Saturday, January 7, 2012

Musician Montgomery / SUN 1-8-12 / Glen Canyon reservoir / Adaptable aircraft / Clive Cussler novel settings / 2010 Emma Stone comedy

Constructor: Tony Orbach

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Doing Without" — familiar phrases with "WITH" have that "WITH" removed, resulting in all kinds of wackiness

Word of the Day: HOLI (69D: Hindu spring festival) —
Holi (होली), is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. In some states of India such as West Bengal and Orissa, it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) [...], or Basanta-Utsav ("spring festival")[...]. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. These places have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi. (wikipedia)
• • •

Didn't care for this. Theme didn't feel like much of one, and the resulting phrases just didn't yield much in the way of funny. Plus, the grid was Heavily segmented and a lot of the fill was less than stellar (my new word for "less than stellar" = ULNAR) (103D: Kind of nerve). Beyond that, I don't have much to say about this one. Felt slightly harder than normal, but only slightly. Had never heard of LAKE POWELL or HOLI or EARLE. I had heard of DULCINEA, thank god, because that might have been brutal. I think I wrote in CASTILIANS for CABALLEROS, and I know I wrote in RAT HOLE for RAT TRAP. Oh, and I went with the adjectival FLAKY over the nominal FLAKE (108D: Eccentric). The seven-letter answers up top are kind of nice, but nothing else really STAND(EE)s out for me.

Theme answers:
  • 24A: "Just do drills for now"? ("DON'T PLAY MATCHES")
  • 30A: Disturb one's neighbors at night? (KEEP UP THE JONESES)
  • 52A: Duffer's feeling toward a putting pro? (GREEN ENVY)
  • 54A: Meeting one's soul mate, perhaps? (DATE DESTINY) — [See a stripper?] having been discarded, presumably
  • 67A: Successfully perform a download? (GET THE PROGRAM)
  • 87A: Applied foil at the Hershey's factory? (SEALED A KISS)
  • 91A: One man's declaration to an upset party planner? (I'M THE BAND)
  • 105A: Drive by the United Nations? (PASS FLYING COLORS)
  • 117A: Impostor's excuse? (I ONLY WANNA BE YOU)     
  • 6A: Hannibal's foil in "The Silence of the Lambs" (CLARICE) — still haven't seen it, but know her name well (though I thought CLARISE, at first)
  • 38A: Inflation-fighting W.W. II org. (OPA) — Office of Price Administration; part of the Alphabet Soup group of abbrevs. that I can never keep straight.
  • 57A: Clive Cussler novel settings (SEAS) — I know the name, but not the subject matter. Wanted SIAM for a good deal of time.
  • 7D: Constellation whose brightest star is Regulus (LEO) — constellation, three letters: ARA! No? Dang.
  • 14D: "Little" singer of the '60s (EVA) — The quotation marks are ironic; EVA weighed 350 pounds.
  • 32D: 2010 Emma Stone comedy set in high school ("EASY A") — a common crossword answer with a new, cinematic clue as of 2010. I just read today in the New Yorker that Emma Stone and Taylor Swift are friends ... thus ends my Emma Stone news for the day.
  • 90D: Adaptable aircraft (STOL) — Short Take-Off and Landing. Learned it the hard way, from a crossword failure.
  • 118D: Musician Montgomery (WES) — how did I know this? I feel like he is a jazz musician ... maybe saxophone ... nope, jazz guitar. 

Gotta go watch my Lions get shredded by the Saints now.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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