TUESDAY, Jun. 26, 2007 - Ray Fontenot

Monday, June 25, 2007

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "All-Day Film Festival" - four theme answers contain words that refer to various parts of the day, progressing from "SUNRISE" to "SUNSET"

This was the easiest puzzle I've done in a while. Had exactly the same time as I did on yesterday's puzzle - which makes it a near-record Tuesday time. Liked the theme a lot - hell of a lot better than yesterday's grammatical disaster. I had never even heard of two of the four movies involved - in fact, I'd never heard of two of the seven-letter answers either - and yet I still enjoyed myself.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: First showing at an all-day film festival? (1988) ("Tequila SUNRISE") - I feel that this movie was terrible, but I may be getting it confused with the Redford/Pfeiffer movie where she plays a reporter ... "Up Close and Personal"
  • 25A: Second showing (1970) ("Red Sky at MORNING") - Never heard of it. The Fixx had a song called "Red Skies at Night"; I've heard of that
  • 44A: Third showing (1975) ("Dog Day AFTERNOON")
  • 49A: Final showing (2004) ("After the SUNSET") - what the hell movie is this? 2004? That just happened.

And why no reference to two very good movies, "Before Sunrise" or "Before Sunset?" And why don't the final three theme clues have "?"s after them?

I had never heard Joe DiMaggio referred to as simply (simply?) DIMAG (27D: Joltin' Joe). If you saw those letters together and had no context, I doubt you would know what the hell a DIMAG was supposed to be. Still, it's a cool, colloquial baseball answer, so I like it (even though it involves the Yankees - I can be impartial from time to time). ESAU is back in the puzzle, this time accompanied by two other four-letter words that end in "U" - ECRU (8D: Neutral shade) and FRAU (42D: Herr's mate). Oh, and MENU (60A: Beanery handout), but that's not very exotic.

Mysteries in seven letters:

15D: Self-important sorts (tin gods) - I really like the phrase a lot; just never heard it (or if I have, I forgot about it)

43D: Biblical liar (Ananias) - Hey, I just started my year-long Bible-reading marathon. We don't get to the Gospels for a long, long time (well into 2008, I'm guessing)

Not much else here to speak of. Had some wrong stuff, like GET IN instead of MOUNT (30D: Climb onto), TEN TO instead of TEN OF (29D: A little before the hour), and IRAN instead of IRAQ (3D: It includes Mesopotamia). That last one's a little embarrassing. Clearly I was going too fast to bothered with thinking very hard (no, wait, I just looked it up, and technically parts of southern IRAN are included, so not as bad an answer as I'd imagined). So it goes.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Orange 11:21 PM  

The Daily Show has used a "Mess o' Potamia" backdrop for its Iraq coverage, which cemented that in my head.

Which is not to say my head's full of cement. It's more bricks and mortar, and some quicksand.

I also drew a blank on the middle two movies. Didn't look 'em up. Maybe somebody will enlighten those of us who don't know these titles?

Linda G 12:24 AM  

I saw Red Sky at Morning, starring Richard Thomas (John Boy Walton to many folks). All I remember is the saying...Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. And somebody died in the morning...maybe his father.

But surely you saw Dog Day Afternoon, Amy. It was Al Pacino's finest. There is a great line in it that I've used several times. It begins with "Kiss me." That's all I'll say here, because this is a PG comments section.

profphil 1:09 AM  

One of the things I liked about the puzzle was even though I only was familiar with one of the movies (actually saw one of them in the movie theatre: Dog Day Afternoon) I was still able to get the other clues both from the theme and from the down clues and because they sound familiar. For example Tequila Sunrise is a drink so even though I never heard of the movie there was a way to figure out the answer without Googling. I think when it comes to Pop culture clues that is one of the criteria for a good clue. Can someone who is clueless still figure it out based on the downs, the theme and a little educated guess work.

Alex 1:12 AM  

Before Sunset is Richard Linklater's sequel to Before Sunrise.

Both are fabulous films. In the second, Jesse and Celine run into each a decade after the first movie and make a new connection.

campesite 1:19 AM  

Linda is right on: Pacino's performance in Dog Day Afternoon could be his best, John Cazale as his accomplice is tremendous, and the screenplay won an Oscar. This film is definitely worth watching.

Anonymous 2:15 AM  

Red Sky at Morning was based on a novel of the same name that everyone I know read when we were teenagers--sort of Catcher in the Rye-ish.

As for Dog Day Afternoon--"Attica! Attica!"

Anonymous 2:53 AM  

Let's not forget the director of DDA, the great Sidney Lumet, whose finest film was Twelve Angry Men.
Also, DDA was one of the first mainline films that was a big hit but had as a principal theme a gay couple (who wanted a sex-change operation for the Pacino character's lover, never shown).

Orange 4:39 AM  

Never saw Dog Day, though of course I've heard of it. Was nine when it came out! Never got around to renting it.

So, nobody knows that After the Sunset is, eh?

Scott 8:19 AM  

Ananias (who has been in the puzzle before, if memory serves)and his wife Sapphira cop it in Acts for lying to Peter about a pledged church donation. Audits were a brutal affair in the early church, it seems.

