Magnetic flux unit / FRI 11-4-16 / Deadly vodka cockatil / Word from Greek for feigned ignorance / Bright orange seafood delicacy
Friday, November 4, 2016
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging for me, probably Medium in general
Word of the Day: EILAT (9D: Israeli seaport) —
Eilat (//; Hebrew: אֵילַת [eiˈlat]; Arabic: ايلات) is Israel's southernmost city, a busy port and popular resort at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. The city's beaches, coral reef, nightlife and desert landscapes make it a popular destination for domestic and international tourism. // Home to 49,734 people, Eilat is part of the Southern Negev Desert, at the southern end of the Arava, adjacent to the Egyptian village of Taba to the south, the Jordanian port city of Aqaba to the east, and within sight of Saudi Arabia to the south-east, across the gulf. (wikipedia)
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SOUP UP without even needing a clue, but my brain was locked in on the _EC clue and for some reason "trunk" was making me think only of trees—both literal and diagrammatic (like, uh, a family tree or something). So DEC? Is the calendar a "tree"? Why would December be the "Top part"? Only DEC and REC were coming to mind. Sometimes your brain just gets stuck and you have to return to first principles, which in this case meant a. checking and rechecking all surrounding answers to make sure they were indisputable, and b. running the alphabet, methodically, from A to Z (well, in this case, A to P).
Here's where I came to a dead-stop (not a common occurrence for me on any day that is not Saturday):
Never heard of the BLACK WIDOW (in cocktail form) (25D: "Deadly" vodka cocktail). STOWAWAY? (36D: Nautical nuisance). No (a)way. I thought 37D: Bright orange seafood delicacy was asking for something sushi-esque, so SNOW CRAB wasn't on my radar at all. PAINT is not a program I've thought of in 30 years, and even then it was Mac. MacPaint. I didn't even know PAINT was a PC program, basic or otherwise. That answer was another reason the middle was rough for me. Fiscal CLIFF strikes me as (already) suuuuper dated. Like ... I can't even remember exactly when that was. Two years ago? Four? Has anyone used that phrase since we were allegedly about to fall off of it? I'm sure it'll come back, since Congress is terrible at everything, but today, Fiscal CLIFF seems like something from a million years ago. Aside from EILAT, everything else was familiar to me. So: nice grid, adequate cluing, fine time.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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