Edutainment cartoon featuring teacher named Ms Frizzle / THU 12-1-16 / Football Hall-of-Famer Newsome / Seussian environmentalist / Suffix with klepto- / Low-pitched part of song / Yosemite runner / Subject of 2011 book These Guys Have All Fun
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Easy
- LOADED BAKED POTATO (17A: Dish topped with bacon, cheese and sour cream)
- ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (35A: Classic novel about an orphan girl mistakenly sent to Prince Edward Island)
- THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS (52A: Edutainment cartoon featuring a teacher named Ms. Frizzle)
The Magic School Bus is a Canadian/American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children." On June 10, 2014 Scholastic Media announced that it will be releasing an all-new CG animated series inspired by the original show, entitled "The Magic School Bus" [...] [Lily] Tomlin won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Ms. Frizzle. (wikipedia)
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BADE) the little Happy Pencil appeared and I was done ... never having seen the clue for BEAN DIP. So I just thought there were three answers that kinda sorta went around a little roadblock, randomly. But then that didn't seem like enough of a thing, so I went looking for the revealer, and there it was: BEAN DIP. Ah, yes, that makes sense. I guess there was no PINTO or BLACK because the idea was not to use beans that might actually be *used* in BEAN DIP. I think the idea here is quite clever. I'm especially fascinated by the architecture of this thing; since the dip thing has to work with all themers, it can't have normal crossword (i.e. rotational) symmetry. I mean, the grid does, but the themers can't be placed symmetrically (otherwise the lower themer would rise, not dip). But it's still the 3rd and 4th rows in that are involved, so there's a *kind* of parallelism there. THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS interests me most, because the other two have the bean dead center, whereas that one's bean is way off to the left. I guess you figure out what the grid might look like first, and then move your five-letter beans around and see what you can make work, theme-answer-wise. Result is pretty nice.
Fill is no great shakes, but it's certainly good enough. It was really only OHOS into ATRAS into AT PAR that made me wince at all. Everything else is quite solid, with WET KISS and BASS LINE and PELAGIC giving the grid a little pizzazz. Only trouble I had was, first, getting that first themer—coincidentally (given the revealer clue) I wanted LOADED NACHOS and spent a few seconds wondering how LOADED B = LOADED NACHOS. Man, that was one revealer I couldn't wait to discover. "How's he gonna pull that one off?" I wondered. But then I rounded the corner and saw that 18A didn't have a clue, just a "-" so I knew it was continued somehow from 17A ... and then it all became clear. I knew "THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS"—I knew it as a book, but just knowing the title was enough to make that answer to easy to pick up with some crosses. Outside the theme, only the western section was problematic. IMAC or IPAD? MEWL or PEWL? Is PEWL a word??? ... oh, god bless my mistake because it led me to SCOTS WIKIPEDIA: "The pewl or white maw (Larus argentatus), whiles kent as the willie gou or gray willie an aw, is a sea-bird fund on the shores that eats fish an ither peedie ainimals sic as partans an is thocht tae be awfu gleg." I want all of wikipedia to be Scots. Right now. And forever. "In basebaw, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians tae win the Warld Series for the first time syne 1908." Ah ... that's the stuff.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Suffix with klepto- (CRAT) is an epic subtweet
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