Taft's partner in a 1947 act / SUN 1-15-12 / Light reflection ratio / Shade of swan's bill Keats poem / California beach town with racetrack / True Colors singer 1986
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Constructor: Finn Vigeland
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Weather Report" — 66A: Weather comment represented visually by this puzzle's circled letters (IT'S RAINING CATS AND DOGS) — Six Down answers contain breeds of cats or dogs spelled out in non-consecutive circles
Word of the Day: ALBEDO (15D: Light reflection ratio) —
Albedo [...] , or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface. It is defined as the ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it. Being a dimensionless fraction, it may also be expressed as a percentage, and is measured on a scale from zero for no reflecting power of a perfectly black surface, to 1 for perfect reflection of a white surface. (wikipedia)
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. . .
- 39D: Shows that can be racier than their network counterparts (CABLE SITCOMS)
- 41D: Cheating (BREAKING THE RULES)
- 31D: It's north of the South (MASON-DIXON LINE)
- 29D: You probably raise you arm for this (ANTI-PERSPIRANT)—not me, I just like to wedge it up in there
- 13D: It's lowered to hear music (PHONOGRAPH NEEDLE) — nice raise / lowered balance on those last two clues
- 34D: Big Apple team (BRONX BOMBERS) — my OLD BAG was an OLD HAG at first, so I didn't see this right away
- 54A: PBS flagship station (WNET) — I know this only from crosswords. Think I noticed these letters for the first time only recently, after a "Great Performances" or a "NOVA" or something.
- 73A: Plant tissue (XYLEM) — had the "X" and bam, XYLEM. How I know that word is unclear to me. Almost certainly from crosswords. Usually my brain is busy spewing out a bunch of useless answers, all at once, so to have one come out clean and clear and accurate was refreshing. The other flora answer took a bit more time to develop (23D: Leaf pores => STOMATA)
- 82A: Shade of a swan's bill in a Keats poem (EBON) — Is "Sleep and Poetry" a major poem. I took a whole course on Romantic Poetry in college and never saw this one.
- 99A: Austrian physician who lent his name to an English word ending in "-ize" (MESMER) — he was German by birth. He lived in Vienna for a time.
- 102A: "True Colors" singer 1986 (LAUPER) — I think she's fantastic. And so unusual.
- 4D: 2000 title role for Richard Gere (DR. T) — Feels like I haven't seen this once-common answer in a while.
- 14D: Taft's partner in a 1947 act (HARTLEY) — perhaps unsurprisingly, I get Taft-HARTLEY confused with SMOOT-HAWLEY.
- 45D: Angry Birds, e.g. (FAD) — I wanted APP.
- 97D: California beach town with a racetrack (DEL MAR) — I think I had dinner here last year after the Crosswords LA tournament (info on the 2012 tournament, including a free "warm-up" puzzle by Doug Peterson, HERE).