Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and..."


"A River Runs Though It" is the title of this week's Premier Crossword by Frank Longo and this time it's a description of what's going on because the name of a river spans the two words in each long answer:

23a - FRIVOL GALLANTLY (Waste time on trifling things in a brave way?)
33a - OBAMA ZONKED (Bush's successor ready to hit the hay?)
42a - CHERUB ANGIOPLASTY (Repair of an angel's blood vessel?)
63a - REAGAN GESTURED (Carter's successor used a hand motion?)
75a - SALAMIS SOURING (Deli meats turning bad?)
96a - NEVADAN UBERMENSCH (Nietzschean superman from Vegas?)
105a-FALCON GOOSE (Bird crossbreed?)
121-MYRRH INEBRIATES (Incense resin causes intoxication?)

The appearance of my completed grid makes it aparent that I had some trouble with the puzzle, most notably in the bottom-right corner where I managed to guess wrong on three of the down answers which pretty much doomed the last long answer until I took out some letters that were obviously wrong and rethought those entries.  The only other real difficulty I had was accepting the fact that GISMO (15d - Doohickey) is a real thing, but apparently it's a variant of "giZmo" which is what I had entered, but I was certain of Rusty STAUB (25a) so I (reluctantly) made the change.

Some of the cluing for the theme answers requires a stretch of imagination to make them work. "Ready to hit the hay" just barely works as a definition for ZONKED, and I really, really don't think of deli meat as SOURING when it goes bad. I did enjoy seeing FRIVOL all by itself as I usually think of it only as part of "frivolous". NEVADAN UBERMENSCH was my favorite entry even though I have no idea what either the clue of the answer means. I think I'll start referring to Harry Reid with the term.

As to the short fill, it had ELAN (55a) and it had OOMPH (73a) (both clued as "Zing") and what more can you ask for from the short answers?  I learned that ASTANA (16d) is the capital of Kazakhstan, Rialto is the financial and commercial of VENICE (91a) and has a lot of NEONS (81d), and ARMENIA (20A)  is east of Turkey (which is located in EURASIA (21). NOE (123d) Valley is a neighborhood in the central part of San Francisco and the ROANOKE (1a)River is in Virginia but doesn't qualify as a theme answer (there's a prize for whoever can come up with a phrase that has that river "running through it"). It's like a geography min-theme with so many interesting places!

KILLER BEE (6d) reminded me of this:






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