Early historian of ancient Rome / WED 3-22-17 / Fresh air's opposite / Kid's transport literally / Present location when visiting boondocks / Figure of underground economy / like n r phonetics / brief period in nuclear physics / big brand of kitchen knives
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (theme easy, fill ... ?)
- CYCLECYCLECYCLE (3x cycle = tricycle)
- RANTRANTRANTRANT (4x rant = quadrant)
- GONGONGONGONGON (5x gon =pentagon)
Cutco Corporation, formerly Alcas Corporation, is a multi-level marketing company that sells knives. It is the parent company of CUTCO Cutlery Corp., Vector Marketing, KA-BAR Knives and Schilling Forge. Its primary brand is the name Cutco. // The company was founded in 1949 by Alcoa and Case Cutlery (hence "Al-cas") to manufacture knives. The management purchased the company from Alcoa in 1982, and the company acquired Vector Marketing Corporation in 1985. (wikipedia)
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RED CHINA, for instance. A. that's incredibly vague, B. that sounds like a slang term and I see no slang indication in the clue, C. I don't remember this being a "threat." Soooo many more "threats" more closely associated with the Cold War. Further, what is CUTCO? I can tell you it's never been in the NYT before. So ... introduce a marginal knife brand on a Wednesday? Sigh. You should be able to handle your not-hard-to-fill grid better than that.
Hardest part for me was OUT HERE (!??!) (36A: Present location, when visiting the boondocks). Seems much more likely that a *resident* of the "boondocks" would use that phrase when explaining something about the "boondocks" to a condescending asshole visitor she heard using the term "boondocks." "OUT HERE, we value politeness, jerkface." I had NOWHERE in there for a while. Stupid "British" clue on RUMP (28A: ___ steak (British term for a sirloin cut)) meant I could do nothing with RU__ (I know "RUMP steak," but had No idea it was "British"—and there are so many non-British ways to clue RUMP, ugh), so that middle got bogged down. Mainly this thing was just a drag. Just an avalanche of stale fill, AVER SETTO ANO ALI REA ITRY OVA ESL UNIS APACE ADO etc.
Finally, I think there is a really bad editing error at the 10A/10D crossing (10A: Figure of the underground economy? (MINER) / 10D: Brief period in nuclear physics: Abbr. (MSEC). If I get a "brief period" in a science clue, that answer is going to be NSEC. Always. I accept that there are other SECs, but you're gonna have to prove it to me in the crosses. Only here ... NINER works perfectly (esp. in a "?" clue). I figured a NINER was slang for a Forty-Niner (because, in football, *it is*). And the Forty-Niners were ... miners, so ... NSEC / NINER. I do not accept that that's wrong. So the editing here is ugh. Just ugh. Not as bad as the horrible editing involved in the E-CLASS / E.C. SEGAR crossing a few days ago, but bad. Bad. Negligent.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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