Idomeneo heroine / SUN 9-8-13 / Musician with gold-selling album Sugar Lips / Candy bar featured in Seinfeld episode / Country composed of 200+ islands / Lenovo competitor / Pussy Russian girl group
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Constructor: Pete Muller and Sue Keefer
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- 23A: Search for a cradle-robbing woman in New York City? (PARK AVENUE COUGAR QUEST)
- 37A: High-handed ambassador stationed off the Italian coast? (CAVALIER CAPRI DIPLOMAT)
- 55A: Peace treaty between a predator and its prey? (BOBCAT RABBIT ACCORD) (my favorite theme answer)
- 67A: Tom Brady, in the 2002 Super Bowl (INTREPID RAM CHALLENGER)
- 78A: Musical piece for a "Star Wars" battle scene? (STORMTROOPER SONATA)
- 98A: Advocate for pro-am tournaments? (CELEBRITY GOLF DEFENDER)
- 116A: Diminutive Aborigine? (MIDGET OUTBACK EXPLORER)
Word of the Day: TESSERA (96D: Small mosaic tile) —
A tessera (plural: tesserae, diminutive tessella) is an individual tile, usually formed in the shape of a cube, used in creating a mosaic. It is also known as an abaciscus or abaculus. // In early antiquity, mosaics were formed from naturally formed colored pebbles, but by 200 BCE cut stone tesserae were being used in Ancient Roman decorative mosaic panels and floor mosaics. Marble or limestone were cut into small cubes and arranged into representational designs and geometric patterns. // Later, tesserae were made from colored glass, or clear glass backed with metal foils. The Byzantines used tesserae with gold leaf, in which case the glass pieces were flatter, with two glass pieces sandwiching the gold. This produced a golden reflection emanating from in between the tesserae as well as their front, causing a far richer and more luminous effect than even plain gold leaf would create. (wikipedia)
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Difficulty I encountered was scarce and unexciting. Took me a while to see AIRWAVE (3D: Broadcast medium), even after AIRWA- (wanted -WAYS) (??). Tried SHEIK and SAUDI before SWAMI (46A: Turbaned type) (clearly not thinking there). Took a while to come up with ROLL / TALE, due only to standard clue vagueness (53D: Sushi bar offering + 63A: Relation?). Went through SNEER and SNORT before hitting on SNIFF (83D: Disdainful response). Had OCTA instead of OCTO (I'm putting myself to sleep just writing these little hiccups out) (51D: Twice tetra-). Had -ORKED and stared for a while before hitting on FORKED (102D: Split). Most weirdly of all, wrote in FTA at the very end, when I clearly meant ATF (95A: Smuggler-chasing org.). When I didn't get the Happy Pencil, I thought for sure I'd spend many minutes tracking down whatever stupid error I had, but it turns out the stupid error was the last thing I'd written in, so I found it instantly.
I think my favorite thing about this puzzle is the clue for RIOT (99D: Pussy ___ (Russian girl group)). I look forward to the day the NYT prints the name of their future male counterparts, Cock Revolt.