Record label whose name derives from Greek myth / THU 11-10-16 / Grandpa Walton portrayer / Colorul corn balls / Old ship constellation / Fish whose name is calculator number turned upside-down / Chances left after Slim left town / Compound under control by Kyoto Protocol
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Constructor: Jonathan M. Kaye and Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: Jworm — the word "HOOK" represented by the letter "J" (for I hope obvious reasons)
- RINGING OFF THE J (18A: Getting tons of calls)
- BY J OR BY CROOK (29A: No matter how)
- BE ON TENETERJS (42A: Wait anxiously)
- J, LINE AND SINKER (53A: 100%)
seventh-brightest star in the night sky and the brightest star in the constellation of Orion—though there are times where it is outshone in the constellation by the variable Betelgeuse. With a visual magnitude of 0.13, it is a remote and luminous star some 863 light-years distant from Earth. // The star as seen from Earth is actually a triple or quadruple star system, with the primary star (Rigel A) a blue-white supergiant that is estimated to be anywhere from 120,000 to 279,000 times as luminous as the Sun, depending on method used to calculate its properties. It has exhausted its core hydrogen and swollen out to between 79 and 115 times the Sun's radius. It pulsates quasi-periodically and is classified as an Alpha Cygni variable. A companion, Rigel B, is 500 times fainter than the supergiant Rigel A and visible only with a telescope. Rigel B is itself a spectroscopic binary system, consisting of two main sequence blue-white stars of spectral type B9V that are estimated to be respectively 3.9 and 2.9 times as massive as the Sun. Rigel B also appears to have a very close visual companion Rigel C of almost identical appearance. (wikipedia)
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I think I needed this. Simple. Straightforward. Competent. Like some nice toast and chamomile after you've been violently ill for 24 hours. "J" is HOOK. HOOK is "J." Yes. Yes, I can handle this. Is it going to get harder? Uglier? Thornier? No ... no, it's just the HOOK. Phew. OK. Can deal.
[Aw yeah. Alright.]
This puzzle was super-easy. I finished in just over 5, which was higher than I thought. Then I realized the puzzle is 16 rows high, not the usual 15, and the over-5 time made sense. 48 black squares is a Lot of black squares, even for a super-sized grid. Very segmented and choppy, but (mercifully) the 3- and 4-letter fill doesn't get into brutally bad or banal territory too much. Scrabble-f*cking in the SE corner totally not worth it (ATOZ, never worth it), but otherwise, grid is polished to a more-than-tolerable degree. I think SLOW LEAK is the most interesting / original non-theme thing in the grid (50A: Start of a flat, maybe). Definitely held me up the most, required the most thinking. Only flats in my mind upon seeing the clue were apartments and musical notes. Other slight hold-ups occurred in the east, where I plunked down RANI off the R- at 35D: Eastern V.I.P. (RAJA). And then with symmetrical abbrevs. in the NE (17A: It may require gloves, for short) and SW (59A: Plan to leave shortly?). Both good clues, both, briefly, stumpers.
OK, then. Onward. Upward. Crossword.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Thanks for being such a great community of people. I have rarely needed community more.
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