Better adversary to deal with in saying / FRI 1-20-17 / Genres for Ladysmith Black Mambazo / Eponymous physicist Ernst / TV character who fronted as a waste management consultant
Friday, January 20, 2017
Constructor: Angela Olson "PuzzleGirl" Halsted
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: PITTI Palace (52D: Florence's ___ Palace) —
The Palazzo Pitti (Italian pronunciation: [paˈlattso ˈpitti]), in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the town residence of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker. // The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions. // In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a power base by Napoleon, and later served for a brief period as the principal royal palace of the newly united Italy. The palace and its contents were donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919. // The palazzo is now the largest museum complex in Florence.
I did not know PITTI Palace, but the rest of this felt pretty easy. I had issues with ENTICE ([Decoy] is a verb??) ("Sirens decoyed sailors to their deaths ..." Sounds off). I also had issues with the REPS / RETCH crossing, as I misread 25A: Training tally as [Training rally]. I also sometimes thing RETCH (25D: [Gag!]) is spelled with an initial "W." And it is. Just not with this meaning (either spelling makes a perfect cross for 38-Across today, tbh). We're probably gonna see a new HUAC soon, so that's timely. Obama (aka MR. RIGHT) EXITS, so that's sad (I just this second Unfollowed @POTUS on Twitter). SOP UP ... yeah, sure ... bribery, corruption. That works. That's coming. INANITY. Obviously. It's hard not to tea-leaves this thing. I mean, CAD / LEERS!? That's pretty spot-on. Change LEERS to GRABS and bingo. Or, hey, rebuild the grid and go the full SEXUALLY ASSAULTS (15!). So many appropriate options.
As with George Michael yesterday, I managed to make the cross-referenced clues work for me today, as the TOPAZ clue (50D: 1967 Cold War suspense novel by 9-Down) sent me teleporting into the NE via URIS (9D: See 50-Down). I'm totally biased, but I honestly don't see much here to sneer at. ESS? I guess. PSS. Yes. But that is nitpicking. I know from nitpicking, and that is nitpicking. There is no doubt this will be the most enjoyable part of my day today, so thanks, Angela. Love ya. XO.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]