Monday, November 7, 2011

1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof / TUE 11-8-11 / $5 bills slangily / Object of pity for Mr T / Great Chicago Fire scapegoat / First spacecraft to reach Uranus Neptune

Constructor: Scott Atkinson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Better Business Bureau —3-word phrases in which all words start w/ "B"

Word of the Day: FASCIA (5A: Sheath of connective tissue) —
n., pl., fas·ci·ae (făsh'ē-ē', fā'shē-ē).
  1. Anatomy. A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
  2. A broad and distinct band of color.
  3. (also 'shē-ə) Architecture. A flat horizontal band or member between moldings, especially in a classical entablature.
  4. ('shə) Chiefly British. The dashboard of a motor vehicle.
[Latin, band.]
• • •

Piece of cake, with the painful exception of BONNIE BLUE BUTLER, which can't possibly be the name of anything. Dear lord. That just hurt. Needed virtually every cross. Besides revulsion for the "Gone With the Wind" kid's name, I have no particularly strong opinions about this puzzle. I do like the longer non-theme Acrosses ("CINDERFELLA" and FLABBERGAST) (17A: 1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof + 57A: Bowl over), though I don't like that they look like theme answers (positionally) but aren't. I'm guessing the thing that got this puzzle accepted was the remarkable (and lucky) fact that the letters in these answers allow for the highly unusual theme answer interlock. OK, so the grid had to add an extra row to make it work (grid is 15x16), but it's still pretty cool

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband ("BEING BOBBY BROWN")
  • 50A: Healthy delivery, perhaps (BOUNCING BABY BOY)
  • 3D: Rhett and Scarlett's child (BONNIE BLUE BUTLER)
  • 11D: Dish often served with franks (BOSTON BAKED BEANS)
I'd have changed ITSY to POSY, but that's just me. It's a lateral move at best, but suits my aesthetic sensibilities more. 

  • 14A: Object of pity for Mr. T (FOOL) —I pity the fool who wears these pants on national television:

  • 29A: $5 bills, slangily (ABES) — can we all stop pretending that anyone says this. If you try to use this expression, I guarantee you you will get a puzzled expression and a "What?" At best.
  • 43A: Great Chicago Fire scapegoat Mrs. ___ (O'LEARY) — I thought her cow was the (scape)goat...
  • 22D: Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" setting (ARLES) — among the more important French place names in crossworld. SEINE and ORLY, also important. CAEN and ORNE, less so, but still ... they can bite you. ST.-LO is probably King of French Fill.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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