Thursday, January 12, 2017
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Easy
- BUS TED APART (1st row)
- BAN ANA SPLIT (8th row)
- BRO KEN INTWO (15th row)
A maser (//, an acronym for "microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation") is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. The first maser was built by Charles H. Townes, James P. Gordon, and H. J. Zeiger at Columbia University in 1953. Townes, Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov were awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for theoretical work leading to the maser. Masers are used as the timekeeping device in atomic clocks, and as extremely low-noise microwave amplifiers in radio telescopes and deep space spacecraft communication ground stations. (wikipedia)
• • •SPECIAL MESSAGE for the week of January 8-January 15, 2017
Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905
Now on to the puzzle!
BANANA SPLIT is the only one that's spot-on. Also, BUS/TED and BRO/KEN are self-descriptive. BUS/TED is busted, BRO/KEN is broken. Don't even need the following word. Then there's BANANA, which does. So you can see (I hope) how BANANA SPLIT is, in every way, the superior answer, putting the other ones to shame. That's a problem. I expect a ton more on a Thursday. Ambitious failures are better than this. There's barely a concept here, and not nearly enough thought and craftsmanship has been brought to bear to make this thing as intriguing as an NYT Thursday ought to be.
Sometimes I solicit opinion from 10 o'clock solvers (like me) on Twitter. The verdict tonight seems to be overwhelmingly "played like a Wednesday" and [shrug]. The only answer I had trouble with was MASERS (seen the word but had no idea what it meant til I looked it up just now), but the crosses were so easy that my progress wasn't slowed down much. I wrote in ECHO for 51D: Voice-activated assistant (SIRI), so that added a bit to my solving time as well. Would've been cool if the long Down (TRANSISTOR RADIO) could've had *something* to do with the theme (it does cross alllll the last words in the theme answers). But I don't think it's related to the theme. I think it's just an answer. I had TRANSISTOR RADIO in the '70s. Not sure what's so '50s about it. But sure, '50s, whatever. I did enjoy the clue on ARMHOLE (59A: What you might accidentally try to put your head through when getting into a sweater), but not much else. Here's hoping something livelier comes around the bend tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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