Al Capp diminutive / WED 3-1-17 / Unlawful behavior in strict Muslim countries for short / Monster beheaded by Perseus / Autos with charging stations / Sitcom extraterrestrial
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Constructor: David Phillips
Relative difficulty: Easy
- STUDY A BROAD (17A: Read up on a woman, old-fashionedly?)
- RISK A VERSE (24A: Take a chance on a work of poetry?)
- TICKET A GENT (35A: Cite a chap for speeding?)
- LEAD A STRAY (48A: Coax a lost dog to follow you?)
- SNIFF A ROUND (58A: Check the aroma of a few beers?)
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. (wikipedia)
TICKET AGENT doesn't work. It doesn't. Does. Not. Say all the other themers aloud to yourself—see how naturally they sound like both themselves *and* their imagined wacky counterpart. Effortless. Seamless. Just fine. But in America (and everywhere else English is spoken, I imagine), AGENT has the emphasis on the first syllable, making the whole TICKET A [space] GENT move absurd, wrong, off, terrible, no. TICKET AGENT and TICKET A GENT simply do not sound the same. Honestly, this is glaring and obvious. It's unbelievable this wasn't sent back for a simple redesign. Repeal and replace!!! PULL A HEAD, TAG A LONG (... actress Shelley?), CLIMB A BOARD, BLOW A PART (miscomb your hair?). I don't even know what to say. He's just tolerating slop now. I guess submissions must be (way?) down.
More trouble: you aren't sidestepping the weird ogley sexism of STUDY A BROAD with your little "old-fashionedly" clue addendum. Further, what is up with the clue on PDA (6D: Unlawful behavior in strict Muslim countries, for short)? That is gratuitous and weird and strange and at least vaguely hostile. Unnecessarily so. Why do you go out of your way to bring "Muslim countries" into your clue for stupid PDA, which is a distinctly American initialism / concept? I do not understand these editorial choices. Beyond that, the grid was OK, though PENSÉE + AMIES = too far down French road. I did enjoy the clue on PAPER CUT (11D: Small slice of one's workday?). Enough about this puzzle. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. this puzzle was super-easy. 30 seconds faster than yesterday, down at my normal Tuesday time.
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