Memorable 10/1/75 event / FRI 10-1-10 / Brewer Bernhard / Henry Fielding title heroine / Statesman of old Athens / 164-foot-tall movie star
Friday, October 1, 2010
Constructor: David J. Kahn
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: ALI-FRAZIER FIGHT (40A: Memorable 10/1/75 event) — theme answers all relate in some way to this answer
Word of the Day: MOONEYES (21D: Silvery fish) —
The mooneyes are a family, the Hiodontidae, of primitive ray-finned fish comprising two living and three extinct species in the genus Hiodon. They are large-eyed, fork-tailed fish that physically resemble shads. Their common name comes from the metallic gold or silver shine of their eyes. (wikipedia)
Pretty straightforward for a tribute puzzle. Used to seeing much more complex and interesting fare from Mr. Kahn. Central Across is a dud, specificity- and phrasing-wise: there were three ALI-FRAZIER FIGHTs, and they are known as ALI-FRAZIER I, II, and III (they also each have a nickname), and more often "ALI VS. FRAZIER" than the "ALI FRAZIER FIGHT." Only reason for the phrasing here is to get that "I" in the right place to intersect with the downward THRILLA IN MANILA (the best theme answer, by a mile, in this whole thing—7D: 40-Across, familiarly). Rest of the theme answers are just names, places ... if you know anything at all about boxing, they all fill themselves in (the danger with straightforward tributes). Theme answers in NE seem gratuitous—there only to give symmetry to the SMOKIN' / JOE (67A: With 62-Down, 40-Across loser's nickname) answers in the SW. Also, there is nothing Friday-like about this puzzle at all. Many of you will have shattered your record Friday times on this one, no doubt. I'd put an asterisk next to that time—this simply isn't a real Friday puzzle.
Though the theme did nothing for me, I did like IRON HEAD (63A: Nickname for racer Dale Earnhardt Sr., so called because of his stubbornness)—never heard that one before. Liked MOONEYES (despite plural) for the same reason: new and colorful.
Remaining theme answers:
- 3D: Where the 40-Across was held (PHILIPPINES)
- 16A: 40-Across activity (BOXING) (you don't say ...)
- 11D: The Louisville ___ (40-Across winner's nickname) (LIP)
- 27D: 40-Across winner's nickname (THE GREATEST)
- 71A: 40-Across ending, for short (TKO)
- 8A: Henry Fielding title heroine (AMELIA) — not a work I know. Filled it in easily from crosses.
- 32A: Statesman of old Athens (SOLON) — wanted a generic answer here before realizing it was a specific, very familiar name.
- 45A: Brewer Bernhard (STROH) — wanted something else here at first and can't remember what. STEIN? That's ... beery.
- 8D: Pop group whose first Top 40 album was, appropriately, "Arrival" (ABBA) — they appear to have "arrived" via some sort of transparent helicraft.
- 9D: Musical equipment popularized in the 1960s (MOOGS) — synthesizers. Not terribly attractive in the plural.
- 25D: 164-foot-tall movie star (GODZILLA) — Wow, that's a pretty specific height! How the hell did anyone get a ruler (w/ American measuring units) on him!?
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