Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fragrance of roses / MON 1-9-12 / Doughnut shapes mathematically speaking / Fantasy realm of C.S. Lewis / Like Dubai's Burj Khalifa

Constructor: Michael Dewey

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: blank LIKE A bird of some kind

Word of the Day: SCALAWAG (4D: Rapscallion) —
In United States history, scalawag was a derogatory nickname for southern whites who supported Reconstruction following the Civil War. (wikipedia)
• • •

Another very slight theme. 76-word grid, decently filled. All in all, fine. Completely forgettable, but fine.

[42A: Rockers Clapton and Burdon] 
Theme answers:
  • 20A: Soar (FLY LIKE AN EAGLE)
  • 38A: Tell everything to the coppers (SING LIKE A CANARY)
  • 51A: Carefully guard (WATCH LIKE A HAWK)
Weird thing about solving experience for me was getting all the way to the bottom of the grid before I had a single theme answer or any idea of what the theme was. Had the SCA- of SCALAWAG but couldn't do anything with it, so I ended up riding ICICLE down to ISAAC over to ASIAN down to SNOB over to BUTANE (with some small detours along the way, I'm sure). All very quickly. Then got WATCH LIKE A HAWK, but it wasn't until a bit later, with SING LIKE A CANARY, that I picked up the (very) slight theme. Had some confusion along the way. Started with ILLS for WOES. Read [Number after a © symbol] as [Number after a @ symbol] and so YEAR made No sense. Clue on TALL is pretty ridiculous (11D: Like Dubai's Burj Khalifa). Michael Jordan is TALL. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. TALL is bathetic in the extreme. Calling that building TALL is like calling the Great Wall of China LONG. Understatement. Clue out of proportion to answer. Absurdity.

I like how SLIP and KNOT(TY) are right next to each other. I also like how this puzzle has no J. Yes I do.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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