Bygone Chinese money / SUN 7-5-15 / Westernmost island of Aleutians / Indiana city where auto manufacturing was pioneered / Smack That singer / Art of flower arranging / Onetime Nair alternative
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Heads of State" — a Mount Rushmore puzzle. Nicknames of four presidents on Mount Rushmore appear as long Down answers, in the order (left to right) that the appear on the monument. Flanking the names are long, orienting answers: KEYSTONE, SOUTH DAKOTA / HOME OF MOUNT RUSHMORE
- AMERICAN CINCINNATUS (22D: *Nickname for George Washington)
- THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE (4D: *Nickname for Thomas Jefferson)
- HERO OF SAN JUAN HILL (33D: *Nickname for Theodore Roosevelt)
- THE GREAT EMANCIPATOR (9D: *Nickname for Abraham Lincoln)
nounnoun: tael; plural noun: taels
- a weight used in China and East Asia, of varying amount but fixed in China at 50 grams (1 3/4 oz.).
- a former Chinese monetary unit based on the value of a tael of standard silver. (google)
• • •
[This song reminds me of falling in love with my wife, so it is unimpeachable. Our first real date was actually on Labor Day, but that's neither here nor there.]
This grid structure results in a lot of short stuff, and that short stuff gets a little dicey at times. TAEL and ATTU reek of the crypt. A crypt that smells like pre-1993. And I nearly crashed the ship on the shoal of HOTE / AKON. And there's a lot of run-of-the-mill OREM OTOO NEET-type stuff, but it only made me EWW a little. Decent big idea, lively theme answers, some nice longer stuff like IKEBANA and KINSHASA and GROUND CREW, and I'm reasonably happy.
- REDINK — to dink again. The clue can tell me this is RED INK all it wants (5D: Debt, symbolically), but my brain knows what it knows.
- SPHERIC — AL had the day off (81A: Ball-like)
- ARIL / URAL — originally ANIL / ARAL. They all sound like "kinds of sex" to me now.
- AUDIE (61D: Cornish of NPR) — honestly, when I filled in her name, I said "Awww" out loud, like she was my daughter and she'd just won a ribbon or something.
P.S. Julie Delpy, for the win, for now, and for always. (28D: "The ___ Breathe" (2007 drama with Kevin Bacon and Julie Delpy))
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