George W Bush self-descriptively / WED 12-5-12 / Singers Shannon Reeves / Privateer's domain / 2010 mining disaster locale / Limburger cheese quality
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Constructor: Jim Hilger
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: STICK (69A: Feature of this puzzle's three long Down answers) — down answers are foods that come on a STICK, which is represented in the grid by three "I"s piled one on top of the other. All theme answers are clued [Treat that comes on a 69-Across]
- ALLDAYSUCKERIII (wow, it really looks terrible written horizontally)
Word of the Day: PULE (12D: Act the crybaby) —
intr.v., puled, pul·ing, pules.
To whine; whimper.
[Perhaps from French piauler, of imitative origin.]
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/pule#ixzz2E90ztYaj
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I got no problem with this. The grid is pretty dull, but certainly serviceable, and I like the little visual trick with the "I"s. There are any number of other foods served on a stick, but they probably don't have the virtue of being 12 letters long (necessary for the STICK gag to work here). There are really only nine squares worth of visual interest in the puzzle, but the originality of concept is enough oomph for me today. Took me a long time to pick up the theme, which isn't that surprising given that I typically start at the top of the grid. I worked my way down and around and didn't really bother much with the long Downs at first because I was filing in the grid around them so fast. There wasn't much to slow me down here. I had a very short period of confusion at 1D: Dermatologist's concern (CYST). There are a surprisingly large number of answers that could work there. Well, at least three (see also SKIN, MOLE). But CLAD was obvious, so CYST quickly became obvious, so no significant hold-up there. Had the bottom of the APPLE answer before I realized exactly what kind we were dealing with. Don't really know what an ALL-DAY SUCKER is. I think it's one of those gigantic lollipops that I associate with the area near the entrance to Disneyland/World. I know the term from Stevie Wonder:
I said the grid was pretty dull, and I stand by that comment, but I like both the quality and proximity of the words PUNGENCY (46A: Limburger cheese quality) and CULPRIT (50A: Guilty one). They have a certain fanciness that I admire. PASS/FAIL (35A: Grade option that doesn't affect one's grade point average) is a good answer, but as a prof. I hate that grade option so much that I can't get too excited by seeing it in the grid. Just take your course and take your grade and quit being a coward.
- 20A: Henry VIII's house (TUDOR) — Me: "Did he really live in a TUDOR house? ... oh, right, not that kind of 'house'."
- 23A: Opposite of raises (RAZES) — Homophonitude! Clever.
- 72A: 2010 mining disaster locale (CHILE) — I'd forgotten this even happened. The world's full of too many disasters for me to keep straight.
- 4D: Betty Ford Center program, for short (DETOX) — Had CELEB written in here at one point (?). Might also have considered REHAB.
- 8D: George W. Bush, self-descriptively (UNITER) — twice in one week, this word. Like George W. Bush, this answer should go into hiding.
- 13D: Singers Shannon and Reeves (DELS) — Pretty sure those are all the DELS in the world, except maybe DEL Taco.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld