Partial rainbow near horizon / TUE 12-27-16 / Controversial novel of 1955 / Devotee of eSports / Kane resident of soap TV's Pine Valley
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Constructor: Herre Schouwerwou
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (high 3s)
- HEART SHAPE (17A: *Valentine outline)
- COVER CHARGE (24A: *Cost to enter a bar, maybe)
- DOWN HOME (32A: *Folksy)
- BACK AWAY ( 40A: *What to do when coming face to face with a bear)
- AFTER EFFECT (47A: *Delayed consequence)
Sun dogs (or sundogs), mock suns or phantom suns, meteorological name parhelia (singular parhelion), are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either horizontal side on the Sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo. // Sun dogs are a member of a large family of halos, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere. Sun dogs typically appear as two subtly colored patches of light to the left and right of the Sun, approximately 22° distant and at the same elevation above the horizon as the Sun. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright. Sun dogs are best seen and are most conspicuous when the Sun is close to the horizon. (wikipedia)
• • •
LICK for [Spank] (?) and its ALINEs and EGADs and IRMAs and OGDEN NASHes. It's a phoned-in puzzle from 30 years ago, with SUPERMOM and SUNDOG its only, uh, bright spots. Not AOKAY. About as AOKAY as that spelling of AOKAY. ISAO AOKAY, OK? No. Not OK.
The thing about STEPS (54D: Staircase parts) is you can *take* them, so the puzzle is essentially flaunting the fact that the whole Take ___ concept is astonishingly loose. AMARE is really bad fill, esp. for a Tuesday (7D: Verb that's conjugated "amo, amas, amat ..."). Kind of inexcusable. I mean, AMO AMAS AMAT is time-honored garbage that I expect to see, but the Latin infinitive? AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE was a six-time NBA All-Star. I'll take him, if I have to take that answer at all, which, again, I shouldn't have to, on a Tuesday. What happened to the "K" in SMART ALEC(K) (3D: Know-it-all)? Either spelling appears to be legit, but crosswords really flog ALECK as a stand-alone, so I've grown accustomed to its face. ALEC, of course, can be and usually is clued as a man's name when it stands alone. No one ever named their kid ALECK (apologies to the few of you whose parents did, in fact, do that). Isn't an AFTER EFFECT just ... an effect? Don't effects, by definition, come "after." Had some trouble getting into that SW corner precisely because I couldn't imagine what could come before EFFECT at 47A. I have no idea who RHYS Ifans is, but if he's famous enough to be in crosswords, I'm slightly stunned we haven't seen IFANS before (67A: Actor Ifans of "The Amazing Spider-Man"). iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone ... IFANS! It'll fit right in.
The HALF GONE clue seems both cruel and weird (38D: Suffering from senility, say). Maybe I'm just not into slangy terms for people suffering with dementia and other age-related brain problems. I've not heard the term used the way the clue indicates. I'm honestly not sure I've heard the term at all, except possibly related to drunkenness.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS this guy's debut puzzle a couple years back had a quote theme. The quote was by ... OGDEN NASH.
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