Sunday, November 27, 2011

Springfield's minor league team on Simpsons / MON 11-28-11 / 1940s-50s wrestler with golden locks / Kansas town on Chisholm Trail / Notorious 1920s-30s bank robber

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Appearance-related Name — four well-known names that begin with an adjective related to attractiveness

Word of the Day: FICHE (19A: Piece of microfilm) —
A microfiche. [?!] (
• • •

Love the theme answers, but the theme seems awfully loose. PRETTY and UGLY go together, but PLAIN and GORGEOUS are less obvious complements. Plus, three of these are specific people and one is a type of person. Further PRETTY BOY FLOYD ruins theme consistency a bit, since the BOY doesn't really have anywhere to go—not part of the theme, not a name like BETTY, JANE, or GEORGE. Seems like an OK theme idea that didn't quite come out of the oven looking like it should. Not terribly fond of the partials posing as actual answer (SLOE GIN, NO MEN), not to mention the actual partials (ANAME, ONAN). The FICHE and REUNE corners could surely be better. I do like how this grid has a relatively low word count (for a Monday—74), which allows for some very interesting longer answers, like HOFFMAN, ABILENE, WISEGUY, ISOTOPES (5D: Springfield's minor-league team on "The Simpsons"), PILSENER (39D Light-colored beer or the glass it comes in) and GALUMPH (25A: Walk clumsily). Difficulty level seemed pitched right at perfect Monday level. An enjoyable if imperfect little puzzle.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Notorious 1920s-'30s bank robber (PRETTY BOY FLOYD) — wanted CLYDE BARROW at first ...
  • 33A: America Ferrera's Emmy-winning role (UGLY BETTY)
  • 44A: Hardly a beauty queen (PLAIN JANE)
  • 54A: 1940s-'50s wrestler with golden locks (GORGEOUS GEORGE)

Why in the World do you clue ABILENE (10D: Kansas town on the Chisholm Trail) as a Kansas town (pop. 6,844), esp. on a Monday??? The Texas city of the same name is about 15 times larger. I could barely bring myself to write in ABILENE, and then, when I did, I beat myself for thinking all these years that ABILENE was in Texas ...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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