Old red white you sloganeer / FRI 9-2-16 / Auto name discontinued in 1986 / Actor title role robin hood men in tights / Place for long run maybe
Friday, September 2, 2016
Constructor: David Liben-Nowell
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: Foucault's "This Is Not A PIPE" (31A) —
This essay not only proposes a new understanding of Magritte; it also constitutes a perfect illustration and introduction to the thought of the philosopher himself, France's great wizard of paradox. Magritte's respectful fan letters to Mr. Foucault, which are included in this volume, the useful introduction and splendid translation by James Harkness and the handy (though hardly sumptuous) black-and-white reproductions of many of Magritte's works combine to make this a document of extraordinary interest. (from the NYT review, Jan. 23, 1983)
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THIRTY-TWO ACROSS is supposed to be cute ... or a joke. Maybe he started there, thought it was clever, and (clunkily) filled the (painfully segmented) grid around it. Did he build the grid *just* to get 32-Across in the right place? That would explain how ugly the grid is, I guess. I don't know. I do know that most of the time this was painful to solve. Completely sequestered NW and SE corners may as well be separate puzzles, and only the NW was up to snuff, and that one in particular was hilariously off-difficulty, i.e. played like a tough Saturday. So many one-word clues (boo!). And yet, weirdly, that ended up being the only part of the puzzle I really respected, in that the fill (and even some of the cluing) was actually pretty good, unlike most other places in the puzzle. BE SORE? IS NEAR? That is knee-bucklingly bad stuff. Come on. I'll give you one junk verb phrase, maybe, if the rest of your grid is tight, but no way I'm giving you two. And this puzzle should've be DQ'd for that little eastern part alone. ADAY over APIPE (!?) *crossing* APRS (blargh). Throw in the brutally Scrabble-****ed "Q" in the NE (what the hell is that? That "Q" makes *nothing* better) and then ANTIS TIGRE OISE ELWES RTS ILED, and you have not a lot of fun for me. For every oh-so-clever clue this one gets in, it trips over its laces twice. Like a BUS (21A), this is something I will take a pass on.
That is all.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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