1998 De Niro crime thriller / TUE 9-10-13 / Former Israeli P.M. Ehud / Some B&N wares / Major swag / Nutrient-rich cabbages / Root used in energy drinks / Sleuth in slang / Villain in 2009 Star Trek film
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: ELKO (47A: City in Nevada) —
Elko (Shoshoni: Natakkoa, 'Rocks Piled on One Another' is a city in Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 18,297 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Elko County. The city straddles the Humboldt River.Elko is the principal city of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Elko and Eureka counties and had a combined population of 46,942 at the 2000 census. It is the largest city for over 130 miles (210 km) in all directions, making it, as its city motto states, "The Heart of Northeast Nevada".
• • •
micropolitan" while looking up ELKO. Cool word. This puzzle offers up some slightly interesting trivia. I'm not at all surprised to learn that GINSENG comes from CHINESE. There's very little element of surprise or revelation here, except for KETCHUP—I had no idea KETCHUP came from CHINESE. Slightly weird to see Korean HYUNDAI right there alongside (and longer than) the CHINESE theme answers, but not a big deal. My favorite part of this puzzle is likely completely coincidental: STEAMED / ARTICHOKE. That's a nice, delicious crossing right there. Central and symmetrical and tasty. The fill is weak in places, but not much worse than average, I'd say. Much of the weakness was likely related to theme density.
- 1A: *Relative of an orange (KUMQUAT)
- 8A: *Tropical storm (TYPHOON)
- 23A: *Lingerie material (SILK)
- 37A: *Act deferentially (KOWTOW)
- 43A: *Like an eager beaver (GUNG HO)
- 52A: *Food, slangily (CHOW)
- 70A: *Root used in some energy drinks (GINSENG)
QID was painful, but again, I'll write it off to the theme density in that corner (4D: Four times a day, in an Rx). Wrote in RENO for ELKO (no surprise there). Wanted something like "OK, OK!" at 61D: "I know! I know!" ("OH OH!") —I think I was putting the stress on the wrong (i.e. latter) word in "I know!" Knowing NERO (14D: Villain in the 2009 "Star Trek" film) and RONIN (51D: 1998 De Niro crime thriller) and having recently been thinking, against my will, about "We Built This City" by Starship (which has a reference to MARCONI) (64A: Radio pioneer), helped me zip through this relatively unobstructed. All hail disposable pop culture and the wondrous bounty it provideth.
See you Wednesday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld