Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homer Simpson's favorite meat item / MON 12-19-11 / Amazing magician / Tree-lined way in France

Constructor: Richard Chisholm

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "We" — first words of theme answers are all homophones

Word of the Day: RANDI (48A: "Amazing" magician) —
James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge; August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician named The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo." (wikipedia)
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[FOR MY READERS IN SYNDICATION: It's pledge week here at the Rex Parker site (thru Sat.) —read my pitch for donations in the opening paragraphs of Sunday's write-up, here ... and thanks for your faithful readership (and the many kind messages I've received so far)]

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Seen it.

Once, from the back end, here.

And again, earlier (before WII was invented), in the New York Sun (June '06)—theme answers WEE WILLIE WINKIE, OUI MONSIEUR, and WE SHALL OVERCOME. This is the kind of stuff you're supposed to check before embarking on a puzzle.

Blew through this like it wasn't there until the very very end when I lost precious seconds in the southwest. Took me a couple beats to get the front end of -CONSOLE (GAME wouldn't fit, then the theme dawned on me). Then I ran into the WIT / WAG issue (54D: Joker). Correctly went with WAG, but then erased it when I saw [Pond swimmers] would then start with "G." Must be WIT / TOADS, I reasoned. So, yeah, I hate the idea of GEESE as "swimmers" (though, of course, they are). I also hate the definition on CONDONE (40D: Overlook, as something that's illegal), a word that strongly implies approval or endorsement, not mere overlooking. I see that "overlook" is listed as a synonym in places, but I still think it sucks as a definition. Anyway, just that little hiccup there kept me from getting under 3 minutes.

I like "GIVE IT A TRY" (3D: Encouragement after "Go on") and PORK CHOP (39A: Homer Simpson's favorite meat item). You can have the rest of the puzzle back.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Young girls in Glasgow (WEE LASSIES)
  • 26A: First words of the Constitution ("WE THE PEOPLE...")
  • 43A: Polite assent in Paris (OUI, MONSIEUR)
  • 54A: Piece of Nintendo game equipment (WII CONSOLE)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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