Historic kingdom in Spain / THU 8-4-16 / North Sea oil port / Saknussemm discoverer of center of earth journey / Predators of elephants in myth / His brother was given name Israel / Offering from urban streetcar
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Constructor: Jonathan M. Kaye
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- SILVERADQ (21A: Incapacitated Chevy?)
- EXPLQRER (25A: Incapacitated Ford?)
- CHERQKEE (46A: Incapacitated Jeep?)
- NAVIGATQR (52A: Incapacitated Lincoln?)
Aberdeen (i//; Scots: Aiberdeen listen (help·info); Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain [ˈopər ˈʝɛhɪn]; Latin: Aberdonia) is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 37th most populous built-up area, with an official population estimate of 196,670 for the city of Aberdeen itself and 228,990 for the local authority area. // Nicknames include the Granite City, the Grey City and the Silver City with the Golden Sands. During the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, which can sparkle like silver because of its high mica content. Since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, other nicknames have been the Oil Capital of Europe or the Energy Capital of Europe. The area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago, when prehistoric villages lay around the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don. The city has a long, sandy coastline and a marine climate, the latter resulting in chilly summers and mild winters. (wikipedia)
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BOOT one cross at a time. My last letter was somewhere in BOOT. My first thought on completion was "that's it? four Q/O squares? that's ... nothing." But then as I thought about the visual, and the fact that all the booted answers were actual car models, with just the one "O" in their names, I started to warm to this thing a little. Just a little. Puzzle felt hard to me (though my time was in the Normal ballpark), first because the "Q"s just meant nothing to me and made nonsense of the Acrosses, second because I assumed "Lincoln" and "Ford" were presidents (61A: Roosevelt predecessor? didn't help!) ... then thought maybe "Chevy" was Chase. Only at "Jeep" did I begin to get an inkling of what was happening. Getting the "Q" early in most of the themers actually did much more harm than good. Couldn't see the answers to save my life.
Not a fan of DRONE BEE (60A: Queen's mate). Feels redundant, especially as clued. A drone *is* a bee. Also super-not a fan of the ASLANT clue (1A: Like the Miller beer logo). Who *%&#ing cares about that stupid logo, and in what universe does anyone think of it as a locus classicus of slanting? Don't mind corporate names in my grid, but that clue was gratuitous. BOSH instead of (Pish-) POSH? (16A: Malarkey) Whatever. ACES are "dogs"? Whatever. TOITY!? The most made-up ARNE in the history of ARNEs? Pass and pass. The long Downs were wicked hard and wicked good. 9D: Tails, of a sort (PRIVATE EYES) was just a brutal clue, and somehow PRACTICABLE (23D: Realistic) evaded me until very nearly the last cross. And the [Indian flatbread] wasn't NAAN? Rough. Fill seems average to slightly above-average, overall. Nothing terribly cringy. I feel like this puzzle lives in a slightly different cultural neighborhood than I do—one with absolutely no women, apparently. Oh, except SARA Teasdale and CELIE and QEII. About five times that many men in this puzzle, but 3 isn't 0, to be fair.
["Yeah ... We're doin' this one for all the ladies... for the 9-3, you know what I'm sayin'?"]
PS I like that Jai alai didn't make it into the grid but decided to hang out in the clues anyway (18A: Jai alai bet of 1-3-7, e.g.)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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