Janis, star of Broadway's "Puzzles of 1925" — SUNDAY, Sep. 13 2009 — Muscular Charles / German mercenary / Paris couturier Pierre / Hollywood crosser
Sunday, September 13, 2009
World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global political and business elites (often referred to simply as Davos), and the home of the largest ski resort in Switzerland, serving as the site of the annual Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament, hosted by the HC Davos local hockey team.
Constructor: Todd Gross
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "Let's Play Bingo" — theme answers are Bingo calls. There is Bingo card at center of grid (or at least there was for people who do the puzzle on paper — not for the rest of us, who had to get ours separately). I guess you play Bingo. I seem to have won, so I'm guessing that means everyone won, so ... good for us.
Word of the Day: DAVOS (42D: World Economic Forum host city) —
This is really very clever but I couldn't care less. Is there a point? What am I missing? I filled out my Bingo card. Bottom row was a winner. Is somebody bringing me a check? Because otherwise ... what's the payoff? Crossword Bingo: All the tedium and none of the excitement of actual Bingo! It's like regular Bingo, but with no possibility of winning anything! Again I feel like I'm supposed to ooh and aah at a grid. And it *is* clever and it *is* original. But in real Bingo, don't they call numbers that Aren't on your grid? In this one, since all calls Are on the grid, the grid was Supremely easy to fill out. So once I figured out the conceit, I just filled out the grid in a dutiful, bored manner, circling what was for me a big black Frankenstein head at the grid's center (see grid). I don't even remember how I solved it, in what order, where the trouble spots were, etc. Completely forgettable solving experience. I'm sure this puzzle was the result of a really bitchin' IDEA MAP (41A: Diagram used for brainstorming), but after the initial "Whoa" factor, there's little there there.
Theme answers are all just Bingo calls, so no need to write them Down. I won with
- 19A: 1960s-'70s Ford muscle car (Torino) — still haven't seen the Eastwood movie "Gran Torino." Really gotta add that to the queue. I spelled this TURINO at first, as in "The Shroud of the Gran Turino."
- 21A: Companion of Artemis whom Zeus changed into a spring (Aura) — AURA is a spring? That seems like some kind of elemental mix-up.
- 31A: Emperor who married his stepsister (Nero) — anytime you have [Emperor who did some depraved or semi-depraved !@#@], it's probably NERO.
- 32A: Child of the '70s, in brief (X'er) — interesting this term still has legs. I'll always know it, 'cause I Am It, but I wonder if the term means anything to anyone born after 1990.
- 34A: Like any channel between 30 and 300 MHz (VHF) — knew it was one of the HFs, but picked wrong first time around.
- 37A: Endangered Everglades mammal (manatee) — big and slow. Saw some in Mexico once.
- 44A: Manfred _____, 1967 Chemistry Nobelist (Eigen) — my big "WTF???" of the day.
- 50A: Hulu, e.g. (net TV) — interesting clue; not sure how common the phrase "NET TV" is to describe online video sites, though.
- 79A: What "prn" on a prescription means (as needed) — I'm going to make "PRN" the new "PWN." Also, AS NEEDED and NEEDLED (99A: Prodded) in the grid near each other ... doesn't look great.
- 80A: Muscular Charles (Atlas) — I get him confused with Jack Lalane.
- 89A: The "it" in the 1990s slogan "Gotta have it" (Pepsi) — the '90s are my Lost Decade. I don't or can't or won't (willingly) remember it. Them. Whichever. Lewinski!
- Buttafuoco! Vanilli!
- 108A: Vaughn's co-star in "The Break-Up," 2006 (Aniston) — I confess that I find her Adorable. See "Office Space," or that one where Paul Rudd (even More adorable) is gay.
- 115A: Paris couturier Pierre (Cardin) — I remember him vaguely from the 70s/80s but haven't heard his name much since. This morning the song "Smiling Faces" by The Undisputed Truth is stuck in my head, and I don't know why. All I know is that when I reread this clue just now, I had the urge to sing it to rhyme with the song's admonition: "Beware!"
- 117A: Occasional 1960s protest (lie-in) — *very* occasional.
- 119A: What an aurilave cleans (ear) — not too hard to infer from its parts.
- 7D: Jay who once hosted "Last Comic Standing" (Mohr) – also once starred in a very short-lived sitcom called "Action" co-starring Ileana Douglas. The very very very end of the 90s. That part of the 90s, I can recall semi-happily.
- 26D: Second-most common Vietnamese family name, after Nguyen (Tran) — weird how fast I knew this. Not sure what to attribute that to.
- 34D: Hollywood crosser (Vine) — looks like it's going for TRANsvestite, but no.
- 56D: Banned insecticide (DDT) — first thing in the grid, I think.
- 62D: Number of wonders of el mundo antiguo (siete) — really? Verdad? That's your clue?
- 88D: German mercenary (Hessian) — one of the longer words I learned from crosswords.
- 91D: Sailor's vision obstructor (sea mist) — briefly thought it was some kind of MAST and that I'd misspelled CARDIN's name (CARDAN!?). "Beware!"
- 94D: Popular 1940s radio show "_____ Alley" (Allen's) — up there with EIGEN on the "WTF???" scale.
- 100D: _____ Janis, star of Broadway's "Puzzles of 1925" (Elsie) — red meat for the crossword elite (not me — I tend not to like the cutesy self-referential stuff).
- pdbennett8 @rexparker I wanted "Steeple contents" to be "Peeple" (childhood hand game/childish spelling), and I almost got it... on the other side.
- jothornely Come on brain. I gave you coffee and a cryptic crossword - now it's time for you to give ME something. Brain. Please.
- k_bot I am too drunk to fall asleep, but also too drunk to do a crossword. What now?
- greekdude I saw an old man wearing spy clothes, sitting inside a car and solving a crossword.
- fccmaryville Thank you God Today for - crossword puzzles, popcorn, naps, memories of childhood, pizza delivered to your house, jeeps, and fresh bicuits.
- bhawkesRN Dear hubby: Completing the online crossword puzzle w tennis shoes on is NOT *crosstraining*. Now please put pants on.
- doctorshaw Best #crossword-related birthday present ever? (No complaining about the numbering, crossnerds!) http://twitpic.com/h7zoh
["I could eat a horse ... and check it for a hernia at the same time!"]
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