Sunday, October 9, 2011

Florida city on Gulf / MON 10-10-11 / Midwest city whose name is poker variety / Stogie holder / Footwear may be worn with PJs

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: 10CC — ten two-word phrases, where both words in each phrase start with "C"

Word of the Day: "RIGOLETTO" (3D: Verdi opera) —
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851. It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career. (wikipedia)
• • •
Not much to say here, except 10 is a hell of a lot of theme answers.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Stogie holder (CIGAR CASE)
  • 21A: Florida city on the Gulf (CAPE CORAL) — not familiar...
  • 27A: What a TV host often reads from (CUE CARD)
  • 33A: Place to hang a jacket (COAT CLOSET)
  • 43A: Sign of alien life, some say (CROP CIRCLE)
  • 49A: Army do (CREW CUT)
  • 59A: Fessed up (CAME CLEAN) — jumped the gun here and wrote in COME CLEAN, inferring answer from crosses and figuring surely a theme answer would be in present tense...
  • 66A: The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on this (CLAY COURT) — ugh, this clue. Just write [French Open surface]. Done and done.
  • 8D: Bit of razzing (CAT CALL)
  • 44D: Auto maintenance (CAR CARE)     
Weird to have long Downs that are not theme answers when shorter Downs are. Other than that, I honestly don't know what else to tell you. ARF under SPCA is a cute juxtaposition. I have never heard anyone refer to their footwear as MOCS (1D: Footwear that may be worn with PJs), especially when pajama-clad. The clue appears to mean "slippers." Also, [Scratch] for MAR doesn't quite work for me as an equivalence. This is like cluing HUNT as [Shoot at]. Maybe, but not necessarily. If I scratch your back, or a lottery ticket, I've marred neither (not if I'm doing it right, anyway). If I scratch your car, and it's barely visible, MAR seems too strong. I thought CHIC was COOL (27D: Trendy). I didn't know OMAHA had anything to do with poker (54D: Midwest city whose name is a poker variety), nor did I know TAFT's father co-founded Skull and Bones (38D: President whose father co-founded Yale's Skull and Bones). The COLTS (8A: Football team with a blue horseshoe on its helmet) are still without Peyton Manning and continue to suck in unfathomable ways, as do I in my football pool.

Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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