Saturday, July 7, 2007
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "R-Rated Film Remakes" - Puns (oh boy, huzzah) on famous movie titles, aka Porn Remakes
At least one of these allegedly fake titles is real, i.e. a name of an actual porn flick. Not only that, the same title has been used in sitcoms at least twice as a parody title. That title: "BROADCAST NUDES" (88A: Remake about a TV station/F.C.C. controversy?). It was a 1988 porn film. It was a passing reference on "The Simpsons," and it was the title of an episode of "The Larry Sanders Show." Just FYI.
I say the difficulty level here is "Medium" only because it took me longer than it should have to get the theme, primarily because I tripped all over what should have been an easy answer, 32A: Remake about impiety during a storm? ("Sinnin' in the Rain"). I had the -NIN- part of SINNIN' but put in RAINING ... then figured out the answer but couldn't get it to fit (didn't realize I had to drop the "G" I had hangin' on the end there). The first answer I got after that, very easily (too easily?), was "THE NAUGHTY PROFESSOR" (68A: Remake about a lecherous instructor?).
Other theme answers:
- 23A: Remake about a red, white, and blue libido? ("Lust in America") - what's most striking about this clue, strangely, is its use of the serial comma, which the puzzle normally eschews between penultimate and ultimate item in a list...
- 51A: Remake about a strip club? ("Risque Business")
- 106A: Remake about a holy person's slip? ("Saint Misbehavin'")
- 119A: Remake about a ribald watchman? ("The Bawdy Guard") - Had GUARD and filled the whole thing in without ever looking at the clue.
13A: Cape Cod course (chowder) - thought the answer was a golf course. CHOWDER always makes me laugh because of a "Simpsons" episode in which the mayor's nephew threatens a French chef for not pronouncing "Chow-DAIR" correctly (the mayor and his whole family speak with heavy, Kennedy-esque accents).
21A: Daddy Warbucks's henchman (The Asp) - wow that's cool. I had No Idea.
22A: Lowly digs (rat hole) - is this literal? As in, rat's holes are low (to the ground)? Or metaphorical, like a slightly nicer way of saying "sh#thole?"
40A: No dessert for dieters (torte) - ??? This clue is awful. What dessert is for dieters? Most are not. And what if the "torte" were somehow defatted or tofued up, such that a dieter might eat it? I can imagine dieting and eating a TORTE - maybe just a sliver. Seriously, make your clues Specific! TORTE-specific!
41A: Game co. that originated Dungeons & Dragons (TSR) - now you all know that I played this game for a few years as a kid, so of course I'm going to blog about it, but ... as of this moment, I have no idea what TSR is or stands for. I had to rely on crosses for this one. Stands for "Tactical Studies Rules," apparently.
74A: Rodrigo _____ de Vivar (El Cid) (Diaz) - I'm sure I've had this before, but still didn't know it. It was inferrable with just a couple crosses, thankfully.
103A: Following closely? (aping) - liked it, not sure why.
125A: Difficult (ornery) - such a great word, though [Difficult] seems far too tepid a clue.
8D: Actor Brian of "Juarez," 1939 (Aherne) - Now that I see this name, I know that I have blogged about not knowing him before. Just not in this movie incarnation.
16D: Fans' sounds (whirrs) - clever. Wanted HURRAS or RAH RAH.
17D: Japanese "thank you very much" (Mr. Roboto ... I mean Domo Arigato)
18D: 1983 Nicholas Gage book ("Eleni") - again, smacks of something that I've blogged before. Still, didn't know it.
60D: Olympic track great Johnson, familiarly (Rafe) - wanted MIKE, at first, then this guy's name came to me out of the blue.
30D: Essen's basin (Ruhr) - edumacated guess
35D: Lucky ones? (Irish) - took me pathetically long time because I wanted it to end in "S."
83D: Wrist bones (carpi) - great word. Never seen it in the grid. Looks like a typo of CAPRI.
86D: Where Hercules slew a lion (Nemea) - I went through a Hercules phase a while back (doesn't everyone?) and so his labors are well known to me.
121D: Slingshot's shape (wye) - oh I don't like that at all. If that's how you spell the letter "Y," then no one should ever do it. Isn't WYE a river? Try that next time.
122D: Children's author/illustrator Asquith (Ros) - Long, long way to go for this answer. Why not [Frasier's colleague] or [Icelandic rock band Sigur _____]?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld