Showing posts with label Two bridges India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Two bridges India. Show all posts

Specialty oven / SAT 3-5-11 / Channel between mainland England Isle Wight / Transient madness Horace / Rue Morgue murderer / Two bridges India

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Constructor: Randolph Ross

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: The SOLENT (15A: Channel between mainland England and the Isle of Wight, with "the") —

The Solent is a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. // The Solent is a major shipping route for passengers, freight and military vessels. It is an important recreational area for water sports, particularly yachting, hosting the Cowes Week sailing event annually. It is sheltered by the Isle of Wight and has a very complex tidal pattern, which has greatly benefited Southampton's success as a port. Portsmouth lies on its shores. Spithead, an area off Gilkicker Point near Gosport, is known as the place where the Royal Navy is traditionally reviewed by the monarch of the day. (wikipedia)

• • •

Did this in about half the time of yesterday's puzzle. It had a few tough parts, but behaved more like a Friday than a Saturday for me. Noteworthy parts of this puzzle include CLEAR AS MUD (best answer) (4D: Poorly explained), EAT FRESH (itself fresh) (52A: Subway line), and the fully-named APIA, SAMOA (APIA is an important crossword word in its own right — I learned it from crosswords, in fact — but I don't think I've seen it long-form like this) (44A: Capital served by Faleolo International Airport). Toughest part of the grid for me, by far, was the NE. Tried and failed to get into it early on (approaching from the west). Ended up finishing the puzzle by hemming in that section (approaching from the south) and forcing the tough answers to give up their secrets. Thorniest answer was MOILS (9D: Churns), which I had as the much more sensible ROILS. But I could Not get a Yankee to fit into RA---; ran the alphabet on that third letter and came up empty. Only after I accepted the non-solidity of the "R" did I (finally) see Roger MARIS (9A: Yankee star who batted left and threw right). Had never heard of the SOLENT, so that didn't help matters. Wanted "The SOLLES," but later realized that was due to my awareness of the existence of the Oregon city named "The DALLES." Weird, I know, but that's how my brain fired. Love the MINCing FOP, BORNE by the MORN to a state of, let's say, WRATH (46A: "A transient madness," per Horace).

Did not love (and did not understand, and do not understand) the clue on LEHR (5D: Specialty oven), which is apparently an oven for annealing glass. Also, never heard anyone say KNEEHOLE before (16A: Place to stretch one's legs). Oh, crud, it's not a clothing term: it's the space under a desk ... for your knees. I don't think of that as a place to "stretch," but OK. ONYM is horrid, but it's about the only thing in the grid that is (34D: Word: Suffix). Beyond that, not much else to say. A fine Saturday effort.

  • 18A: It has two bridges in India (SITAR) — first thing in the grid, after I'd placed the terminal "S" on what ended up being ARKS (1D: They're open on Saturdays).
  • 33A: Figure in the high 60s (D PLUS) — want to like this clue, but the phrasing is just a tad off, to my ear. A D PLUS *represents* a score "in the high 60s," but is not itself "in the high 60s."
  • 7D: Real-life opera composer who's a title character in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera (SALIERI) — had the "SA-" so this wasn't tough, though I was slightly tentative when writing it in with nothing else to confirm it.

  • 10D: "Valentine's Day" co-star, 2010 (ALBA) — as in Jessica, whom I know *only* from "Sin City"
  • 36D: Senator supporter (OTTAWAN) — great clue. I had ATTACHE at first (?!). The Senators are, of course, Ottawa's pro hockey team.
  • 26D: Area where Dali, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh all painted (MONTMARTRE) — got this off the "-TR-" at the tail end. Figured it had to be something French.
  • 38D: Rue Morgue murderer (ORANG) — that's a revelation that's pretty hard to forget.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


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