Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flutelike instruments / MON 11-14-11 / Polymeric compoud in breast implants / Popular computer game with geometric shapes

Constructor: Mark Feldman

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*)

THEME: Bowling — First words of theme answers have something to do with bowling

Word of the Day: JOB LOT (46D: Odds and ends for sale) —
  1. Miscellaneous merchandise sold in one lot.
  2. A collection of cheap items.
• • •

dell109spilljackpotWeird. Huge corners with very non-Monday words like SATRAP (2D: Minor despot) and OCARINAS (11D: Flutelike instruments) and WASSAILS (36D: Christmas drinks). I knew all those, but did Not know JOB LOT, which I declare a mighty stupid phrase. Where does the "JOB" part come in? ODD LOT would make much more sense. But I'm quarreling with the language now, which is somewhat pointless. This theme is old and musty—I *know* I've seen bowling themed puzzles before, where STRIKE and SPARE start off phrases (in fact, the very first "STRIKE" phrase I looked at on the database led me straight to one such puzzle (must be member to view, I think), which suggests there must be at least several others). SPLIT THE JACKPOT is not a phrase. I mean, it's a phrase one might say, but it's not A Phrase. The thematic words in the theme phrases are arbitrary and loose — a real JOB LOT, I'd say. You bowl a STRIKE and you bowl a SPARE, but you don't bowl a SPLIT. A SPLIT is a situation, it's not a score. Why BOWLED is in the past tense, and why we have it and not GUTTER or ALLEY or RESET BUTTON or some other vaguely bowling-related word starting the final theme phrase is beyond me. Less than enjoyable. Even with TETRIS, less than enjoyable (49D: Popular computer game with geometric shapes). Even with breast implants, less than enjoyable (38D: Polymeric compound in breast implants => SILICONE).

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Acquire sudden riches (STRIKE GOLD)
  • 29A: Help out a panhandler (SPARE SOME CHANGE)
  • 44A: What multiple winners of a lottery must do (SPLIT THE JACKPOT)
  • 61A: Absolutely amazed (BOWLED OVER)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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