John of pro wrestling / FRI 3-31-17 / Alphabetically rhyming river name / Mammasl using echolocation / 1980s big city mayor / Ff Sumter battler / Good practice for show it's academic
Friday, March 31, 2017
Constructor: David C. Duncan Dekker
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: John CENA (23A: John of pro wrestling) —
//; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host. He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand. Cena started his professional wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and won the UPW Heavyweight Championship the following year. Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment, or simply WWE) in 2001, debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002. [...] Outside of wrestling, Cena has released the rap album You Can't See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), and Sisters (2015). Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk'd, Psych, and Parks and Recreation. He was also a contestant on Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, where he made it to the final round before being eliminated, placing third in the overall competition. Cena is also the host of American Grit on Fox. Cena is involved in numerous philanthropic causes; most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has granted the most wishes in Make-A-Wish history (wikipedia).
ODETS CENA and EDKOCH start us with a glut of names and then PEEDEE gets a hyper-dumb (and to me, indecipherable) clue (2D: Alphabetically rhyming river name). Not even a geographic location. And "alphabetically" means "in alphabetical order" to me, so I just had to rely on crosses and knowing the PEEDEE river exists. A trivial sum is TWO *PENCE*? Cor Blimey! Here in America, I give my two cents, not my two pence. How did that not have a "to Brits" tag like ENQUIRY? GUIDE crossing GUIDO? Ouch. There was not a lot of joy here. Is a BSC a Bachelor of ... SCience? How "common" is a BSC? Is it different from a B.S.? I teach in a degree-granting place and I have no idea. I google BSC and the first hit that comes up is "Boston Sports Clubs." That was the last answer I got.
Two major errors held me up today. First BUTT OUT for BUZZ OFF (24D: "Go away!"). And then, much worse, OKRAS for ORCAS (11D: Things in a pod). I thought the clue on SWIMMEET was pretty decent (13D: What has different strokes for different folks?). But there wasn't much else that was entertaining. I mean, PIZZA (amazing, delicious!) and the best clue you can come up with is [___ topping]?? That's criminal. Overall, this is not terrible, but it's highly blah, and makes me miss the days when killer themeless constructors roamed the Friday and Saturday puzzles. [Redacted nostalgic passage] [Redacted remark about talent depletion] [Decision to go drink BOOZE].
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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