Urban myth debunker / TUE 4-3-12 / Old Volkswagen seven-seater / Feature of gladiator sandal / Mosquito Magnet flypaper
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
CConstructor: Paula Gamache
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: MOVING PARTS (53A: Working components of an engine ... or what the ends of 18-, 23-, 34- and 47-Across are?) — ends of theme answers are anagrams of PARTS
Word of the Day: SNOPES.com (44D: ___.com (urban myth debunker)) —
Snopes.com ( //), officially the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a web site discussing urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of uncertain or questionable origin. It is a well known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture, receiving 300,000 visits a day.Snopes is run by Barbara and David Mikkelson, a California couple who met on the alt.folklore.urbannewsgroup. The site is organized by topic and includes a message board where stories and pictures of questionable veracity may be posted. The Mikkelsons founded the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society and were credited as the owners of the site until 2005. (wikipedia)
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Place holder. Seat filler. Not that imaginative, and the first two theme answers are duds, in-the-language-wise. Fill is perfectly adequate. Not much to see (or say) here.
- 18A: Mosquito Magnets and flypaper (INSECT TRAPS)
- 23A: Campers' lightweight cover-ups (NYLON TARPS)
- 34A: Eater of lean, in rhyme (JACK SPRAT)
- 47A: Feature of a gladiator sandal (ANKLE STRAP)
- 17A: Top prize in the Juegos Olímpicos (ORO) — never saw the clue. Would've guessed ORO. Don't know "Juegos" (I'm guessing "Games").
- 40A: Gymgoer's pride (BOD) — such an ugly, '80s word. Melanie Griffith is hot in "Working Girl," but when she says "I've got a mind for business and a BOD for sin," I kind of throw up a little.
- 52A: Modern sight on many an Indian reservation (CASINO) — got this one easily, though I've never been to a reservation CASINO, or any CASINO, now that I think of it. Not my scene / cup of tea / what have you.
- 4D: Source of the headline "World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100 Percent," with "The" ("ONION") — along with SNOPES, another very up-to-date reference.
- 12D: Disney-owned cable news broadcaster of game highlights (ESPNEWS) — reliable go-to channel when Absolutely Nothing was on. Got rid of cable TV and haven't missed it.
- 37D: Bette Midler film loosely based on Janis Joplin's life ("THE ROSE") — I remember this being pretty good. I certainly like the title song. I am in a group called "Screening 1987," which is watching 1987 movies all year long. We watched Bette Midler in "Outrageous Fortune" (with Shelley Long and Peter Coyote and George Carlin). I don't recommend doing the same.
- 38D: Old Volkswagen seven-seater (EUROVAN) — Had the "EU-" and the rest came surprisingly easily. It's a great name. Much better than the TOUAREG or the TIGUAN or whatever the stupid hell they're calling their cars now.