Two-masted vessel / TUE 2-28-17 / Infamous prison featured in 1969 best seller Papillon / Breakfast food with rhyming slogan / Setting for much of movie Lion / Quaint inn informally
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Constructor: Jacob Stulberg
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (for Tuesday—time just over 4)
- NET NEGATIVE (4D: Outcome that's overall unfavorable)
- RADICAL LEFT (26D: Socialist Workers Party's ideology)
- ILE DU DIABLE (9D: Infamous prison featured in the 1969 best seller "Papillon")
île du Diable ("Devil's Island") is the third-largest island of the Îles du Salut island group in the Atlantic Ocean. It is located approximately 14 km (9 mi) off the coast of French Guiana in South America just north of the town of Kourou. It has an area of 14 ha (34.6 acres). The island was a part of a controversial French penal colony located in French Guiana for 101 years, from 1852 to 1953. Although it was the smallest part of the penal colony, it is notorious for being used for internal exile of French political prisoners during that period. The most famous political prisoner on Devil's Island was Captain Alfred Dreyfus. (wikipedia)
ILE DU DIABLE (real outlier, familiarity-wise), but also because of ugh-ish cluing on ERRED (25A: Muffed one), which I read as "adj. noun" and thus had as ERROR. This meant that with BANDB in place, I went with AT WAR for 7D: Not on good terms (with) (IN BAD). I also did not know a BRIG was a ship (I actually wanted BRIG, but talked myself out of it: "That's a ship's *prison*" I said to myself) (23D: Two-masted vessel). Had "Ready, SET" not "Ready, AIM" at 24A. Finally, couldn't figure out 44A: Things ghosts lack (BODIES). They have BODIES. They're just not ... solid? I don't know; something about that clue seems wrong / dumb. Oh, and I started with ELSE instead of ALSO at 3D: In addition. If you draw a line across the grid from NW to SE corners, virtually all of my trouble was on the upper (NE) side. That was like a Wed./Thur. puzzle for me. Rest was normal Tuesday.
How come VALE is just, like, an ordinary word today, and not all "poetic" or whatever it was a couple days ago? (54D: Area between mountains). It was not at all clear to me that 57D: Breakfast food with a rhyming slogan (EGGO) wanted a commercial product. "Slogan" didn't tip me off. After all, milk and eggs have councils that produce ads with slogans (e.g. "Got Milk") so ... yeah, went with EGGS at first. What is the movie "Lion"? (36A: Setting for much of the movie "Lion"). Is that famous? Ah, I see it was nominated for a bunch of Oscars this year. I literally have never heard of it until just this second. Meanwhile, I watched my 60th (!) movie on TCM since Christmas today. "Mildred Pierce" (1945). I am rapidly becoming not just old (i.e. stuck in my own past), but hyper-old (stuck in my grandparents' past). I'm hoping it at least pays some crossword dividends.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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