Edible mushroom / MON 2-6-17 / Dictator ___ Amin / Summer hours in Denver: Abbr. / Philosopher and social activist West
Monday, February 6, 2017
You know what they say, the first Monday of the month is the best Monday of the month! OK, nobody actually says that, but it's Annabel filling in for Rex today as usual! :)
Constructor: Andy Hinz
Relative difficulty: See at this point I can't tell if it was easy or if I'm just getting better? Let's go with medium. Medium works. It was a medium puzzle and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
THEME: HIDDEN CAMERA — Theme clues included "hidden" brands of camera. (Not that hidden if they're right there in bubbles, are they? Oh well.)
- HIDDEN CAMERA (51A: Common security device...or a feature of 20, 33- and 38-Across)
- I CAN ONLY HOPE (20A: "Keeping my fingers crossed")
- PRISON YARD (33A: Exercise area for convicts)
- SPUTNIK ONE (38A: First satellite to orbit Earth)
Word of the Day: MOREL (55A: Edible mushroom) —
Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales (division Ascomycota). These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance, due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multi-million-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan, where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance.
Tbh, I'm getting a little sick of seeing IDO with the "something you say at a wedding" clue. It's like playing THE in Scrabble. There's gotta be something better you can come up with! The rest of the fill was pretty interesting though. RAFT, BERG, ASEA.....did Andy Hinz rewatch "Titanic" yesterday? I can't blame him, Kate and Leo are pretty cute together. Anyway. I got stuck around the middle of the left side for-freaking-ever, and also for some reason I had REAREST EXIT instead of NEAREST EXIT for 25D? I remember thinking to myself, "Funny, I don't think "rearest" is a word." Guess I was right.
The theme was actually really fun! Like I said, I don't really get how the cameras were "hidden," but it was still cool to find the brands and wonder where they were going with it. Still gets imaginary points off for not being Downs-only-solver friendly, but hey, it's Monday. Also, I think "I can only hope" is a bit of a stretch, but hey, again, Monday.
- DEFY (7D: Challenge) — Oh no, I'm getting flashbacks to my Wicked phase. When I was a kid I went into one of those amusement park recording studios to record my own solo a cappella version of "Defying Gravity" and have it played for everyone in that area of the park. I was very proud of myself at the time. It is all very embarrassing.
- NERD (54D: Jock's antithesis) — Jock's antithesis, huh? CollegeHumor has a pretty funny take on that!
- ESCAPE ROUTE (3D: Means of getaway) — What does it say about my status as a Pokémon kid that my first thought was ESCAPE ROPE and I got really confused when it wouldn't fit? (An escape rope is an item in a Pokémon game that lets you escape from a cave. It's really useful when your Pokémon are low HP because in Pokémon caves you can't use Fly and....Oops, this is getting a little NERDy!)
- TESTER (48A: Employee at a perfumery) — THE PERFUME DEPARTMENT?!?!?!
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.
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