Thursday, June 7, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
Somewhat challenging, but enjoyable. I love when 1A is a colorful gimme like this one: 1A: 1971 hit with the lyric "He danced for those at minstrel shows" ("Mr. Bojangles"). I think the line should have continued with "... and county fairs" if not all the way to "throughout the South." This puzzle also has great long pop culture fill in two of the other three quadrants, including 12D: Girl group with the 1986 #1 hit "Venus" (Bananarama) (You had me at "1986") and 56A: Oscar winner between Tom Hanks and Geoffrey Rush (Nicolas Cage) - that clue could have been Much better - ["Valley Girl" star], for instance.
- 32A: Grammy winner Blige (Mary J) - a gimme, and MARYJ just looks great in the grid
- 25D: Author of "The Sot-Weed Factor" (Barth) - I first entered WAUGH, god knows why
- 55A: A, in Aix (une) - tried for a while to think of what element "A" stood for in the periodic table...
- 52D: Pan, for one (faun) - second FAUN in about a week. I prefer "Prelude to the Afternoon of a FAUN," but this one's OK too
- 26A: Group on Miles Davis's "Birth of the Cool," e.g. (nonet) - I just like this word
- 41D: Skater dude's exclamation ("Awesome!") - at this point, it's anybody's exclamation. It is frequently my exclamation, and I haven't set foot on a skateboard in 30 years.
- 43A: Title boy in a 1964 Disney film (Emil) - reminds me of my wife, who loves the book the movie ("Emil and the Detectives") was based on.
- 31A: Torah's beginning? (tav) - entered TEE, but no, of course not. That would have been too easy...
- 58D: One of the Khans (Aly) - entered AGA, but no, of course not. That would have been too easy...
I had many, many small problems while solving this puzzle. And here they are:
- 2D: Bring to a boil (rile) - I had ROIL, which I knew had to be wrong, but ... it's all I had at the time.
- 15A: Film in which Ford was president ("Air Force One") - This is diabolical. I was all set to Hate this answer when it occurred to me (only just now) that the "Ford" in question is Harrison. My initial thought: "Come on, there must be dozens of movies that were set during the Ford Administration..."
- 5D: ____ A. Bank, menswear retailer (Jos) - unknown to me
- 6D: Constellation near Norma (Ara) - ditto
- 44A: McIntosh cousins (winesaps) - don't understand this at all. Please explain.
- 13D: "Buy now," e.g. (broker's tip) - I had most of this answer before I got it. In fact, I think I had OKERSTI and couldn't make anything out of it. I kept wanting the first two letters to be SP-, and the "Buy now" to be some kind of advertising come-on. "Buy now" is not a "tip." It's a command.
- 30A: Playwright Connelly who won a Pulitzer for "The Green Pastures" (Marc) - another unknown
- 28D: Supreme rulers (paramounts) - very weak. PARAMOUNT is an adjective. Or a movie studio.
- 22A: Tough guys (Rambos) - weak again. I don't think I've heard the words used in this generic fashion. There's a new RAMBO movie coming out very soon - supposed to be violent as all hell.
- 23D: Some pitchers (ad men) - ah yes, the old "pitchers"-equals-advertisers trick. Never gets old (read: it got old long ago). I had ARMED ... which I inferred as a possibility from the fact that I knew a pitcher could, in fact, be EARED.
- 35A: Least interesting (aridest) - no one would ever use this word, but it does go nicely with DESERT (48A: Most of Mauritania)
- 27D: Dome site (state house) - any state house? All state houses? Is it a rule that they all be domed? Even Nebraska's unicameral legislative body? Well, yes, it turns out.
I'm searching a lot of STATE HOUSEs and they do indeed all seem to have domes. Anyone know of an un-domed state house? Just curious.
Must read / sleep
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld