Private-sector rocket launcher / TUE 8-4-15 / Lee with 2011 #1 album Mission Bell / Yearly gathering for superhero fans / One shopping for old curios / New York county bordering Pennsylvania / Low-growing tree often in dense thickets / Missing part of Great Sphinx of Giza
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (for a Tuesday ... actually, it was just that SW corner that slowed me down ... 3:48 solving time)
THEME: LIQUOR STORE (52A: Where to purchase the starts of 21-, 26- and 45-Across) — starts of said answers are units of booze:
- FIFTH AVENUE (21A: Fashionable shopping area in New York City)
- SIX-PACK ABS (26A: Goal of one doing crunches)
- CASE CLOSED ("End of discussion")
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company with its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, USA. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk with the goal of creating the technologies that will enable humanity to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars (fully and rapidly reusable rockets) It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both of which were designed from conception to eventually become reusable, and the Dragon spacecraft which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo. A manned version of Dragon is in development. (wikipedia)
LISTICLE (35D: "21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity," e.g.), which is probably the most modern / least well-known entry in the grid, but that didn't trip me at all, and yet I still managed to fall on my face in that section because of a bummer of a cross-ref (the boring CAR / ACURA) and then TIOGA (living in NY helped some, but not much there), and then GOATS (50D: Their hair makes cashmere). My mind was sending only pictures of ... I think those are llamas. Or alpacas. Not GOATS, for sure. So I flailed around down there some, so my LISTICLE knowledge was for naught. Actually, I don't think I really know what a LISTICLE is. A list that is an article? As I typed that last question out, I became surer and surer that that is correct. But LISTICLE really seems like a brand name. There's probably a listicle.com. Let's see ... hmm, it's actually a dot "co." What the hell is dot "co"? This is too much new info for me to take in in one day. It was enough to learn cashmere = GOATS. Let's just leave today's learning at that.
The theme! It was fine. Absolutely respectable for a Tuesday puzzle. In fact, for a *Tuesday* puzzle, it's bleepin' golden. Most Tuesdays end up Trying Too Hard and falling on their faces. This one just steps to the plate and hits a solid single to left, easily driving in the runner on third. This is all to say that the theme is fine, but not the highlight. The contemporary and/or bouncy fill is the highlight. SPACE X! COMIC CON! HOTH isn't contemporary, exactly, but since it's always 1980 in my soul, HOTH! I'd throw AAA and ISTS and maybe ANS. in the trash, but I'll take the rest as is. Nicely done.
- 27D: Great Plains tribe (KIOWA) — a tribe I learned from crosswords, one that I now know of as "that K one in five letters how does it go again?" My first stab at spelling was pathetically close to KOALA.
- 61A: What indicates everything that's left? (WILL) — first answer: ET AL. This answer is blatant sucking up to the editor. [and now here's the part where I say "I'm kidding" just in case ...]
- 47D: Part of E = mc^2 (ENERGY) — I for real had EQUALS.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS if you somehow can't make it to Lollapuzzoola 8 this weekend, there's an At-Home version of the tourney you can play. Go here for details.
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