Bouillon brand name / WED 10-19-16 / Twosome on TMZ / Great Lakes canal name / Dish baked in imu / Cagey debater's tactic / Liberal disiparagingly
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Constructor: Tom Pepper
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- PROTESTER (16A: SAT administrator, by trade?)
- PROCURER (25A: Doctor, by trade?)
- PROPOSER (48A: Model, by trade?)
- PROFILERS (57A: Manicurists and tax preparers, by trade?)
Ian Scott Anderson, MBE (born 10 August 1947) is a Scottish-born musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist and acoustic guitarist of British rock band Jethro Tull. Anderson plays several other musical instruments, including keyboards, bass guitar, bouzouki, balalaika, saxophone, harmonica, and a variety of whistles. His solo work began with the 1983 album Walk into Light, and since then he released another five works, including the sequel to the Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick (1972) in 2012, entitled Thick as a Brick 2. (wikipedia)
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ORA and LIS, and possibly SOO and HROSS, would I try desperately to eliminate were I the constructor. But the theme remains pretty dang blah. The gimmick is highly repetitive and the comic pay off is highly mild. Theme feels 30+ years old. Quaint, satisfactory, faint grin-inducing. The "by trade?" bit in the themer clues is odd / confusing. I get why it's there—to signal the fact that alleged jobs are involved, to give the clues a uniform look, to signal the wackiness. But with "by trade" in the clues, the PRO- actually becomes redundant. If you are doing something "by trade" you are by definition a PRO. And yet you gotta clue the "PRO" part somehow ... actually you don't. Puzzle might've been a hair's breadth harder, but it played on easy side, so I think you can just have the "?" do all the wacky work and leave the "by trade" bit off entirely. Maybe that takes it to Thursday territory? Dunno. I just found the "by trade" part confusing rather than clarifying.
Only speed bumps in the entire puzzle involved cross-references: EYE clued to POTATO and especially IAN clued to ANDERSON (for me, the toughest answer to get, despite my having vaguely heard of him). Oh, I also really got held up trying to understand 21A: Game one. I took it as "one who is game," i.e. "one who is OPEN to ... anything." So even filling in the first part of the answer didn't disabuse me of this misinterpretation. Turned out to refer to the first game in a series of games, i.e. the OPENER. Of course. I loved YOU'RE ON! This puzzle is in desperate need of more non-moribund stuff like that. I might've turned LUSHES and LEFTY into HUSHES and HEFTY, if only to avoid the needless "disparaging," but half that "disparaging" could've been avoided by just cluing LEFTY a different way (51D: Liberal, disparagingly). I'm not offended. Just seems weird to steer *into* disparaging. But in this election season, maybe not so weird. More typical.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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