crossword 6:00; meta 1 minute
greetings, matt gaffney here guest-blogging the 214th episode of jpwcc. the first of this month’s four guest constructors is JOON PAHK, well-known in puzzle-land for many reasons (constructing, blogging, jeopardy!ing, solving, being an all-around nice guy, etc.). he’s certainly the aptest person to get the ball rolling on guest constructor month.
In his instructions JOON asks us to a find a pair of symmetric entries that would form a good 5th theme answer. Let’s see what the long answers give us:
20-a [He played John Connor in “Terminator 2”] = EDWARD FURLONG.
34-a [Collection of young swingers?] = LITTLE LEAGUE.
41-a [Inspector Lestrade’s employer, in Sherlock Holmes books] = SCOTLAND YARD. i’ve read all four Sherlock Holmes novels repeatedly, but I’m stretching the 56 stories out over my lifetime on purpose because i don’t want to have read all of them until later on in life. i’m at about 40 so far. no spoilers, please. the best one so far, as everyone agrees, is “A Scandal in Bohemia,” the basic premise of which is extremely clever and surprising even 100-plus years later.
56-a [Emperor Zurg’s archenemy, in film] = BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. Not to be confused with Nancy Zerg’s archenemy, who is…well, you know.
FURLONG, LEAGUE, YARD, LIGHTYEAR…hey, those are all units of distance, as in the title, “distance learning.” that can’t be a coincidence! is there a set of symmetrically-placed entries that forms a phrase ending in a unit of distance? ELATED BORDER? SPEEDO BROWNE? ACCEPT CYRANO? coming up blank…LEAD FOOT? oh yeah!
so LEAD FOOT it is, which was submitted by about 455 entrants (exact number coming soon).
JOON had a lot of fun with the clues:
18-a. [Dutch midfielder De Jong who karate-kicked Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final] don’t watch this if you’ve got a weak stomach. JOON informs me that NIGEL received only a yellow card for it (!!).
32-a. [Island where Hephaestus crashed when Zeus hurled him off Mount Olympus] = LEMNOS. I hear they have solemn melons there.
11-d. [Hideous denim/Lycra fashion “innovation” with a portmanteau name] = JEGGINGS. don’t watch this if you’ve got a weak stomach.
22-d. [Curved molding that sounds like an expression meaning “gosh”] = OGEE. love it.
i think this was an excellent week 1 meta. let joon feel the love in comments; he’ll be back here next week blogging guest constructor #2‘s puzzle.