Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Co-anchor Hill of Early Show / WED 2-8-12 / Crafty Norse god / Precursor to memorable Boston party / Foes of Jedi / Alphabetic trio for fliers / Its logo includes its name in blue letters in yellow oval

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: SS (!) — "S" is added to words ending in "S" in familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: "SHE'S the Boss" (38D: "___ the Boss" (Mick Jagger album)) —
She's the Boss is the solo album debut by The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger released in 1985. When the Stones signed with CBS Records in 1983, one of the options available to them was for individual projects, and Jagger—ready to spread his wings after recording exclusively with the famous band for 20 years—eagerly began working on She's the Boss. [...] The video for "Hard Woman" extensively utilized a Cray supercomputer for its animation, making it one of the most expensive music videos made to that point in time. (wikipedia)

• • •

Holy theme replication, Batman!

Well, this would be great if SINGLESS was a word. Not only is it not a word, it's not even a good made-up word that accurately describes the situation in question. A pub with no karaoke would be a SONGLESS BAR, but of course there's no such thing as a "songles bar" (I don't think), so we're left with this disastrous, faceplant of an answer. Truly terrible. The yin to MID-ASS's yang (made-up word that is, nonetheless, perfect). Other than that, you've got a bunch of added "S"s. Pretty ho-hum.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Throat lozenge for low-voiced opera stars? (BASS RELIEF)
  • 25A: Cause of a sexual harassment complaint? (MID-ASS TOUCH)
  • 35A: Talk about pitchers and quarterbacks? (DISCUSS THROWERS)
  • 49A: Pub with no karaoke? (SINGLESS BAR)
  • 57A: Admission provider for a kissing booth? (BUSS TICKET)
Had a lot of trouble with this puzzle, which doesn't seem likely when I look it over in retrospect, but it's true. Biggest issues was 1A: Flimflam, because I had TDS for 3D: Some Super Bowl highlights (ADS). First stab at FRAUD ended up FDTUD (the "D" for DNA instead of correct RNA; 2D: Coded material). SOLIDS did not come quickly to mind as baby food (6D: Some foods for growing babies). 16A: Some (A FEW) could've been a million things, of course. [Main section of a long poem] doesn't work for the only CANTOs I know (Dante's). "Inferno" has 34 cantos ("Divine Comedy" has 100 in total). No one CANTO is a "main section." They are all of roughly equal length. Cantankerous cry!

  • 67A: Home of Middle East University (AMMAN) — ??? First of all, worst university name ever. Do they really call it that? Second, why would I know this? I've never heard of this place. Clue may as well just say [Middle Eastern city]. 
  • 32A: Its logo includes its name in blue letters in a yellow oval (IKEA) — hard for me. Only logo I could imagine in an oval was Ford. The ARID cross was also hard. I had DEAD and DRAB before ARID ever got in there (22D: Lifeless). 
  • 34D: Start of a Clement Moore classic ('TWAS) — Yay, a gimme! I learned who Clement (Clarke) Moore was from xwords (when I was cluing a puzzle ... which you may or may not see eventually).
  • 7D: Co-anchor Hill of "The Early Show" (ERICA) — network morning shows are ... well, what horrifies you most about popular culture? OK, *that's* what network morning shows are to me. Murderous rage. It's like vapidity concentrated. Plus aggressive, stupid, mindless commercialism. The worst form of TV imaginable. This includes every reality show I've ever heard of. Yes, this includes "Toddlers in Tiaras" and "Hillybilly Hand-fishing" (is there a hyphen in "handfishing?" I'm guessing that's not a question hillbillies ask very often) (Oh, I'm sorry, it's "Handfishin'"; and no, no hyphen). 

  • 12D: Precursor to a memorable Boston party (TEA ACT) — I think I put this in a puzzle one time, too. I have lost track of what's been submitted, what accepted, what rejected, and what's sitting in the "In Progress" folder...
  • 26D: Foes of the Jedi (SITH) — reminds me of a picture my friend (a professor of Medieval Art History) posted today on Facebook: 

    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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