Kind of dye with vivid colors / WED 1-25-17 / Christina who played Lizze Borden / Montana city that consolidated with Silver Bow County / Giraffe's cousin / bit of birdbath gunk / Uriah Heep's profession
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Constructor: Tracy Gray
Relative difficulty: Easy
- DAGNABIT! (17A: "@#$!" from Deputy Dawg)
- HORSE HOCKEY! (24A: "@#$!" from Colonel Sherman Potter) (fun fact, your editor once told me and a co-constructor that Sherman Potter was not famous enough to be a theme answer in a puzzle) (this was after rejecting Sherman Alexie) (puzzle ran in another venue) (it's probably the best easy puzzle I've ever (co-)made) (true story)
- SHAZBOT! (39A: "@#$!" from Mork)
- OH, BARNACLES! (50A: "@#$!" from SpongeBob SquarePants)
- JEEZALOO! (61A: "@#$!" from Frank on "Everybody Loves Raymond")
Uriah Heep is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield. // The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent references to his own "'umbleness". His name has become synonymous with being a sycophant. He is one of the main antagonists of the book.
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SHAZBOT is the only one that even approaches a definitive catchphrase, and HORSE HOCKEY is the only one I can even clearly remember hearing, though JEEZALOO rings a very faint bell. The animated ones fall on either side of my wheelhouse, though I've certainly seen both toons and have zero recollection of hearing these particular exclamations. This is to say that they are familiar to me in precise relation to my age (i.e. "Mork & Mindy" and "M*A*S*H" were childhood staples, I watched a little "Everybody Loves Raymond," and the others I watched sporadically, accidentally, here and there). Despite the generational bias, I still think SHAZBOT is the only spot-on entry. I certainly know DAGNABIT but that expression isn't strongly associated with any character in particular (in my mind) and is therefore by far the weakest thing here, conceptually. Sounds like a @$#! from any OATER, honestly. Seems like it's also kind of alt-spelled (I'd do two "B"s) Anyway, mothball city, theme answer-wise, but the concept was kind of fun, I think. Fanciful profanity is at least original and wacky, and no more or less than it pretends to be. Face value fake-swearing. Fine by me.
Going on to my "Let's Not!" list today is every formulation of [network]TV. No one but no one would say that "The Voice" airs on NBCTV. What, did you think someone might think it was a radio program? It's on NBC. Stop the madness. AZO and ALGA and PROSY and ON HIRE and multiple FSTOPS are the clunky stuff today, and that's not too bad. RUMOR HAS IT, SYCAMORE, and SNAPCHAT are nice-ish long Downs. I misspelled CRONIN thusly, and stupidly wrote SPAM / PANING instead of SCAM / CANING (which is to say, I wrote in SPAM for 32A: Robocall from the I.R.S., e.g. and didn't check the cross very well—only reason I even found that mistake was because SPAM magically occurred "again") (53D: Much-maligned food). Alright, I'm done. See you Thursday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. a note from Ben Tausig, ed. of the American Values Club Crossword:
"This Wednesday's AVCX is a polemical puzzle by me. After the pos energy of the march, maybe it's a little poorly aimed to point a cruciverbal weapon at trump. I mean, whatever, but what we're going to also do is donate 100% of subscription money received this Wednesday to Planned Parenthood. The puzzle itself, titled "Of the Free World," will be available free. There will be a blurb/link on the front page of avxwords.com to download it." Here's the official statement re: today's puzzle.
P.P.S. to enter for a chance to win one of FIVE American Values Crossword Club subscriptions I'm giving away today, just RT this Tweet or "Like" this Facebook post some time today. Thanks!
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