Waffle introducer / TUE 9-13-16 / O'Neal's memoir of his rookie year / Central Florida metropolis informally / Cousin of baboon
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Constructor: Stanley Newman
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging to Challenging (*for a Tuesday*)
THEME: two Qs — three theme answers, each with 2 Qs
- QUINQUAGENARIAN (17A: Person between 50 and 59)
- "SHAQ ATTAQ" (40A: O'Neal's memoir of his N.B.A. rookie year)
- QUEBEC NORDIQUES (65A: N.H.L. team that became the Colorado Avalanche)
• • •
QUINQUAGENARIAN is not common (my blogging software is giving it an angry red underline right now) and "SHAQ ATTAQ" is downright obscure. I've never heard of it, which is at least a little weird. I mean, I've heard of "Kazaam." And I've heard of "Hack-a-Shaq," which is sincerely what I thought this was for a little bit. HAQQ-A-SHAQ! Difficulty level also jacked up by strangely tough mash-up of several words in and around "SHAQ ATTAQ": DIBS was mildly tough (31A: Rights, informally), and the front end of CUE CARDS was hard to see for a while (38A: Orators' aids), but real Saturday-level wrench in the system was that clue on BUT (32D: Waffle introducer?). Holy moly. It's a fine clue, but it's not at all a Tuesday clue. The fact that it runs through DIBS and CUE CARDS and, perversely, "SHAQ ATTAQ," made it especially debilitating. Everything else was Tuesday-easy, but that little nexus of nastiness added significantly to my solving time.
- 5D: Davenport, e.g. (COUCH) — I'm reading Chandler right now, and there are no COUCHes in his novels. No sofas. Only davenports. Everywhere you turn.
- 73A: Central Florida metropolis, informally (O-TOWN) — oh, this one added to my time too. Is this really what they call OCALA?*
- 53A: Acknowledge as true (COP TO) — dropped REPLETE in the cross but then took it out because I figured this answer was ... NOD TO ... [cough] ... [sound of wind whistling in the trees] ... [somewhere a coyote howls] ...
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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