Title princess of comic opera / SAT 8-27-16 / Monogram for Christ / Yasmina two-time Tony winning playwright / Political pundit Perino / Postcard printing process for short / Biblical name meaning exalted father / Set of seven countries informally / Way down in Wayne Manor /
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Constructor: Jim Page
Relative difficulty: Easy
In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram became "IHS" or "IHC", denoting the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, IHΣΟΥΣ, iota-eta-sigma, or ΙΗΣ. (wikipedia)
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KARAOKE BAR) was completely transparent, and I ended up with a time in the low 6s. Saturday average is more in the 8-10 range. Today's puzzle made me miss yesterday's puzzle. I think this one has the slight edge as far as interesting quadrants (I liked the stacks in one quadrant yesterday, I like them in two today (NE, SE)), but the fill is kind of yucky. Like, the yuck is real yuck. Not just the sad, common yuck, but the "ew, no" kind of yuck. KETT yuck. REUNE yuck. SHEB yuck. Triple &%$^ing suffix yuck (-OIS *and* -EAN **and** -ATOR!? That is completely terrible. Massive deduction). Long Acrosses toward the center give this one some added sparkle. But, come on, ESCS are not "keys"; there is an ESC key on my keyboard. One. Singular. It is not pluralizable. See also ALTS and CTRLS and FNS. All the fun answers in the world won't matter if you're using some off-brand pseudo-Elmer's to hold it all together. Way too much junk short fill. Poor craftsmanship. Back to drawing board.
I had a couple moments of struggle, first in trying to get into the NE. No idea on IDA (22D: Title princess of a comic opera), so couldn't swing Acrosses into that quadrant. Had the bottom Acrosses, but it's really really hard to solve long answers from the back end (or can be ... statistically harder than solving them with same amount of information on the front end), so I stalled a bit. But NOV gave me OZONE HOLE, and then I slowly clawed my way into and out of that section. ATOR! [Most of the way through the alphabet?] Ugh. Also had issues with IHS / SQMI. And then I found the long Down clues in the SW all pretty hard. But the Acrosses weren't (I've actually listened to Brian ENO's "The Ship," so that was a surprise ENO-gimme). Done, ho-hum, moving on.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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