Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heavy-metal singer Snider / THU 10-13-11 / Viking king 995-1000 / Ancient Anatolian land / Jaipur royal / Flanged fastener / Title town 1945 Pulitzer winner

Constructor: John Farmer

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: B MOVIES (45D: Appropriate title for this puzzle?) — movie titles have "B" added to beginning of one word, creating wacky titles, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: SATINET (46D: Imitation fabric) —
A thin inferior satin or an imitation satin, especially one containing cotton. (
• • •
This is just a fat (16 wide) Wednesday puzzle. Far too easy and unambitious for Thursday fare. Nontheme fill, with the exception of the creepy-sounding CATACOMB (3D: Passage of grave importance?), is painfully familiar to the point of boring. Never heard of SATINET (46D: Imitation fabric), so that gave me a little bit of trouble, and the tricksy clue on NRA (65D: Heat org.?) slowed me down a little more (I wanted NBA, for obvious reasons), but otherwise this one had no teeth, and very little in the way of interest (outside of the mildly clever theme answers).

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Film about how to win a MacArthur Fellowship? ("DO THE BRIGHT THING")
  • 25A: Film about a biblical serpent? ("BEAST OF EDEN")
  • 38A: Film about Ali/Foreman's Rumble in the Jungle? ("BOUT OF AFRICA")
  • 55A: Film in which Moe, Shemp and Curly show their flexibility? ("HOWARDS' BEND")
  • 62A: Film about earworms? ("SINGIN' IN THE BRAIN")
OLAFs are never very welcome, because of the V/F issue and because who the hell can tell their OLAF/Vs apart anyway. A most unwelcome royal. Speaking of unwelcome royals: RANEE (69A: Jaipur royal) and REY. All legit answers, but all stuff we've seen a gajillion times (which, again, makes this Not a very exciting Thursday puzzle). Lots of hoary to be found everywhere you look—fill like IONIA (Ancient Anatolian land) and OLAF I and ADANO (59A: Title town in a 1945 Pulitzer winner) and T-NUT (31D: Flanged fastener). Despite the fact that DEE is not the most scintillating fill, I appreciate the clue (5D: Heavy-metal singer Snider). So much better than a letter-of-the-alphabet clue. I also like the clue on FLAB (though I'm sure I've seen in before) (40D: Undesirable roll), and the clue on YANG (which I don't think I've ever seen) (50D: Jerry who co-founded Yahoo!). 'ROIDS is also reasonably fresh (56D: Sports no-nos, informally), though I think that's also slang for hemorrhoids, so the freshness is offset somewhat by the unintentional unpleasantness.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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