Showing posts with label Little do ya 1950s-'60s slogan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Little do ya 1950s-'60s slogan. Show all posts

Pro-Church of England position / FRI 7-1-11 / Winthrop's affliction Music Man / Title girl 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon / Cousins of blackbirds

Friday, July 1, 2011

Constructor: Chris A. McGlothlin

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position)— word is broken up and rebused across the middle of the grid

Word of the Day: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position) —

Antidisestablishmentarianism [...] is a political position that originated in 19th-century Britain in opposition to proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England, that is, to remove the Anglican Church's status as the state church of England, Ireland, and Wales. // The establishment was maintained in England, but in Ireland the Church of Ireland (Anglican) was disestablished in 1871. In Wales, four Church of England dioceses were disestablished in 1920, subsequently becoming the Church in Wales. // The question of disestablishment of the Church of England is still current, often tied with the position of the English monarch as "Supreme Governor" of the Church (see Act of Settlement 1701). Those who wish to continue the establishment of the Church of England are referred to as Antidisestablishmentarians. (wikipedia)

• • •

Very hard for me. The times I'm seeing right now at the NYT site indicate that it was blisteringly hard for most folks. First off, you're not always looking for a rebus or trick or theme of any kind on a Friday. So there's that. Then there's the fact that it's just hard. I count at least nine answers that I flat-out didn't know (though a handful of those I'd vaguely heard of and could guess at with some crosses). I'm torn between admiring the puzzle (it's tough and memorable and there are some very cool entries and clues) and a general feeling of "I don't get it." Why that word? Why is it broken up? Is splitting or breaking somehow related to the word's meaning (seems a stretch)? Or is it just that this is a famous long word, so why not put it at the center and dice it and stuff it into little squares?

I had a sense early on that there was a rebus involved (at ARK(AN)SAS, actually / 28D: Home of the 42nd U.S. president), but I already had so much of the puzzle done, with no rebus squares in sight, that I figured Clinton must have some other "home" that ends in the same last two letters as his home state. Eventually, the general impenetrability of the center made it clear that something fishy was afoot (is that a mixed metaphor?), and the undeniability of JUST FOR MEN (I mean, once you get to JUST FOR [one blank square], your options are pretty limited) finally tipped me to the letter-cramming gimmick (8D: Popular hair care product).

Fill is pretty solid, except for that ALER / PLAN C (6D: Alternative fallback position) / HAHAHA patch in the NW. My main objection is to the ENTO- / TOE cross (9D: Prefix with -derm / 21A: It may be pinched). Never ever heard of ENTOderm (!?!?!) (is that when your skin is ... on the inside?), and I have never pinched my TOE (stubbed, sure, but not pinched), whereas I pinched my TIE just this morning before heading out to freshman orientation. It's how I get the knot to cinch up right. ENTO- is a terrible bit of fill anyway—don't call attention to it by getting cute with your crosses.

[Warning: some profanity]

Stuff I didn't know:
  • 17A: Florida's ___ Park Race Track (HIALEAH) — Who can forget the THRILLA in HIALEAH!? Classic. (15A: Start of a big 1975 sports event?)
  • 2D: An apostle (PHILIP) — of all the PHILIPs... come on. Boo. Boring.
  • 23A: Winthrop's affliction in "The Music Man" (LISP) — whose what?
  • 38D: Structural piece bent 90˚ along its long dimension (ANGLE IRON) — pfft. Next.
  • 50A: London borough with Wembley Stadium (BRENT) — again ... of all the BRENTs. Boring / obscure.
  • 65A: Chanel fragrance "pour homme" (EGOISTE) — sounds vaguely familiar, but I needed a lot of help from crosses.
  • 39D: Sheet music notations (TABLATURES) — I was trying to make this something like E NATURAL for a while...
  • 13D: Story from Joyce's "Dubliners" ("EVELINE") — never read Joyce. Not a word. Weird, right?
Not the most contemporary of puzzles, but that's OK. At least it has "DARIA," a great and highly underrated cartoon that was technically a spin-off of "Beavis & Butt-head" but is almost nothing like "Beavis & Butt-head" (27A: Title girl in a 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon). Smart, cynical girl trying to survive a modern Riverdale High School (her school's name = Lawndale). Recommended. Is the constructor an older man who really likes his hair, 'cause "A Little DAB'LL Do Ya" and JUST FOR MEN ... that's an odd coincidence.

  • 31A: Like many blog comments, informally (ANON.) — when I realized there might be a rebus in play, I briefly considered that the answer here might be A[NG]RY.
  • 36A: Cousins of blackbirds (GRACKLES) — black with a weird bluish sheen. We get them on our lawn quite a bit.
  • 40A: Creamlike paint shade (EGGSHELL) — big big help. Got this answer off just the final "L"
  • 1A: It often contains "lies" (EPITAPH) — absolutely fantastic clue. Just what a 1-Across clue should be. I also enjoyed 60A: Mama grizzly, south of the border (OSA). Are there grizzlies in Mexico?
  • 66A: Astronaut's favorite dessert? (MOON PIE) — piece of cake, just like the entire SE corner. Weird contrast to rest of the puzzle.
  • 26D: Class with Browning and Golding, say (ENGLISH LIT) — those of you horrified at my non-Joyce-reading will be happy to know that a. this clue was transparent, b. I've read both the authors mentioned, and c. I know enough about ENGLISH LIT to know that there is no one class that would feature both these writers (unless the topic of that class is "random books I pulled off my shelf"). Further, the first man who came to mind when I saw "Golding" was not the "Lord of the Flies" guy, but the Renaissance translator of Ovid. Arthur Golding. You heard me.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


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