Slacker's opposite in modern lingo / SAT 12-24-16 / Attractive young woman in rap slang / Arboreal sci-fi creature / Astronomer who coined term nova
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: CARY, NC (30D: City of 150,000+ between Raleigh and Durham) —
Cary // is the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina. Cary is in Wake and Chatham counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located almost entirely in Wake County, it is the second largest municipality in that county and the third largest municipality in The Triangle after Raleigh and Durham. The town's population was 135,234 as of the 2010 census (an increase of 43.1% since 2000), making it the largest town and seventh largest municipality statewide. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 151,088 as of July 1, 2013. Cary is currently the second most populous incorporated town (behind only Gilbert, Arizona) in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, Cary was the 5th fastest growing municipality in the United States between September 1, 2006, and September 1, 2007. (wikipedia)
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SHAWTY and "SEXY BACK" (well, you can probably infer the SEXY). Yet those are two isolated instances of pop culturality. Most of the rest of the grid involves common knowledge, but has clues that you have to smash with a rock for a little bit before you crack them. Also, the puzzle is peppered with toeholds, little gimmes like EWOK and QVC, that make regaining traction after wipe-out relatively easy. QVC was a lifesaver, in fact, as I had no hope on 37D: Wing covering until that "Q" slotted in and what's this? The "Q" follows the "B"? How can that ... oh, BBQ SAUCE! Woohoo etc. Anyway, the main thing is, it was Fun. The NYT has some loyalist constructors who generally know what they're doing, and Steinberg is certainly one of them.
Here's me at just under 2 min.:
Never heard of DEMON RUM (62A: Prohibitionists' target) or CARY (which seems hilariously obscure relative to everything else in the grid) (30D: City of 150,000+ between Raleigh and Durham). Was lucky to get handed a bunch of easy E-words to facilitate my flow through the grid. Stuff like EWOK and "ELO OLE!"* (which I own) and ECCO (43A: Danish shoe maker with more than 1,000 global stores) (which I initially misspelled as either the fashion brand or kitchenware brand, ECKO). And of course EDSEL. Good old EDSEL. Dead as a car, but reborn as a crossword savior (51A: Bomb with wheels). Whiffed on EDO today, though (26A: Japan's ___ Castle). Really beating myself up about that one ... but no matter. Fun solve, respectable time, God bless us every one. Happy Everything!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
*OK so that's not technically an "E" word, since the actual title (and the answer, which you can plainly see in the grid) is "OLE ELO!" The sheer e-force of ELO made me see things. Forgive me.
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