Seneca Falls orator Lucretia / WED 2-1-17 / Follower of Hosea / Main squeeze in modern lingo / Prayer wheel turner / Hit home run in baseball lingo
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Constructor: Matthew Sewell and Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Easy
- 19A: Friends who go to White Castle in a 2004 film (HAROLD AND KUMAR)
- 25A: Romans who protected the emperor (PRAETORIAN GUARD)
- 43A: Countrymen who met in Philadelphia in 1787 (FOUNDING FATHERS)
The Ayyubid Mosque of Omar (Arabic: مسجد عمر بن الخطاب) in Jerusalem is located opposite the southern courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Muristan area of the Christian Quarter. (wikipedia)
• • •
LEND ME YOUR EARS, and kept looking for things related to ears, the word "ears," the letters in ears. But there is no wordplay. You have to look at the clues to see the words you need. Looking at the clues didn't occur to me. In fact, figured out the "friends Romans countrymen" shtick without looking at the clues. It's only after I found the concept really dissatisfying that looked to the clues to see if there might be something there to tie it all together. And there was. This didn't do much to clear the dissatisfaction, but it did tighten up the whole concept somewhat. "Friends" and "countrymen" are recontextualized ridiculously by the theme answers, but "Romans" ... isn't. Not sure how you'd recontextualize "Romans," though. You just get ... Romans. All Romans lead back to Rome. No wacky places to go. Whaddya gonna do? So, there's a theme, it's basically consistent, the implementation is adequate. The punchline didn't really land for me (awkward phrasing in the revealer clue made the aha moment more "oh" then "ooh"), but it'll do.
Grid is very clean and lively, with an unusual couple of 8-blocs in the N and S. WENT YARD is probably the most noteworthy and original answer here (35D: Hit a home run, in baseball lingo). I love baseball terminology, and I don't think I've seen this expression in present *or* past tense in a puzzle before (there was a brief moment where I considered GONE YARD...). I didn't have many snags at all. Was lucky enough to know both of the first two themers (presumably everyone knows the third). Had no idea SPADER voiced Ultron (I know him primarily as the asshole in many '80s movies). Never heard of the Mosque of OMAR. But neither of these ignorances cost me more than a few seconds. I probably lost more time wondering why LIQUIDS wouldn't fit in 46D: What doctors recommend that sick people get a lot of (FLUIDS). Had -UIDS and was Baffled. Why wouldn't LIQUIDS fit!? Of course FLUIDS is the better answer in every way, but somehow that "U" really cried out for a "Q" to rub against. Thus concludes my erotique musings on libidinal letters.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]