Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hockey East town / FRI 11-18-11 / Partner of ciencias / Cry repeated Whiffenpoof Song / 1955 Belmont Preakness winner

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TOGGERY (39D: Duds) —
n. pl. tog·ger·ies
1. Clothing; togs.
2. A clothing store. (
• • •

A relatively easy and almost completely unremarkable puzzle. Fridays and Saturdays should have fresh, original, splashy answers. This one doesn't. I like AND I QUOTE ... but I've seen it before. NO MYSTERY is vaguely interesting. Otherwise, it's a solid but completely generic puzzle. Well, solid except for TAUR, SASES, IFY, and SEATER. And maybe SEINER.

["MAKIN' It" — 50A: "___ It," 1979 top 10 hit)]

[What the hell?]

Got a fast start on this one with RIDGE (too easy) and then ENOS (5D: Grandson of 21-Across) (which I wrote in without even confirming what 21-Across was—seemed obvious). Whole NW went down from there, with only ARTES (19A: Partner of ciencias) giving me any trouble (couldn't piece together what "ciencias" was; thought it was 100 ... something, but now that I say it out loud, its real meaning seems more obvious). No real problems through the middle. Needed crosses to get NASHUA (28D: 1955 Belmont and Preakness winner that shared its name with a U.S. city), wrote in SONY for SEGA at first (46A: Big maker of consoles), but nothing slowed me down much. SE was as easy if not easier than the NW (except for the part where I wanted ELI instead of BAA—42A: Cry repeated in "The Whiffenpoof Song"). Really dislike IN A BIKINI (32D: How some calorie counters eventually want to look good)—it's just not not not a stand-alone phrase, any more than IN A PANTSUIT or IN A MUUMUU. NE and SW proved somewhat more difficult. Finally cracked the NE when I guessed (off a few crosses) SCHNITZEL (18A: Veal dish). DIANA ROSS helped as well (6A: Billboard once named her "Female Entertainer of the Century"). SW was probably the toughest, primarily because of TOGGERY (!?!?!) and NO MYSTERY (57A: Something transparent), which I kept trying to make into a fabric like POLYESTER. Guessed ORONO much the same way I guessed ENOS—had a letter in the right place, and it just felt right (44D: Hockey East town). ENOS and ORONO are everywhere. Every constant solver knows them. Crosswordese is a massive fund that we draw on almost instinctively when making educated guesses about 3-5-letter words. See also SASES.

[30D: "Love Sneakin' Up on You" singer, 1994 = Bonnie RAITT]

  • 35A: Pollux and Aldebaran (K-STARS) — had the KST- part before I ever saw the clue, so it was easy. Just finished watching "The Empire Strikes Back" with my daughter. Aldebaran sounds like somebody's home planet. 
  • 37A: Capone portrayer, 1959 (STEIGER) — I did not know that. He won an Academy Award for "In the Heat of the Night"; he also did other stuff.

  • 10D: Environmental datum of concern to asthmatics, for short (AQI) — Air Quality Index. Pretty sure I learned this from crosswords.
  • 50D: Fashion designer Jacobs (MARC) — here is an interesting datum about Mr. Jacobs: "He is perhaps best known as the designer of STEVE Jobs' (13D: Either co-founder of Apple) rimless eyeglasses, which became a sought-after item following Jobs' death in 2011 and sold out in stores around the world" (wikipedia).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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