British protectorate until 1957 / THU 12-15-16 / 1969 film whose working title was Loners / School whose mascot is Jumbo elephant / 1990s sitcom about bookstore owner / Chippendales dancers have nice ones
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Constructor: Jacob Stulberg
Relative difficulty: Easy
- FALLING FLAT (16A: Bombing, as a joke)
- FASHION PLATE (24A: Trendy type)
- GRANDFATHER CLAUSE (37A: Discriminatory part of post-Reconstruction legislation)
- PARFAIT GLASS (48A: Short-stemmed vessel)
Grappa is an alcoholic beverage, a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin that contains 35 to 60 percent alcohol by volume (70 to 120 US proof). (wikipedia)
• • •SPECIAL MESSAGE for Solvers in Syndication (for the week of January 15-January 22, 2017)
Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905
Now on to the puzzle!
I mean, this was fun, and the fill was pretty decent (esp. considering all the short stuff), but musically, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Only one FA in the refrain, four FA squares in the grid. I guess it's just supposed to be silly. And ROOSEVELT'S DOG is too long to be a suitable revealer.
And it's Christmastime, roughly, so 'tis the season to just make some singsongy noises. I like LAPLAND because it's the one Down that's gotta deal with two rebus squares. Plus I just liked knowing (vaguely) where the Sami were from, but having to figure out how any answer that made sense might fit in the grid. I got the theme very early—all the Downs in the NW were very easy, and from -LLING I deduced the "FA" square, and then, since FLAT had to follow, the "LA" square. And then the FA and the LA just kept coming, and knowing they were coming actually made the themers easier to pick up. Here was my opening gambit:
I don't have much to say about the fill overall because the only hesitations I had involved rebus squares, and those hesitations didn't last long. I had PLEAD for SWEAR (28A: Say with a raised hand), which is dumb, I admit. Took me a while to get 6D: School whose mascot is Jumbo the elephant (TUFTS) because WTF. I know the school, but not the elephant (Pomona-Pitzer's mascot is the SAGEHEN, in case you ever wanna use that in your puzzle). Slim JIMS is an out-and-out gimme, and that "J" is high-value, both because "J"s are always high-value (knowing there's a "J" in your answer really narrows down your choices dramatically) and because its positioning pretty much hands you the "FA" square directly above it. I think I was mid-5s on this one, and that's *with* all the extra keystrokes to enter the rebus squares correctly *and* a timeout to take the mid-solve screenshot. It's a 78-worder with not-at-all-obscure fill, so once you figure out the gimmick: no problems.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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