Foster girl / FRI 12-31-10 / Serbian city Constantine Great / Gentille one of song / Humbugs of world author 1865 / Boxer who wrote Reach
Friday, December 31, 2010
Constructor: Caleb Madison
Relative difficulty: Medium
Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here with your very last puzzle of the year. What an honor! And it's only because Rex is off drunk somewhere. Allegedly. I mean, that's what I heard, but there really hasn't been any confirmation, so I probably shouldn't say anything. You know what? Let's just forget I said anything. I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason that Rex isn't here today and I'm relatively certain it has nothing to do with alcohol. So let's just move on. Sorry about that.
Hey, look everybody! It's Caleb! Remember how yesterday Andrea was talking about how everybody has a crush on Caleb? Well that's the truth. And if you met him, you'd know why. He's completely adorable. Now, he's got a filthy mouth on him, that's for sure. But other than that? Completely. Adorable. Oh and then there was that one time he used RECARVE in a puzzle. Boy, that was ghastly! But did I mention he's completely adorable? Would you like to see a picture? I know you would.
So here's the thing about this puzzle. There is some awesome, awesome stuff in here. Then there's some stuff that really stinks. So let's just really quickly get this out of the way: NIS is the 25A: Serbian city where Constantine the Great was born. Huh. Interesting? Memorable? Fun? No. ACTA is clued as 32D: Court proceedings. Whatever. S-STARS? IPSA? (Don't try to act like you didn't try "ipso" first.) QUA? ORRS? AITCH? I could definitely do without any of that stuff. Actually QUA wasn't that bad for me because it tricked me: I tried both "per" and "ala" before it finally clicked into place. But that's all I'm going to say about the bad stuff because there's a lot more good stuff to talk about. Like …
STICK IT TO THE MAN (35A: Be revolting). Is that awesome or what? And BROMANCE? Will let's the young kids get away with all that hip slang. And that's a good thing! Plus, how crazy does LAILA ALI look in the grid with all her Ls and As and whatnot (3D: Boxer who wrote "Reach!")? I also like the dueling melt downs of WIGS (10D: Freaks (out)) and LOSE IT (34D: Freak). Everybody chill! Let's just run some bullets and get out of here.
- 1A: One likely to die on the road? (JALOPY). I know Rex was just talking about the Archie comics here the other day. Did someone in the Archie Gang drive a JALOPY? Because I always associate the word JALOPY with Archie. Or I bet it was Jughead. He seems like he would drive a JALOPY, right?
- 7A: What something may go down to (THE WIRE). I've heard so many great things about this show. (Yes, I know it's not clued as the show, but I'm just going off on a tangent, try to keep up.) But I've never seen it! Then all of a sudden one day, I'm looking at something on the Internet machine about it and I realize that the brother of a friend of mine was actually on the show. Now I definitely need to see it. Good thing we finally signed up for Netflix last week. What year is it again?
- 14A: Foster girl (JEANIE). This is a reference to Stephen Foster's famous song "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair." But you knew that.
- 15A: Poster girl (TEEN IDOL). The most popular poster girl here at the PuzzleHouse is Taylor Swift. In fact, when I got home from work today, PuzzleDaughter and her friend immediately started explaining to me about how they had just been discussing how cool it would be if Taylor Swift came to PuzzleDaughter's birthday party because then maybe they could cut off a little piece of her hair and keep it as a souvenir. Also if she went to sleep, they could take a video of her sleeping. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
- 41A: San Francisco's Museo ___ Americano (ITALO). Thought we were looking for Spanish here, but I couldn't get Latino, Chicano, OR Mexicano to fit.
- 47A: Big hit (POW).
- 57A: "The Humbugs of the World" author, 1865 (P. T. BARNUM). Oh yeah, I liked the two guys with the two initials. J. J. ABRAMS (1D: Creator of TV's "Alias") looks especially cool in the grid with that J collision that seems like it should be totally wrong until you realize what's going on.
- 63A: 1974 hit with Spanish lyrics (ERES TU). I really wanted this to be "Oye Como Va" for some reason. Oh right, because it's a kick-ass song.
- 65A: The Allman Brothers Band, e.g. (SEXTET). Okay, one more video, but that's it.
- 38D: "Gentille" one of song (ALOUETTE). Does this song make anyone else think of Ginger on Gilligan's Island? Just me? Fair enough.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter] [or PuzzleGirl]