Dwarf warrior in Lord of Rings / SAT 8-6-16 / Morse Toto totally / Certain weanling / Scandalous Manet painting of 1863 / Shaggy Scottish dog / Spontaneous public gathering / Red White 2005 rock album
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Constructor: David Phillips
Relative difficulty: Easy
Neo-Dada was a movement with audio, visual and literary manifestations that had similarities in method or intent with earlier Dada artwork. In the United States the term was popularized by Barbara Rose in the 1960s and refers primarily, although not exclusively, to work created in that and the preceding decade. There was also an international dimension to the movement, particularly in Japan and in Europe, serving as the foundation of Fluxus, Pop Art and Nouveau réalisme. // Neo-Dada was exemplified by its use of modern materials, popular imagery, and absurdist contrast. It was a reaction to the personal emotionalism of Abstract Expressionism and, taking a lead from the practice of Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters, denied traditional concepts of aesthetics (wikipedia).
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FLASHMOB was just a silver-platter gift (1A: Spontaneous public gathering), and gifted 1-Acrosses are often harbingers of Very Easy puzzles. The only place I got any resistance today was in the NE, where who the hell knows Morse code (my most hated of clue devices) and "Stain-free" is somehow metaphorical (SINLESS) and HELEN gets a great / tough clue (18A: Paris attraction?) and why can't I ever remember DHL (today's stab at it: DSL). I also wanted the [Shoulder-to-hip belt] to be a BANDOLERO (sp?), but luckily my erstwhile medievalism / D&D-playing brought BALDRIC back to mind.
I wanted to dislike NEO-DADA ... or, actually, I *did* dislike it (feels ridiculous and mildly made-up), but it's got a reasonable-sized wikipedia entry and Ono is, in fact, listed as one of the artists associated with the genre, so ... OK. Speaking of Ono. Interesting to see crosswordese used in value-added ways tonight, with Ono ending up in a clue instead of the grid, and ELIHU getting the full-name treatment (the only treatment that makes me not cringe at seeing his name in a puzzle). I didn't use JEDI MIND TRICKS to destroy this puzzle, but I did feel like I had a Vulcan Mind Meld with the constructor. I was taking down answer after answer with just one letter in place. PELOSI off the "I"; BUM A RIDE off the "B"; USA TODAY off the "S" (!); OLYMPIA off the "O"; etc. It was just my day. Finally. No great errors. Just OPEDS for OBITS (25D: 21-Down runs them) and STOAT for SHOAT (4D: Certain weanling) (you'd think I'd've stopped confusing the weasel with the pig by now, but no).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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