Eponymous Belgian tourist locale / WED 12-7-16 / High-end British sports car / Mexican tourist city known for its silver / Diminutive fashionwise / Obese Star Wars character / Bluff-busting words
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
- FIXED COST (16A: *Expense independent of production)
- LEFT-HANDED (23A: *How Clayton Kershaw pitches)
- CUT ROSE (36A: *One of a dozen for a sweetheart)
- SHOT PUT (38A: *Decathlon event)
- LOST GROUND (47A: *Something to make up)
McLaren Automotive (often simply McLaren) is a British automaker founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren and is based at the McLaren Technology Campus in Woking, Surrey. It produces and manufactures sports and luxury cars, usually produced in-house at designated production facilities. (wikipedia)
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LEFT-HANDED. So there isn't really much in the way of reorienting our understanding of nearly *half* the words in the themers, and the one answer that *does* reorient that first word is an outlier. Thus, even though we're asked to look at "either word," it's really only the second word that's being reimagined in any kind of remotely interesting way. Further, "remotely" is the key word there. "Oh yeah, COST can be a PAST TENSE verb ..." is about as much of an excited thought as you are going to have while solving this. Actually, you were probably more excited by DEAD DROPS (10D: Spy communication spots) and DEETS (27D: Specifics, slangily) than you were by *anything* having to do with the theme.
"Like either word" puzzles are often unpleasant because constructors tend to force words to go together that don't really want to do so, and so you get barely passable or awkward phrases. That wasn't so much a problem today, though I definitely lost some time with RED ROSE instead of CUT ROSE. I mean, when I got to a florist to buy flowers and ask for roses, they never bring me entire bushes to look at, so ... the phrase CUT ROSE, while it makes sense to me, isn't really familiar to me. Completely unfamiliar to me was MCLAREN. Needed every cross. Never heard of it. I must not live a very "high-end" lifestyle. MCLAREN / COOPTS was the toughest area of the puzzle for me, partly because I kept insisting on seeing the latter as a one-syllable word. Lastly, to acknowledge the elephant in the room, yes, IS BAD is bad.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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