1935-37 home for Hemingway / FRI 4-19-13 / Waitress at fictional Lobo Lounge / New York home of painter Edward Hopper / Giverny's most famous resident / A bientot across the Channel
Friday, April 19, 2013
Constructor: Ned White
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: ROY(S) Harris (47A: Composer Harris and others) —
Roy Ellsworth Harris (February 12, 1898 – October 1, 1979) was an American composer. He wrote much music on American subjects, becoming best known for his Symphony No. 3. (wikipedia)
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Nothing very eye-catching or racy here—I don't know why you make a themeless at all if you're not gonna cram it with at least a handful of marquee answers—but solid and sufficiently thorny for a Friday. Short fill definitely lists toward the crappy side (ISL over NTEST over ISTO? The dreaded triple-"S" PSSST?), but there's nothing so objectionable that it took my head out of the game. Not sure why but I think you should get to go to the British well only once per puzzle—for this reason, did not enjoy NOT A RISE (which is how my brain continues to process it) after already suffering through CHEERIO (7D: "A bientôt," across the Channel) (and ROT is kind of pushing its luck, frankly). Though no one part of this puzzle gave me too much trouble, I ran a tad slow today.
BRATPACKER as a gimme (1A: Rob Lowe was one), and then got the top half of the puzzle done fairly quickly, but could not make any headway down into the south. Total stoppage. Really bummed at myself for not getting 'STRO straight off. For some reason I thought the Giants played in Minute Maid Park (absurd—they play at AT&T Park), and couldn't think of any team member that started with "S." Had no idea about FRASER (34A: British Columbia's longest river). But the biggest obstacle to my progress down the grid was at the bottom of the NE, where I had FAINTING and thus could do Nothing with 37A: It might elicit a shrug (APATHY), as it ended, apparently, -TGY. Second "N" in FAINTING seemed fine, because "Love In A Ball," "Love Is A Ball" ... never heard of either. Eventually figured out my problem, but not before rebooting down below with RACE, MEETS, and MONET (53A: Giverny's most famous resident). Found the SW the hardest to get into. Even with ANGEL in place, I had no idea what the clue was after (51A: Spouse's entreaty starter, perhaps). I considered DEAR ANGEL... at some point. I think the "B" in BEAN ANGEL (which is how my brain continues to process it) was the last letter I put into the grid. Is FRABJOUS from "Jabberwocky" (34D: Splendid, humorously)? I'm not generally a fan of whimsical fake words, though FRABJOUS might have a claim to the "Most Interesting Answer In the Grid" title today. I enjoyed remembering ROSEANNE as the [Waitress at the fictional Lobo Lounge]. That might've been the highlight of my solve.
- 15A: It reflects radio waves (IONOSPHERE) — entertained NANO- and MONO- before realizing my ridiculousness.
- 18A: She said "Don't be humble. You're not that great" (MEIR) — this clue would be So much better with context.
- 46A: Classic publisher of paperbacks (AVON) — damn straight. I own scores of them. See my other blog, "Pop Sensation," where so far I've written about over 600 of the 2500+ books in my vintage paperback collection.
- 1D: 1935-37 home for Hemingway (BIMINI) — not even sure where this is. Near Florida? Hey, I'm right.
- 43D: Sponsor of baseball's Relief Man Award (ROLAIDS) — the biggest gimme in the puzzle. I still remember the ads with handlebar-mustachioed Rollie Fingers (who won the award four times).
- 52D: New York home of the painter Edward Hopper (NYACK) — I went through a big Hopper phase. I didn't know that I knew NYACK, but got it easily off the -ACK.