Virginia willow's genus / SAT 2-11-17 / 1973 Tony nominee for Little Night Music / Deliciously different sloganeer
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Constructor: Frederick J. Healy
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium for me, but probably closer to Medium
Word of the Day: ILA (30A: Wharf workers' grp.) —
The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) is a labor union representing longshore workers along the East Coast of the United States and Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and inland waterways. The ILA has approximately 200 local affiliates in port cities in these areas. (wikipedia)
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LASER TAG! HAVE A COW! Watch "Home Improvement" and "NYPD Blue"! It's the '90s!), and there's not much fresh stuff to begin with. But mostly the badness wasn't a matter of freshness, it was a matter of simple badness. I just kept wincing at stuff like SEINED and RATEDA and EAN ALTHO LAO ORME ABEAT and oof, especially ITEA (58D: Virginia willow's genus). That is a "delete your puzzle" answer. Let's not. Ever. Never. No. Just godawful. Genuses are always the last refuge of a scoundrel constructor, and this one? What on god's green is it? Who says "DO SAY"? It's DO TELL. Everybody knows that. Multiple WAHOOS *and* multiple DREWS? It just hurts all over, this thing, especially when compared to yesterday's beaut. Jeez, CARIOU? You gotta be really into musicals and/or really old and/or a lonnnnngtime solver (my category!) to know that guy. The only way I'm even getting through this write-up right now is by amusing myself with recluings/reparsings, like, say, [Autobiography of pekoe?] ("I, TEA") and [Gritty '90s religious thriller?] ("GET SATAN!"). Crossing LEHI with ITEA is a textbook example of no no no. Delete your puzzle. I mean, GEE WHIZ, man ...
I will say that there is nothing really *wrong* with the stacks / slabs of longer answers in the corners. "WHEN, THEN?" has a colloquial charm. Not sure why, but I really liked the clue on SCONCE (50D: Keeper of the flame?). I had SEANCE for a bit—again, not sure why. Had RAW EELS for RAW EGGS (43D: Distinctive features of tamago gohan servings, in Japanese cuisine) because I have had eels on the brain for a month or so now (you'll see why—new "On the Grid" podcast episode out soon). I also had SALADS as 21D: Part of many a submarine (SALAMI). Like, I don't know, tuna SALAD, chicken SALAD, something like that? It briefly made sense. SPIKE LEE and HAWKEYE were both gimmes, and a big part of why this puzzle ended up on the easy side for me. Just glad it's over.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. ["Forgive me father, for I have ___" (beginning of fisherman's confession)?] (SEINED). I apologize. Good day.
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