Virginia city known for shipbuilding / MON 10-24-16 / Final stanze of ballad / Molars usually have four of these / Pair of cymbals operated by foot pedal
Monday, October 24, 2016
Constructor: John Guzzetta
Relative difficulty: On the easier side of Mondayness
- NEWPORT NEWS (17A: Virginia city known for its ship-building)
- DRUG TRAFFIC (28A: Flow of narcotics)
- UNDER THE WEATHER (36A: Not feeling so hot)
- SPOIL SPORTS (44A: Killjoys)
A cusp is a pointed, projecting, or elevated feature. In animals, it is usually used to refer to raised points on the crowns of teeth. (wikipedia)
EMOTE or ORATE or SATED—perfectly fine words, but relentless, and today, all in the same section. A puzzle made for people who wear AFTA and watch morning TV fare, i.e. not me. And, increasingly, not a lot of solvers. If it is unreasonable of me to keep asking the NYT to be the best, then maybe they should stop calling themselves the "best." That way no fraud, no unrealistic expectations.
Turns out I don't really know what CUSPS means. I finished this puzzle in under my normal Monday time, but I think I might've set a personal Monday best if I'd had some conception of CUSPS. I know the term "bicuspid," but I think of "cusp" as meaning the edge; like ... you're on the *cusp* of something. Or in astrology, if you're on the *cusp*, you are on the edge or boundary of two different signs. Right? Anyway, the clue [Molars usually have four of these] totally stymied me. Filling in ROT at 4D: Drivel didn't help (it's PAP). Also had lots o' trouble with 5D: One often seen standing just out side a building's entrance (SMOKER), since all I wanted was some version of "doorman." So maybe it's most accurate to say this puzzle had a Challenging (for a Monday) NW corner, and a hyper-easy everything else.
- 50A: Shoe material (LEATHER) — not that I care, but you don't usually see replicated letter strings as long as the one this answer shares with WEATHER (in UNDER THE WEATHER)
- 8D: "___ Gotta Be Me" (Sammy Davis Jr. song) (I'VE) — not sure why I'VE sounds too formal / grammatical to precede "Gotta," but it does. I GOTTA feels more natural. But a title's a title's a title.
- 11D: Procedure for solving a mathematical problem (ALGORITHM) — not to be confused with the theoretical concept AL GORE RHYTHM. P.S. I have a mathematician friend, who is also a constructor friend, who teaches in NEWPORT NEWS. Here's the exciting proof.
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