Monday, August 15, 2016
Constructor: Sam Trabucco
Relative difficulty: Ultra-Easy (2:29 might be my NYT record ... I should know this ... never been sub 2:20, I don't think ... maybe I'd done 2:27 before ... anyway, lightning fast, for me)
THEME: HEADS WILL ROLL (37A: "Someone's gonna pay" ... or a statement about 17-, 24-, 51- and 60-Across) — the "heads" (i.e. first words) of each themer can precede "roll"
[NOTE: it has been suggested to me that the first words are also "heads" (i.e. Egghead, barrelhead, etc.), which would make the theme really interesting, but ... "loghead" isn't a thing, I don't think. "Loggerhead," yes, but if you google "loghead," google asks you if you meant "loggerhead" ... so I think the fact that egghead, barrelhead, and drumhead work is a weird coincidence]
- EGG HUNTS (17A: Easter Day activities)
- BARREL RACE (24A: Competition in a rodeo ring)
- DRUMSTICKS (51A: Legs at KFC)
- LOG CABIN (60A: Early home for Lincoln)
Word of the Day: Alex and ANI (65A: Alex and ___ (jewelry retailer)) —
American retailer and producer of jewelry located in Cranston, Rhode Island. // The firm was founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian. The name comes from a combination of the first names of Rafaelian's two daughters. The company originally stated that they wanted to produce "bangle bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit". The company first manufactured its jewelry in a factory that was founded by Rafaelian's father in 1966 and all materials are made in America. The first retail Alex and Ani store opened in Newport in 2009, and in addition to the stand-alone stores, the jewelry was sold through national departments stores . In 2010 Giovanni Feroce joined the company as CEO and drove the company's expansion, increasing the sales total for the year by more than 20 times its previous annual total. In 2015, Harlan Kent became the new president of the company. The company also expanded into Japan. In 2015 the firm launched its first mobile app, which was downloaded 80,000 times in its first three weeks. In addition to serving as a mobile sales platform, DigiDay wrote that, "Alex and Ani’s lifestyle content, like motivational quotes and articles that explore the meanings behind different bracelet charms, takes center stage in the app." (wikipedia)
LTRS (40D: Mail: Abbr.) / GOT 'EM (42A: "They're mine now!," informally), neither of which was very intuitive, and then finally Alex & ANI, which I'd never heard of. I would say "too obscure for a Monday," but ... I had a sub 2:30 time today, so I don't think that complaint would hold much water.
The theme answers were dull compared to all the 7+-letter Downs, which seems rather unfortunate, given How Many "rolls" there are out there in the world. Your Californias, your tunas, your dinners, your sweets, jellys, kaisers, Parker Houses, onions, your pick ands ... oh well. It's a pretty Greek puzzle today, with with both AEGEAN and ATHENS in there. Oooh, there's even Keats' "ODE on a Grecian Urn" (11D). Interesting. AMY Schumer was featured in the NYT Book Review interview just yesterday (well, today, as I'm writing this), and though I would've gotten her easily anyway, she was fresh on my mind. Wanted 39D: Key's partner (LOCK) to be PEELE, but it didn't fit. Not much more to say. Fine, fun, done.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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