Activity for Hobbes / WED 8-24-16 / 1/100 of a Norwegian krone / VCR insert / Bronx nine on scoreboards / PBS documentary series since 1988
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Constructor: Matthew Sewell
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: FANTASY SPORTS (36A: Field of DraftKings and FanDuel ... or 18-, 23-, 52- and 58-Across?) — themers are fictional sports (all from within the genre of "fantasy," broadly defined)
- CALVINBALL (18A: Activity for Hobbes)
- PODRACING (23A: Activity for Anakin Skywalker)
- QUIDDITCH (52A: Activity for Harry Potter)
- POOHSTICKS (58A: Activity for Tigger and Eeyore)
The krone (Danish pronunciation: [ˈkʁoːnə]; plural: kroner; sign: kr.; code: DKK) is the official currency of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, introduced on 1 January 1875. Both the ISO code "DKK" and currency sign "kr." are in common use; the former precedes the value, the latter in some contexts follows it. The currency is sometimes referred to as the Danish crown in English, since krone literally means crown. Historically, krone coins have been minted in Denmark since the 17th century.
One krone is subdivided into 100 øre (Danish pronunciation: [ˈøːɐ]; singular and plural), the name øre possibly deriving from Latin aureus meaning "gold coin". Altogether there are eleven denominations of the krone, with the smallest being the 50 øre coin, which is valued at one half of a krone. Formerly there were more øre coins, but those were discontinued due to inflation // The krone is pegged to the euro via the ERM II, the European Union's exchange rate mechanism. Adoption of the euro is favoured by the major political parties, however a 2000 referendum on joining the Eurozone was defeated with 53.2% voting to maintain the krone and 46.8% voting to join the Eurozone. (wikipedia)
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FANTASY SPORTS) and turns it into a perfect revealer, turning the phrase away from the corporate synergy of ESPN sportbro culture and toward the world of human creative genius. OK, so "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was not, itself, genius, but I think the "Star Wars" universe on the whole is a remarkable feat of imagination, and the same can easily be said for all the other works from which the theme answers come. Who doesn't love remembering "Calvin & Hobbes" or the work of A.A. Milne? Hell, I couldn't come up with either CALVINBALL or POOHSTICKS (without a lot of crosses), and I still loved discovering them. The fill is pretty good today, too. I have no idea what caused the constructor / editor to go with the perverse krone-related clue for ORE (crossword arcana at its finest), and even after googling I have no idea what "TV TAPE" is (1D: VCR insert) ... but those (and maybe ILO & UNCAS) are the only real rough spots in an otherwise smooth grid. One of my Twitter followers just now questioned the fairness of the UNCAS / ROSEN cross (53D: The last of the Mohicans, in Cooper's novel / 67A: Al who was A.L. M.V.P. in 1953). I sympathize, as I utterly forgot UNCAS (a non-great answer for sure), but even if you don't know ROSEN either, the "S" feels like the only realistic guess. But this is a good time to remind constructors: *Watch* your proper noun crosses.
- 3D: The albums "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar," for two (SOUNDTRACKS) — that's a term I associate with movies, not stage productions, *but* ... since both musicals were turned into movies that did in fact have SOUNDTRACKS, I'll allow it.
- 15A: Main ingredient in soubise soup (ONION) — "Thinly slice two Spanish onions, and cook ten minutes in one-fourth cup butter, stirring constantly. Add one quart White Stock III, cook slowly thirty minutes, and strain. Dilute three tablespoons flour with enough cold water to pour easily, add to soup, and bring to boiling-point. Then add one cup cream, and one tablespoon chopped green peppers, or one-fourth cup grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper." (The Boston cooking-school cook book, Fannie Farmer, 1918)
- 64A: Texas landmark that shares its name with a tree (ALAMO) — a tree? That's news to me. After a lot of googling, I *assume* the clue is referring to the Rio Grande Cottonwood, which has "Alamo" as one of its familiar names, though it's very confusing, as the *Fremont* cottonwood is also known as the "Alamo cottonwood" ... Tree experts: have at it. (Well now I see ALAMO's just a *generic* name for "A poplar tree, especially a cottonwood." How disappointing)
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