I enjoyed solving the Thursday, August 28 puzzle by Sheldon Bernardo (answers.) I like the theme, it's clever, but for me today the thrill's in the fill. There are so many terrific clues; way more than average.
This is Mr. Bernardo's tenth puzzle, meaning he starts showing up on my constructor pages. (Sorry, Andrea!) It's his first since I started blogging but I have fond memories of solving his previous constructions.
I'm just going to go through my notes in order, and I won't even get to them all. "Hot strip" is a fine clue for GAZA. It is very hot there. "Washington has some big ones" was easy for me since I live in Washington. The west coast version, that is. It's got to be FIRS. You don't notice how massive they are here until you go somewhere else, anywhere else, and the trees are so tiny! Only this is an east coast Washington clue so it was a clever way to clue EGOS.
"Record holder" is SLEEVE. You'll have to explain that to the kids but it's important they understand the cultural significance of that ancient technology. An object of ridicule is a BUTT, not because you have a funny-looking one but because you're the butt of a joke. Nine out of sixteen clues for SALS now mention that cafeteria in Do the Right Thing. As that movie fades from our cultural memory, we'll have to come up with something else.
"Part of a pound" is a great clue. Are we talking ounces or pence here? Neither. The answer is CAGE. Ah, that kind of pound. SPONGEBOB Squarepants lives in Bikini Bottom. What a fabulous location name. Mr. POE gets a humorous quote: "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." Who else could it be?
My favorite clue of the puzzle is "cold-blooded killers." The literal answer is ASPS. Yum.
After all that, I was disappointed with one clue. I thought there would be some clever reason why there would be a "1940s-'50s film/TV star with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame." Maybe it was someone who played both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Maybe it would be Jane Russell because, uh, just because. It turns out to be DESI ARNAZ for the more mundane reason that one is for TV and the other is for movies. Oh well.
One of the photos here is today's constructor Mr. Bernardo. He's apparently a school principal in NYC who requires his staff to solve his puzzles without the use of a dictionary. Tough school.
Blast from the Past: A recent post by Amy on her blog reminded me of this Tuesday crossword from 1999. The notepad says, and I'm paraphrasing a little here to be somewhat more obscure, that a particular thing is wholly missing in this puzzle. Try it out or if you're lazy, jump to the answer here.