Jellystone Park toon with bow tie / MON 4-17-17 / Noisemakers at 2010 World Cup / Blue toon whose enemy is Gargamel
Monday, April 17, 2017
Constructor: Peter Gordon
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: OOH! OOH! — themers open with repeated long-U syllable:
- LULULEMON (17A: Big name in athletic wear)
- BOO-BOO BEAR (23A: Jellystone Park toon with a bow tie)
- PUPU PLATTER (35A: Assortment of appetizers at a Polynesian or Chinese restaurant)
- GOO-GOO EYES (49A: Amorous look)
- VUVUZELAS (58A: Noisemakers at the 2010 World Cup)
Pinochle (English pronunciation: //) or binocle (sometimes pinocle, or penuchle) is a trick-taking card game typically for two to four players and played with a 48-card deck. It is derived from the card game bezique; players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category which also includes a cousin, belote. Each hand is played in three phases: bidding, melds, and tricks. The standard game today is called "partnership auction pinochle." (wikipedia)
• • •
WDS at 1A: Dict. entries and then, off that "D," dropped DIPSOS at 2D: Boozehounds (DRUNKS). DIPSOS really felt right. Like, it's the D-word that a *crossword* would choose in that moment (whereas normal humans would of course choose DRUNKS). Anyway, I fixed it fairly quickly when WILSON (1D: President during W.W. I) made all the Acrosses up there look nuts. I also balked at a couple of obvious answers. Had -RAN--- for 18D: Radioactive element and just blanked. Had ---LADY (!?) at 24D: Title for the Virgin Mary and ... same. I think "title" had my brain going to adjectives like Thatcher's "The Iron Lady," I don't know. But those kinds of hiccups cost seconds, and seconds are precious when you're trying to keep your time in the 2s. Then there's the fact that I have fat dumb fingers and can't control the cursor worth a darn, and when it got away from me and ended up down at 51D: Killer whales, instead of putting it back up in the place I was working, I just wrote down ORCAS and started in on that new section. Like I said, undisciplined. And, like I said, I still crushed it.
I enjoy a simple semi-wacky sound theme like this on a Monday. Yes, the OO/OO thing is not exactly tight—you leave a few potential options on the table (CHOO CHO, MUUMUU, JUJU). But the answers in the chosen symmetrical set are a lively bunch, and the rest of the fill, though not sterling, is solid and inoffensive. Could've done without the no-one-says-it AMUSERS, especially after already having dealt with SNARLER (see also BUDGETER, I guess), but otherwise, nothing made me wince. I might've gotten close to my record time if I hadn't (once again) blanked, this time (at the very end) on 9A: H.S. class for a future doctor, maybe (AP BIO). Too much abbr. for my brain to handle. Had the AP in place and went to close it out ... and pfft. Had to toggle to crosses. Precious seconds! Maybe if ICE SAWS had computed as "fishing tools" earlier, things coulda been different (my honest first thought with ICE SAWS: "What ... are they doing to the fish!? ... oh, right").
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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