Italian for sleeves / FRI 5-27-16 / Longtime All My Children role / First novel of Great Plains trilogy / Hybrid woman-bird monster / Magna carta drafters / Title trio in 1986 comedy
Friday, May 27, 2016
Constructor: Damon Gulczynski
Relative difficulty: Medium (leaning somewhat toward easy)
Word of the Day: TAXON (18A: Phylum, order or genus) —
In biology, a taxon (plural taxa; back-formation from taxonomy) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. Although neither is required, a taxon is usually known by a particular name and given a particular ranking, especially if and when it is accepted or becomes established. It is not uncommon, however, for taxonomists to remain at odds over what belongs to a taxon and the criteria used for inclusion. If a taxon is given a formal scientific name, its use is then governed by one of the nomenclature codes specifying which scientific name is correct for a particular grouping. (wikipedia)
SWM, ENYA for ERTE) I went sweeping down the west side of the grid pretty easily, then moved into the middle and kinda got stuck for a bit (finished in 6:09, so not *that* stuck, but stuckish). First there was the ON ICE / IN ICE problem (IN makes me wince), then the NE, where ... let's see. I threw AVAIL in and then crossed it at the "V" with ... OVATE. But when the "T" cross was some kind of green (er, that is, 13D: Kind of blue that's close to green), I somehow ... I ... well, I changed OVATE to OVOID and went with NILE. NILE blue. Is that a thing? It felt thingish. It was wrong. MIENS and DENS helped out and things settled down. Really really really thrown off by the word "attraction" in 34A: Attraction temporarily shut down and partly moved to Siberia during W.W. II, so much so that even with LENIN in place I still thought I was dealing with some kind of carnival ride. The LENIN SWING or something.... but it was just his TOMB.
Yucked out at the awkward EMBANK, where -MBAN- did zero for me (PET rock ... cute) (29A: Kind of classic rock?). Thus stuck, I switched to the SE to see what I could do—and bam, off the "O" got "O, PIONEERS," and RIC OCASEK would've been a gimme even without the initial "R" in place. Filled the grid back up to horrible EMBANK, ending with that "E."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]