recall ever seeing a single LINER NOTE (12D: It may be a credit to the band) ... but those answers are propping up I CAN'T EVEN, so I can't (even) stay mad. I had no idea KIBOSH was a stand-alone verb (59A: Put an end to). I have only ever heard "put the KIBOSH on..." something. That was weird. Love the clue on REY'S (46A: "___ Theme," tune from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), as it takes what is essentially a terrible foreign plural and gives it a new spin. Not that a possessive (clued as a title part) is Fantastic, but it's at least interesting (and contemporary). I have a picture disc of "REY'S Theme" that I got on Record Store Day back in April.
I had BIG DOGS instead of TOP DOGS (40A: Head honchos), primarily because of a t-shirt my sister got me a long time ago that said "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." It was ridiculous. But memorable.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]