Hymn set to music by Vivaldi Haydn / SAT 8-13-16 / Bandleader whose band was New Orleans Gang / Human member of old tv trio / 1979 film that ends with Peter Sellers walking on water / Horror film remake released on 6/6/06 / Psychic mediators
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: Tenzing NORGAY (33D: Hillary's mate) —
Tenzing Norgay OSN GM (/ /; 29 May 1914 – 9 May 1986), born Namgyal Wangdi and often referred to as Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer. Among the most famous mountain climbers in history, he was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. (wikipedia)
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EILEEN / FISHER is, and despite needing every last cross to get NORGAY (the last cross being ... well, the last cross). Hey, EILEEN and FISHER are symmetrical are symmetrical! That's nice. Still don't know her. Is she friends with Ann Taylor? My sister used to work at Ann Taylor Loft (that's a thing, right?), so I know Ann Taylor. My sister never mentioned Eileen. Come on! Eileen! Anyway, she at least has a recognizable American first and last name, so she didn't really mess things up that much. This grid is creamily smooth, but like many creamily smooth things, slightly on the bland side for me. Still, filling those huge chunks of white space so cleanly is a real accomplishment. So what if the longer answers are non boat-floating stuff like STABAT MATER and CARDINAL RED and JOB TITLES. This grid is polished to the point of gleaming, and corners are nice too, so thumbs up.
I have said many times, including yesterday, that a gimme at 1-Across usually signals an easy puzzle, and again (again) this was true, even though the gimme in question was just four letters (1A: Player's fee => ANTE). 1-Acrosses give you a whole array of first letters for the initial Downs, so they have tremendous accelerative power. Today, "N" gave me NO U-TURN (2D: Junction injunction), which gave me ANY (32A: Whatever), and that "A" plus the "A" from ANTE was all I needed for ALFALFA (1D: Fodder for dairy cattle). So that corner is pretty much owned only 30 seconds or so into the solve. Coming out of that corner via LUDENS was hard because a. that "S" didn't give me much information, and b. I wasn't sure it *was* an "S" (LUDENZ, maybe!?) (23A: Cough drop brand). So I exited via CARDINAL RED (9D: Deep scarlet shade), which I think I had as ... CARMINIDINE? Which is what happens when you take CARMINE (an actual shade of red) and pump it full of wish-fulfillment steroids (or what happens when one shade of red, CARMINE, and another shade of red, INCARNADINE, love each other very, very much ...). I then got ICEMAN and then got stuck, but immediately got unstuck with PERK (18A: Private jet, maybe), which was obvious to me for some reason, and gave me both SOP and TOKENS. And off I went.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS two things: 1. I still don't get how EGOS are [26D: Psychic mediators] and 2. "STAN" is not just an [Eminem song about an obsessed fan] (15D), it is now a (derisive) slang word for the obsessed fan in general. Lowercase. Also, a verb. To "stan" someone is to adore that person unquestioningly and kind of scarily. And now, if you didn't know, you know. (p.p.s. h/t to crossword constructor Kameron Austin Collins, from whom I learned the term, true story) (p.p.p.s. "h/t" means "hat tip" ...)
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