Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Mikado baritone / SUN 2-12-12 / Rathskeller vessel / Superboy's sweetie / Supply at French smoke shop / Actresses Dana Judith / Macedonian city with Greek and Roman ruins / Classic fragrance sold in France as Mon Peche

Constructor: Kurt Mueller

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Additional Reading" — a "BOOK" rebus puzzle, with "BOOK" inserted (inside a single square) into familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: DONNISH (93A: Professorial) —
Of, relating to, or held to be characteristic of a university don; bookish or pedantic.
• • •

Don't have strong feelings about this one. Theme / rebus was easy to pick up. Theme answers were occasionally cute, occasionally ho-hum. The crosses were kind of a casualty of the rebus word—not many good, different ways to fit "BOOK" into an answer. (Side note: never heard the phrase BOOK IN before; also, I think I would've gone with Newark mayor Cory BOOKER instead of BOOKER T., if only to avoid the partial) Puzzle seemed slightly heavyish on the crosswordese (EDESSA, LEK, ELEA, etc.), and there wasn't much interesting non-theme fill, but mostly it was solid and solvable. Mysteries today included IVEYS (22D: Actresses Dana and Judith — though Judith IVEY sounds vaguely familiar) and (especially) DONNISH. I was forced to run the alphabet to figure out the cross at DON-ISH and ME-O (didn't know MENO—wanted MEZZO). Had DORKISH for [Professorial] at one point. DONNISH / MENO was very rough. ["Ask ___ questions ..."]—now there's a MENO clue.

Theme answers:
  • 21A: Send over some Bibles? (DELIVER THE GOOD BOOKS)
  • 33A: Dolt's football game plans? (PLAYBOOK FOR A FOOL)
  • 54A: The truth about a popular Internet community? (FACEBOOK REALITY)
  • 80A: Egotistical author's request to a reader? (BOOKMARK MY WORDS)
  • 100A: Annual publications for burros? (DONKEY'S YEARBOOKS)
  • 117A: Dust cover made of 100% aluminum, perhaps? (FULL-METAL BOOK JACKET)
  • 13A: Aid for record-keeping at Mrs. Smith's? (APPLE PIE ORDER BOOK)
  • 47D: Get together with your bet taker? (MEET ONE'S BOOKMAKER) — my favorite theme answer   

  • 1A: Handsome, as Henri (BEL) — Not BEAU? 7 years of French and I couldn't turn up BEL. Sad.
  • 72A: Singer/actress with a simultaneous #1 album and #1 film, familiarly (J-LO) — she had a #1 film??? Wow. "The Wedding Planner?" Really, America? She's actually a pretty good actress (see "Out of Sight"). But singing-wise, let's just say, she's no Whitney.

  • 77A: Rathskeller vessel (STEIN) — I think we have a bar downtown called the Rathskeller, or "The Rat" for short. I associate it with vomiting undergrads.
  • 116A: "The Mikado" baritone (KOKO) — the sign-language gorilla?
  • 2D: "There's a Chef in My Soup!" writer (EMERIL) — possibly the stupidest title I've ever seen.
  • 32D: 1987 Broadway sensation, colloquially (LES MIZ) — My first answer: LESTAT (the vampire?)
  • 37D: Superboy's sweetie (LANA) — confusingish, since LANA is Clark's "sweetie" too (if "Smallville" is to be believed).
  • 75D: Classic fragrance sold in France as Mon Péché (MY SIN) — "Classic?" I just translated "mon péché." 
  • 76D: Macedonian city with Greek and Roman ruins (EDESSA) — just one of those geographical terms you learn in the course of doing puzzles. 
  • 97D: Supply at a French smoke shop (TABAC) — You can get great CHIRAC TABAC at SEA-TAC.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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