Title mankini wearer in 2006 film / FRI 2-24-17 / It is never too late to mend novelist 1856 / Celebrity astrologer Sydney / Bavaria per part of its official name / It's between Navarre and Catalonia / Once-ler's opponent in children's literature / Where Linear A script was unearthed
Friday, February 24, 2017
Constructor: Andrew Zhou
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: Charles READE (16A: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend" novelist, 1856) —
Charles Reade (8 June 1814 – 11 April 1884) was an English novelist and dramatist, best known for The Cloister and the Hearth.
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Very short write-up this morning, as I have to drive family members hither and yon, and *then* drive myself to the gym at 7:30am. Third day in a row of 60+-degree temperatures in the middle of winter, though, so I can't complain. I just gotta type kinda fast.
I loved this from (literally) square one. Part of that love was from a good first guess at 1A: Take a while to wear off (LAST), which I was able to confirm with the great and (today) heartening and defiant-seeming answer, LGBTQ (1D: Orientation letters?). And then, well, give me the "Q" in the pole position on a 15 and odds are I'm going to take off at good clip. Which is what happened. I had just woken up and was sitting here at my desk, creaky and still bleary-eyed, and still: zing bam pow. Done in under 5. Hummed along so easily I didn't even have to look at clue for DESI ARNAZ (10D: Co-star of a #1 TV show for four seasons in the 1950s); and (as with the "Q," above), plunking that "Z" down did wonders for helping me whip into and through the middle of the grid. I'm just gonna do some bullet points containing the only parts of the puzzle that even tried to block me.
- WENDY (8D: Darling of literature) — this is "Peter Pan," right. Because baseball season is *right* around the corner, my only thought upon seeing "Darling" was "Ron" (he solves crosswords, look him up).
- "DIG IN" (20A: What often follows grace) — had the "DI-" and couldn't come up with anything but "DI ... NER?" The gluttonous colloquialism "DIG IN" doesn't seem quite in the same register as the proper-sounding "grace," but the clue's accurate enough.
- READE (16A: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend" novelist, 1856) — one of the crosswordesiest novelists there is. Get to know him. Or his name, at any rate; I've never read his stuff.
- DODOS (25D: Pinheads) — as usual, I dropped the wrong DO- answer here at first (DOLTS). I also can never remember if the supplement store in the mall is GMC or GNC (40D: Co. with the longtime slogan "Live well").
- OBESE (29D: Like cartoondom's Peter Griffin or Chief Wiggum) — Got the "O" and wrote in OVATE and was quite happy with that answer for a few seconds.
- STIFF (45D: Joe Blow) — this was harder than any other answer by far. I think we get here by way of "working STIFF," but .... I don't know. "Joe Blow" makes me think of Snoopy, even though Snoopy's alter ego was, in fact, Joe Cool.
- EXERCISE SCIENCE (44A: Workout area?) — Needed the LORAX (30D: Once-ler's opponent, in children's literature) to convince me that this was a thing. This means that almost all the high-value Scrabble letters contributed significantly to my speed-solving today. For that, I thank them.
P.S. Episode 002 of "On the Grid," my crossword podcast w/ Lena Webb, out now.
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