Showing posts with label Independence Day fleet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independence Day fleet. Show all posts

Independence Day fleet / SUN 10-3-10 / WXY buttons / Charlie Brown's curly-haired pal / Independence Day fleet / Tree-lined walk / 1990s war site

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Constructor: Daniel A. Finan

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Can I Change Places?" — "I" is relocated inside of words in familiar phrases, resulting in wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: SCLERA (84D: Cornea neighbor) —

The sclera, also known as the white or white of the eye, is the opaque (usually white, though certain animals, such as horses and lizards, can have black sclera), fibrous, protective, outer layer of the eye containing collagen and elastic fiber. In the development of the embryo, the sclera is derived from the neural crest. In children, it is thinner and shows some of the underlying pigment, appearing slightly blue. In the elderly, fatty deposits on the sclera can make it appear slightly yellow. (wikipedia)
• • •

Third day in a row of far-easier-than-average puzzles. I crushed my best Sunday time today, coming in over a minute faster than the previous record. Normally, I don't go into Speed Mode on Fri, Sat, or Sun, but today, I gave it a shot. Apparently not speeding has paid off, speed-wise. WHO KNEW? (64D: Words said with a shrug). The theme was less than inspiring, and slightly wonky at SPIRAL SITAR CASE (16D: Decorative piece of George Harrison tour equipment?), an answer I like, butone that requires a breaking of the original word into two in order to make sense (something none of the other answers require). I don't think I understood the theme concept until I was finished. Figured I was just working anagrams for some reason I'd figure out later, which was true enough.

  • Favorite theme answer: DON'T TOUCH THAT DALI (112A: Admonishment at a Surrealist museum?)
  • Least favorite: MARITAL LAW (it's a real thing—nothing wacky at all going on there; clue doesn't even need a "?," really) (93A: What a family court judge enforces?).
  • Weirdest: TEHRAN RAIN (Tehran, Iran is not a phrase—it's a formal way of writing a city name; plus I have to imagine the comma away) (35A: Spoiler of a parade for Ahmadinejad?).

The rest of the theme answers:
  • 23A: Lewis and Clark expedition, for the 1800s? (TRAIL OF THE CENTURY)
  • 57A: Top butcher's title? (THE LOIN KING)
  • 76A: Destroyers of les forêts (FRENCH FIRES)
  • 43D: Paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara and the like? (ICON COLLECTIONS)
Had a little bit of trouble in both the east and the west portions of the puzzle. The IHRE / -ICS/ SECY / NSEC area is really ugly, and not knowing IHRE (69A: Her: Ger.), I fumbled around there a bit. I got into the western section from the bottom up, and with neither UFOS (70A: "Independence Day" fleet) nor SML (75A: T-shirt sizes, in short) coming easily, I had to jump to the top of that section and work my way back down. Think I wanted USMC for UFOS and SMS for SML (which looks more like a singular abbrev. for "Small" than an abbr. for the full range of sizes, Small, Medium, and Large). Had the MAP part of 42D: Chart showing highs and lows, but could not grasp the RELIEF part until I had many crosses in place. As for the rest of the grid: I liked the apparent freshness of SAVE AS, despite the fact that it's not exactly a scintillating phrase. I use "SAVE AS" every day. I remember having FRIEDA (41A: Charlie Brown's curly-haired pal) in a puzzle I made and wanting a Kahlo clue, only to realize that that FRIDA spelled her name differently. Thankfully, there was this FRIEDA to fall back on. I did not know that "ALLÉE" was a word that had made its way into the English language (101D: Tree-lined walk). Now I do.

  • 55A: "___ From Hawaii," 1973 Elvis album (ALOHA) — As ALOHA clues go, I like this one.

  • 61A: WXY buttons (NINES) — on your phone keypad. Inferred the right number from the number of letters in the answer.
  • 109A: Convert, as metal into a melt? (SCRAMBLE) — would like this a whole helluva lot better if the word was SCRAMBLED into another, single word.
  • 117A: More awesome, to a rapper (ILLER) — "Awesome" is OK, but it's not the greatest fit ... for instance, I don't think the Beastie Boys are suggesting that "It's Time To Get Awesome," exactly...

[Doug E. Fresh on the beat box = nice]

  • 52D: Sharpener residue (SHAVINGS) — I'm staring at some right now—they're inside this somewhat circular, translucent, pink pencil sharpener that sits on my desk. I'm a pencil fan, though when solving, I use mechanical pencils and not the kind that produce SHAVINGS.
  • 92D: 1990s war site (BOSNIA) — I learned the word BOSNIA as part of the name BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA. Lynne Russell of early '90s CNN provided the voice that taught me how to say it.

And now your Tweets of the Week, puzzle chatter from the Twitterverse:

  • @ Eating breakfast and doing crosswords at Burger King like an old man.
  • @ Would really like it if the paper came. Will Shortz must be punished.
  • @ the only thing worse than that steak sandwich was the jackass bartender who insisted on talking to me while i was working on my xword.
  • @ Woman at bookstore asks if they have any "all-People-magazine-crossword books." I fight urge to say, "Have you tried hell?"
  • @ shout out to my bitch/bestfriend for finishing his crossword first lol he was too serious bout that candy
  • @ Dear cute sbux boy. Come over and help me with this crossword. You don't reaaalllly have to go back to work, do you? #sbuxcutie
  • @ If a reader wants a nine letter word for "sandwich shop" beginning with 7, you've mixed up the Sudoku and Crossword images again.
  • @ Assisting Ma do the Irish News crossword and watching snooker (which neither of understand) with sound turned down - hello extreme old age.
  • @ The Sunday NY Times used to be the highlight of my day. Now it's just Frank Rich, the crossword and a bunch of junk.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


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