Constructor: Enrique Henestroza Anguiano
Relative issue: Straightforward (extraordinarily)
THEME: style is important! — articles of clothes (actual or imaginary) that act as adverse metaphors for a type of “individual”:
- SCAREDY PANTS (20A: Cowardly individual)
- BLACK HAT (27A: Villainous individual)
- EMPTY SUIT (35A: Ineffectual individual)
- TURNCOAT (49A: Traitorous individual)
- STUFFED SHIRT (54A: Pompous individual)
Phrase of the Day: TRAPS (1A: Shoulder muscle mass, in health club lingo) —
The trapezius is a big paired trapezoid-shaped floor muscle that extends longitudinally from the occipital bone to the decrease thoracic vertebrae of the backbone and laterally to the backbone of the scapula. It strikes the scapula and helps the arm.
The trapezius has three useful components: an higher (descending) half which helps the burden of the arm; a center area (transverse), which retracts the scapula; and a decrease (ascending) half which medially rotates and depresses the scapula. (wikipedia)
• • •
OK, once I say “SCAREDY” you say “___”! SCAREDY! ___! SCAREDY! ___!
In case you mentioned “CAT!”—hey, we’re of the identical ILK.
The entire “wait, it is not CAT?” factor was a fiasco, but it surely was additionally the one a part of the grid that gave me any issue in anyway. This performed like a Tuesday shading into Monday. I kinda want I had been nonetheless timing myself, as a result of I wasn’t actually making an attempt to hurry and I nonetheless assume I might’ve damaged 3 minutes as we speak (extraordinarily, close to record-breakingly quick for me on a Wednesday). I wrote in DELTS at 1A: Shoulder muscle mass, in health club lingo (TRAPS), that slowed me down for a number of seconds proper out of the gate. DELTS is a superbly good reply for that clue, it is simply … nicely, numerous muscle mass connect with the shoulder, it seems. However TOT removed DELTS and RNA received me TRAPS after which after getting waylaid in PANTSville for a bit, nothing else stood in my approach. And even getting waylaid in PANTSville wasn’t so unhealthy, as all these lengthy Down PANTS crosses had been tremendous straightforward. Or the Acrosses had been tremendous straightforward, and so the Downs had been straightforward. I wrote in “THERE!” as a substitute of “TRY IT!,” that price me possibly 5 seconds (29D: “Have some!”). However all the things else was clear. A lot of the fill was widespread, repeater-type stuff (APED and ANAIS and ATIT and the like), but it surely was clear sufficient. As for the theme, I believe it is fairly beautiful. The metaphors received considerably extra acquainted to me because the grid went on, with BLACK HAT and EMPTY SUIT being semi-familiar however not phrases I would use, and TURNCOAT and STUFFED SHIRT being acquainted phrases I would not hesitate to make use of myself. There’s an incredible consistency to this set, because the phrases do not simply *finish* with clothes (like endings being a standard thematic premise), however stand, as an entire, for a type of individual. Clothes metonyms! Truly, solely a few of these are metonyms (the place an attribute of a factor stands for the factor). BLACK HAT, EMPTY SUIT (truly, “SUIT” = “government” is a paradigmatic instance of metonymy). STUFFED SHIRT is extra a metaphor, and precise SCAREDY PANTS do not even exist … anyway, I am within the weeds now. These are all clothing-based metaphors used to explain sorts of (flawed) folks. The tip. Good.
I want there have been extra to speak about. I may go off about what an incredible actress GENA Rowlands is and the way a lot I all the time get pleasure from seeing her, even in the event you may argue her identify falls beneath the overall rubric of “Crosswordese.” Greatness transcends “Crosswordese,” imho. That is why I can by no means actually be that mad at CHER or ADELE, irrespective of what number of instances I see them. I used to be studying in regards to the rise of Tiki tradition in California within the mid-Twentieth century and the author (Kevin Starr) dug again to its nineteenth century roots, when America’s fascination with Polynesia started. Why is that this related? As a result of he introduced up Melville’s basic tales of the South Seas, “OMOO” and “TYPEE,” and truthfully I practically teared up as a result of I hadn’t seen them in so lengthy. These titles was All Over the grid. In case you began fixing within the final century, then one of many first stuff you discovered, in the event you did not understand it already, was that Melville wrote “OMOO” and “TYPEE” and so they had been going to be your fixed companions in your journey into griddom. Now … they’ve gone the best way of the ASTA. And that is good, I assume. It is good that grids received more energizing and extra various, and it is good that I lived lengthy sufficient to really get *nostalgic* for “OMOO” and “TYPEE.” So “OMOO” and “TYPEE,” in the event you’re on the market, I miss you guys. Name or write a while. Nicely, write. You most likely haven’t got telephones. MESSAGE in a bottle, possibly? Anyway, give it some thought.
- 45D: Put a hoop on it (EAR) — I believe you’d most likely say “in” moderately than “on,” however you need your Beyoncé reference, I get it.
- 6D: Signify, as a designer at a style present (WEAR) — I favored this and SLITTED (40D: Open to the thigh, as a night robe) and CAFTAN (8D: Conventional garment in West Africa), which I noticed as good accompaniments (equipment?) to as we speak’s theme. It is heat out, why not WEAR a SLITTED CAFTAN!
- 30D: Glace after melting (EAU) — I needed to scan and rescan this clue as a result of I saved considering I used to be misreading the primary phrase. Then I believed “why do not I do know that phrase?” After which a bit later I spotted I did know that phrase—it is only a French phrase (for “ice”). French crossing French right here (ETOILE) might be not ultimate. However not prone to journey many individuals up, I do not assume.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. there are good the reason why I write this weblog day in and time out, and considered one of them is that sometimes readers ship me stunning, private notes, like this one (obtained simply this morning, shortly after I posted as we speak’s write-up):
Longtime reader, first time writing to you. My day by day routine is to unravel the puzzle on my commute from Dutchess County into NYC, learn your writeup, after which get to work. This morning, nevertheless, your point out of Kevin Starr has made me considerably wistful and nostalgic. Dr. Starr was my favourite professor whereas a pupil on the College of Southern California—he would commute from San Francisco to Los Angeles every Monday morning and return residence every Friday afternoon. I used to be a geology main who took considered one of his courses on the advice of a pal, and his influence was so profound that I ended up including a historical past minor and ultimately dropping geology from my life altogether (I ended up within the uncommon postage stamp enterprise).Dr. Starr’s enthusiasm and charisma was in contrast to anybody else I’ve ever met in my life—I nonetheless make a copy of Frank Norris’s The Octopus on my desk always, which he wrote the introduction to and autographed for me. Considered one of my classmates was Robert Towne’s daughter, which led to many fantastic discussions about Chinatown (which, whereas technically off-topic, appeared completely becoming for a category in regards to the historical past of California). Dr. Starr handed away whereas I used to be saying my very own goodbyes to my grandmother within the hospital, and their deaths are perpetually linked in my thoughts and my coronary heart.I assume the aim of this e mail is twofold—first, to specific my gratitude for the entertaining write-ups over the past 5 or so years I’ve been studying, and second to thanks for bringing to thoughts a really nice man who modified the course of my life.