Monday, October 17, 2011

Malevolent Hindu goddess / TUE 10-18-11 / Swinger who loved Jane / Les Nessman's station 1978-82 sitcom / 1998 animated film based on Brave New World

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Hybrids — Clues are common words followed by a colon and "a cross between ___" — answers are common phrases following a ___ AND ___ pattern where first letters of first word and last letters of last word make up the clue word

Word of the Day: Charles DARNAY (28D: Charles ___, hero of "A Tale of Two Cities") —

Charles Darnay, or Charles St. Evrémonde, is a fictional character in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. // A French aristocrat by birth, Darnay chooses to live in England because he cannot bear to be associated with the cruel injustices of the French social system. Darnay displays great virtue in his rejection of the snobbish and cruel values of his uncle, the Marquis Evrémonde. He exhibits an admirable honesty in his decision to reveal to Dr. Alexandre Manette his true identity as a member of the infamous Evrémonde family. So, too, does he prove his courage in his decision to return to Paris at great personal risk to save the imprisoned Gabelle. When the revolutionaries are trying to find and kill the Marquis, Darnay realizes that his uncle has been murdered, making him the new Marquis. // Darnay is put on trial for treason against the Kingdom of Great Britain, but he is acquitted on a point noticed by Sydney Carton. Carton also falls in love with Darnay's wife Lucie during the trial. At the end of the final book, Darnay is supposed to be executed, but Carton nobly chooses to take Darnay's place. (wikipedia)
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"CROSS" WORDS CONTEST week! All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Berry. Have your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, mail it to: Please do not post your answers here on the blog and please do not mail them to me! Only answers e-mailed to the above address will be considered. Twenty-five correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 23, will receive copies of “Will Shortz Picks His Favorite Puzzles: 101 of the Top Crosswords From The New York Times.” Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners’ names will appear on Friday, Oct. 28, at

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This one is much less lovable than yesterday's, but still solid. It's hard to evaluate these because some part of me is thinking about the week-long meta puzzle (which will be revealed on Saturday) and wondering what part of the puzzle is involved in the meta. Today, I think it's the letters dropped when the words are crossed to make a new word, e.g. the "UREANDS" part of PURE AND SIMPLE (the non-pimple part). But I could be, and probably am, wrong. Today, I think I saw one theme clue. After that, I just figured out phrases from crosses and didn't even bother to look at the theme clues. Worked just fine. Get one word and you can pretty well work out the ___AND or the AND___ part. Only real problem today was spelling Sammy CAHN's name right (I didn't) (13D: "Come Fly With Me" lyricist), and then getting DARNAY at all. I have no recollection of that name. Needed every cross.  Not much else that's interesting about this solve.

[Come Fly with KANYE — 42A: "Love Lockdown" singer West]

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Starch: a cross between ___? (STARSKY AND HUTCH)
  • 25A: Pimple: a cross between ___? (PURE AND SIMPLE)
  • 44A: Hisses: a cross between ___? (HUGS AND KISSES)
  • 57A: Beetles: a cross between ___? (BEER AND SKITTLES)
Some clever and enjoyable clues today, including 22A: Swinger who loves Jane (TARZAN). Also several pop culture trivia clues that made me smile, including 53D: Les Nessman's station in a 1978-82 sitcom (WKRP), 47A: Word before "Boy," "Love" and "Come Back" in titles to #1 songs (BABY), and 11D: 1998 animated film loosely based on "Brave New World" ("ANTZ"). I never noticed the "Brave New World" connection when I saw the film 12+ years ago. I loved "WKRP" when I was a kid. And I've been listening to a lot of late '70s pop music lately. A lot. Hence the smile for "BABY Come Back"

I forgot about KALI and tried KALA at first (46D: Malevolent Hindu goddess). I watched "Star Wars" this weekend with my daughter, and kept shouting "added!" every time some CGI nonsense popped up on the screen. JABBA was among such nonsense (1A: ___ the Hutt ("Return of the Jedi" villain)). Eventually I shut up and let my daughter just enjoy the movie. I got the "Star Wars" trilogy on Blu-Ray, even though they've been annoyingly tampered with, because she needs access to the classics. She knows that if she wants to see Episodes I-III, she's on her own.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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