Longtime Yugoslav leader / MON 1-26-15 / Tangy teatime offering / West Point newcomer / Looped calf-catcher / Shampoo in green bottle / Chinese-born American architect
Monday, January 26, 2015
Constructor: Ian Livengood
Relative difficulty: Medium-ish (my time was a teeny bit high for a Monday)
THEME: FRESH START (56A: New beginning … or what 16-, 23-, 31-, 38- and 45-Across each have?) — theme answers are familiar two-part phrases/names where first part can also be a synonym for "fresh" in the sense of … well, multiple senses, actually … I was going to say "sassy," but … just, see below…
- FLIP WILSON (16A: 1970s comedian whom Time magazine dubbed "TV's First Black Superstar")
- SMART COOKIE (23A: Clever person)
- PERT PLUS (31A: Shampoo in a green bottle)
- BOLD TEXT (38A: Type meant to stand out)
- FORWARD PASS (45A: Counterpart to a lateral)
BOLD TEXT … sat ill(y) with me. It googles fine, but that "type" is called "BOLDFACE" if it's called anything. I'd've liked that better, despite its X-lessness. Hell, I'd've liked BOLD MOVE better. BOLD TEXT feels "green paint"-ish. Like ITALIC TEXT or UNDERLINED TEXT. Meh. Then there's the fill. Now, I'm a big fan of the multiple long Downs, all of them at least solid. But I'm surprised Ian-not-SEAN (nice vanity clue there) (62A: Ian : Scotland :: ___ : Ireland) had to resort to such low-rent fill so often. GOERS at 1A: Attendees was just painful, and then to have RUER in the puzzle too. Nominalizing verbs w/ -ER always feels mildly half-assed, but some (say, RUNNERs) are better than others (say, GOERS). I have no issues with RISER or PARER, but here they add to an unfortunate overall ER(R)-ness.
And then APISH, oh, man. No. Here's what happens when you try to google [define apish]:
- 62A: Ian : Scotland :: ___ : Ireland (SEAN) — botched this very badly on the first go-round because I didn't fully scan the clue. Had the final "N" and saw "Ireland" and instinctively wrote in ERIN. :(
- 41D: "The Garden of Earthly Delights" artist (BOSCH) — blanked hard on this. Had -OSC- and could think only of TOSCA.
- 30D: Winning "Hollywood Squares" line (OOO) — well, it beats [Losing "Hollywood Squares" line], but not by much.