One-horse carriage / THU 3-23-17 / Distinctive filmmakers / Old typesetting machine informally / Certain bourdeaux informally
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Constructor: Sandy Ganzell
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: straitened circumstances — three Down columns are less wide than the others; words meaning "the opposite of wide" must precede all the answers in those columns in order for them to make sense (i.e. you have to mentally supply the initial word)
- [Thin] MINTS (14D: Girl Scout cookie offering)
- [Slim] CHANCE (42D: What a long shot has) (ironically, "Fat" also works as the initial word here)
- [Lean] CUISINE (22D: Brand for weight-watchers)
- [Narrow] ESCAPE (16D: Barely successful avoidance of calamity)
- [Skinny] JEANS (49D: Form-fitting casual wear)
- 1.historicala small open horse-drawn carriage for one person.
- a light covered cart.
- 2.(in Canada) a kind of sled pulled by a horse or dogs and with space for one or more passengers. (google)
• • •
CARIOLE, though (ugggggh) nearly destroyed me (17A: One-horse carriage). How on god's green am I supposed to keep all the carriage terminology straight, crossword gods! We've been on to the automobile for a century now, come on. Brougham, landau, phaeton, surrey, stanhope, sulky, fiacre ... I've seen most if not all of those in crosswords before. Well, landau for sure. Maybe I dreamed the others. My point is that CARIOLE was one where I needed every cross and because it crossed a quotation word (TACT) and a vaguely clued clothing item (SARI), and *those* crossed a [random TV station], I was staring down the barrel of Fail for a bit. Had CAMI for 3D: Article of apparel that often leaves one arm bare, and that gave me _BC for 1A: Cable channel owned by Time Warner, which seemed *very* plausible. Ended up figuring out that it had to be TACT at 1D, which gave me TBS, and then SARI. But none of that trouble would've been real trouble without nutso time-traveling archaic CARIOLE. Blargh.
["Should I bring the brougham around, Dad?" "No! CARIOLE, my wayward son!"]
But as I say, nothing else rankled in the slightest. This appears to be a debut from this constructor, and it's a promising one. I like this better than the entire oeuvre of at least a couple oft-published NYT regulars. I mean, that bar's not terribly high, because those guys' puzzles are super-ugh, but still—nice to have a solid hit your first time out. Oh, wait. COSM is terrible. Very terrible. My general good feeling, though, is undiminished.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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