The ex-farm boy in me bristles at the cluing for BALE. You don't use a hay fork to make a bale, nor to move it. The place for a hay fork is in the hay loft, or the hay mow, or a hay stack, or possibly even in a hay wagon.

crossnerd 9:47 AM  

Of the theme answers, the only one I knew for sure was TEQUILASUNRISE. I've never seen any of them, and couldn't have told you the premise of a single one before reading comments above.

But you're right. This puzzle was fun regardless.

Alex 9:54 AM  

Ignore my comment above. With all the Sunrise/Sunset movie titles being thrown around I confused myself about which one was actually in the puzzle and which one you were asking for.

Considering it has a pretty big cast I also am surprised I don't remember After the Sunset at all.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  


Pierce Brosnan, Selma Hayek, Don Cheadle -- set in the Caribbean, much ado over diamonds.

The Google Queen

Rex Parker 10:06 AM  

"After the Sunset" bombed at the box office, which may be why few remember it. Whoever gave that movie its title should be fired - horribly unmemorable. Sounds like a Cinemax after-hours softcore sex flick.


Linda G 10:31 AM  

Nine when it came out! Rent it, Amy. It's worth it.

Alex, I'm glad you cleared up the Sunrise/Sunset confusion. I saw the ones you referred to. I'd ordered both from NetFlix and watched them back-to-back, hoping the second would be better than the first...which it wasn't.

Rex Parker 12:08 PM  

Apologies to Linda, but "Before Sunrise" is a Great movie, and "Before Sunset" a less great but still good movie (though my friends who saw the first movie with me and loved it absolutely detested the follow-up).

Some people hate the apparent aimlessness and story-less-ness of the movies. That's the part of the movies I love. They have a weird, unflinching patience. Plus Julie Delpy is ... somewhat adorable.

Linda G 12:36 PM  

I must not have been clear. I really liked Before Sunrise but was disappointed in Before Sunset.

Alex 12:39 PM  

I liked them both. But in a weird twist I saw the second one first.

campesite 1:55 PM  

Tequila Sunrise (a so-so movie) was filmed a few doors down from where I lived. My buddies and I used to try to catch glimpses of Michelle Pfeiffer whenever possible, and I have to admit I still have a crush on her.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Sadly, I have seen all four movies. I belong to Blockbuster Video and feel a compulsive need to see a million movies a month.

After the Sunset had a couple of good moments. It was essentially a caper filma and as I recall, the film begins (quite nicely) with Pierce Brosnan and his beautiful accomplice Selma Hayek making a spectacular heist right under the noses of Woody Harrelson and his FBI cohorts. I think Pierce is shot in the heist, which otherwise is executed flawlesly.

The heist is supposed to be the last of Pierce's career and he and Selma retire to the Caribbean. As we see them in idyllic splendor there, we learn that a rare flawless diamond is on display somewhere on the island(I think on a cruise ship) and Woody Harrelson pops back onto the scene convinced that the only reason Pierce and Selma are in the Caribbean is to steal the diamond, which they eventually do.

It was an ok movie, definitely not great, but it did hold my interest ,which is more than I can say for many that I have rented.

Steve M

Jo 2:58 PM  


Just in case you care: "The Gospels" usually refers just to the first four books of the New Testament. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Ananias is not mentioned in them.

The story of Ananias is recorded in The Acts of the Apostles, which takes up where the book of Luke leaves off - and its authorship is attributed to Luke. But in the Protestant Bible is placed after the book of John.

May the reading of The Word bless you and your house forever.

It won't hurt your solving success either. :>)


Rex Parker 3:24 PM  

I know what the Gospels are. Apparently, I was sloppy in my Googling: caught sight only of the word "Luke," and made a mistaken inference.


Michael 5:22 PM  

Here is the sanitized version of the famous dialogue from "Dog Day Afternoon". It's just too good, and I use it all the time myself.

SONNY: Kiss me.


SONNY: (deadpan) When I'm bein' [blank], I like to be kissed a lot.

Orange 7:04 PM  

Not to be pedantic, but that poor Salma Hayek gets her first name misspelled all the time. When I see "Selma," I think Alabama, civil rights, and The Simpsons. When I see Salma, I think, man, she's hot. And intermittently talented.

Al Sanders 8:09 PM  

Belated comment to say that Ray Fontenot lives in Ft. Collins for part of the year and we've gotten to know each other pretty well. He's had a couple in the LA Times, but I'm pretty sure this is his NYT debut. He was thrilled when Will accepted the puzzle a few months ago. I've test solved a few of his puzzles and it's great to see him become successful after a relatively short time constructing. Congratulations, Ray!

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

I enjoyed the cluing of Disloyal:FALSE and Loyal:TRUE

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

rex, what is the deal? where is wednesday's puzzle?.....

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

Even better than Al Pacino doing, "Attica, Attica..." in Dog Day Afternoon is John Travolta, doing Al Pacino, doing, "Attica, Attica" in Saturday Night Fever.

- - Robert

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