This is a very very special crossword for me for several reasons. I've always wanted to complete a NYT crossword puzzle on my birthday, but never has. And after years of practice, I was finally hoping to do it today. And when I found that it was one by Braendan Emmet Quigley, I was disheartened and swore quietly to myself. I knew of Quigley's caliber of crossword construction, since I've struggled painfully with the special collection of his SuperStar puzzles way back. I was totally unprepared to have to work against his wit.
That said, I am extremely pleased with today's edition because it was challenging, and well constructed. It had a bunch of modern and punny twists. As I was filling it in, I was surprisingly exhilerated. Man, this was a satisfying romp, with 6 themed entries with unusual words because of that.
"Big news!" - extraextra
Fred Sanford player, on TV - reddfoxx
Like some menus - prixfixe
Photocopier "ink" - xeroxtoner
Like some bonds - taxexempt
"The Complete Book of Running" author - jamesfixx
So with this theme, you know there's a lot of crazy words, and Quigley really does come through with some fun and modern clues:
Completely - atoz
Dance version of a song, maybe - remix
USN rank - adm
USN rank - cmdr
60's happening - bein
Overthrow, say - error
Scout master? - tonto
Stunt biker's bike - BMX
Oil, slangily - texas tea
Things to know:
Nehi - A brand of soda, as seen on MASH drank by Radar.
Teena Brandon/ Brandon Teena - Hilary Swanks' oscar winning role in Boys Don't Cry.
James Fixx - 80's fitness guru who popularized running with his book, The Complete Book of Running.
Brent Musburger - Sportscaster
Ira Glass - NPR host of This American Life.
Erno Rubik - Hungaria Inventor, notably for his eponymous cube.
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) - Italian composer, notably for opera Orfeo, and the Vespers of the Sacred Virgin.
Be In - 60's happening, the Human Be-In took place in 1964, Jan 14, at the San Francisco Golden Gate Park, as a landmark of beat culture, counterculturalism and Hippie philosphy.
Prix Fixe - A complete meal of several courses, sometimes with choices permitted, offered by a restaurant at a fixed price.