Beau Geste novelist / WED 7-17-13 / Flee via ladder stereotypically / Carrier name of 1979-97 / Game with Ping Pong like balls
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Constructor: Robyn Weintraub
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: A flower lover's poetic lament — ["ROSES ARE RED / VIOLETS ARE BLUE / POLLEN IS BAD FOR / MY ALLERGIES / ACHOO!"]
Word of the Day: KENO (2D: Game with Ping-Pong-like balls) —
Keno // is a lottery or bingo gambling game often played at modern casinos, and is also offered as a game in some state lotteries. A traditional live casino keno game uses a circular glass enclosure called a "bubble" containing 80 balls which determine the ball draw result. Each ball is imprinted with a number 1 through 80. During the ball draw, a blower pushes air into the bubble and mixes the balls. A "caller" presses a lever opening a tube, where the balls lift one at a time into a "V" shaped tube called the "rabbit ears". The caller and a "verifier" record each of 20 balls drawn, and the computerized keno system calculates all wagers based on the numbers drawn. (wikipedia)
• • •
All good things must come to a fiery, crashing end. We had a nice long streak of strong puzzles, but this puzzle is unable to keep that streak alive. The play on the "Roses are red ..." rhyme is trite and cloying. Cutesy. Olden in the worst way. From a poetic perspective, it's unbalanced and doesn't scan right. The fill is subpar. Way too many odd partials and common things, no real points of interest. Maybe it's a nostalgia puzzle, or some kind of palate cleanser, or I don't know, but it doesn't feel like it's up to par with the standards of a 21st-century daily. Not one that touts itself as the greatest puzzle in all the land, that's for sure.
Now that I look at the puzzle, I really should've made P.C. WREN the "word of the day." That is the one thing in this easy puzzle that I absolutely did not know (12D: P.C. ___ ("Beau Geste" novelist"))—a real outlier in a puzzle that is otherwise painfully straightforward in its cluing, a la [Brontë heroine] for EYRE (a clue which, by the way, was Completely Missing from the puzzle when I printed it off the web last night—apparently there were issues w/ the diaeresis over the "e" in "Brontë"). I also thought a "posy" was itself a flower, not a thing that contained one (35A: Part of a posy, maybe = DAISY). Otherwise, I had no issues—just methodically filled in answers. I feel bad that this puzzle is being judged against the puzzles that came immediately before it, but that's life in the bigs. I gotta get out of my home office and into my home's one air-conditioned room now. See you tomorrow.