1990s caught on tape series / SAT 1-7-16 / Synthetic dye compound / Subspecies of distinct geographical variety / Alternative to Food Lion Piggly Wiggly
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Constructor: Roland Huget
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: "REAL TV" (31A: 1990s "caught on tape" series) —
Real TV (commonly known as America's Best Caught on Tape) is a reality television program that ran in syndication from September 9, 1996 to September 7, 2001. It aired footage of extraordinary events that were usually covered in mainstream news. It was often played on Spike TV and the Fox Reality Channel. It is currently airing on Decades.
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RIFE URU in succession, but ... you can see the problem already. I do not know from fabrics and am Never gonna know. TULLE, toile, moire (is that one?), on and on. No hope. TULLE is netting (4D: Veil material). TOILE is canvas. But TOILE *sounds* like the netting one. It sounds light and airy, as opposed to TULLE, which sounds ... dull. You can see my brain has put up a terrible roadblock here. I also tried TRITE instead of STALE (19A: Overused), so that didn't help. Figured out I was dealing with a RUB, but straight-up MEAT never occurred to me. SPICE, DRY ... but no. Just MEAT. Broke through with SOULFUL and then the makes-me-feel-guilty-for-knowing-it ECOTYPE (2D: Subspecies of a distinct geographical variety). Most ECO- words (see also ECOCIDE, ugh) I have only ever seen in crosswords. This one included. Managed to finish NW in OK time, but as you can see, every corner is horribly sequestered (only two tiny ways in and out), so I essentially had four mini-puzzles left to solve.
A word about bygone pop culture. I have no problem with bygone, but bygone and utterly insignificant—there, I got problems. "REAL PEOPLE" was a big deal. "REAL TV" ... was not. Just reading the wikipedia description there makes me sad. It's the STALE Cinnabon of wikipedia entries. Like ... the show wasn't really good to start with, but *maybe*, in its day, you'd've eaten it just 'cause it was there ... but *now*? Nah. Pass. Don't remind me. Get that ISH up out of here. "REAL TV"? Come on, man.
I like SPACE-TIME a lot (21D: What a wormhole is a tunnel in). I like ARE WE GOOD? (35A: "No hard feelings?") though I usually hear it in its cropped form, "WE GOOD?" The ARE version is real enough, though, so no problem. WIFI ZONE feels odd to my ears. I think in terms of HOTSPOTS. I see that "zone" exists, but that answer didn't stick the landing. This is the result of trying to make gratuitous "Z"s happen, smh. All non-Morales EVOs are pretty bad, but the answer I want to add to the "Let's Not" list is our good old friend (that no one ever says except as a suffix) ADE(S). If I could ban, I would ban. Ooh, you can keep it if you clue it as [Nigerian musician King Sunny ___]. Otherwise, to the curb.
- 11D: Banquets (DINES) — what, you want me to believe "Banquets" is a verb? Don't be like that. That's just ridiculous.
- 42D: Old Scratch, with "the" (EVIL ONE) — Got held up because I confused Old Scratch with Old Sod and tried to make some form of IRELAND work. EVIL ONE is not a phrase any constructor would willingly use. It's a database suggestion with commonish letters, alternative vowel consonant. See also ANILINE, ugh.
- 39D: Ingredient in Pringles Light (OLESTRA) — this was a gateway answer, i.e. a long answer I was able to throw into an as-yet empty section that gave me all the traction I needed. See also IPAD APP in the NE (8A: Angry Birds starting in 2010, e.g.)
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