Seemingly mad Muslim monk / MON 7-8-13 / Jacob's father in law in Bible / Midpoint between midi and mini / Filmmaking brother Joe Ethan
Monday, July 8, 2013
Constructor: Randy Sowell
Relative difficulty: Easiest Monday of All Time
THEME: Turn turn turn — three theme answers begin with a synonym of "turning"
- REVOLVING DOOR (20A: Job position in which no one lasts long)
- WHIRLING DERVISH (37A: Seemingly mad Muslim monk)
- SPINNING WHEEL (49A: Yarn-making device)
Word of the Day: LABAN (38D: Jacob's father-in-law, in the Bible) —
Laban (Hebrew: לָבָן, Modern Lavan Tiberian Lāḇān ; "White") is the son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekah as described in the Book of Genesis. As such he is brother-in-law to Isaac and both father-in-law and uncle to Jacob. Laban and his family were described as dwelling in Paddan Aram, in Mesopotamia. Though the biblical text itself does not attest to this, Rabbinic sources also identify him as the father of Bilhah and Zilpah, the two concubines with whom Jacob also has children (Midrash Raba, Genesis 74:13 and elsewhere). (wikipedia)
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REVOLVING DOOR is perhaps the most interesting thing about the puzzle, but I never saw it (seriously—I was on fire; what the hell is in this wine?). I did light up briefly upon hitting VONNEGUT (a very nice bit of fill) (39D: "Slaughterhouse-Five" novelist), but otherwise this puzzle just ... disappeared.
Here's what I remember: I got "hung up" at LABAN, largely because of spelling failure (I went with LEBAN, an error that ATTLEE (41A: British P.M. after Churchill) helped me easily clean up), and again at ZERO IN (10D: Take close aim), mainly because I had only the "IN" and thought it could be "HOME"—but ZACH took care of that problem (though ZACH had his own problem—K or H?: I guessed correctly). Today I encountered Adam Arkin in a puzzle (full name). He is Alan ARKIN's son. I think. Let me check. Yes. He was clued as an Emmy-nominated "Chicago Hope" actor. So [Actor Arkin] in four letters could be two people—just remember that; it'll probably be useful someday, some way.