Ringo's drummer son — MONDAY, Dec. 28 2009 — TV sports broadcasting pioneer Arledge / Pregame morale booster / Gravy vessel
Monday, December 28, 2009
Constructor: Patrick Merrell
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: blank AND blank — familiar "blank AND blank" phrases where the words can also precede and follow (respectively) a common word
Word of the Day: ZAK (4D: Ringo's drummer son) — Zak Starkey, (born 13 September 1965) is an English drummer, well-known as the first child of The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) and his first wife Maureen Cox. Starkey is mostly noted for his unofficial membership in The Who, since 1994. Starkey is the fourth drummer for the rock band The Who, playing with them live and occasionally in the studio. He is also known as being the third drummer of English rock band Oasis until summer 2008. Starkey has also worked on session and touring basis with artists including: Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, The Icicle Works, the Waterboys, ASAP and the Lightning Seeds. (wikipedia)
Would've been a pretty dull puzzle without a. the added precede/follow part of the theme answers, and b. some pretty decent fill in some of the longer answers. In the end, a decent effort. Three partials (IT A, ME I, A RAW) seems a tad too many for a non-demanding theme like this one. OON (48A: Suffix with pont-) is wicked bad, and there's perhaps a bit more crosswordese than you'd like, but DEAR SANTA is at least timelyish, and CD RACKS is cleverish, and DONKEY, SEAWORTHY, PEP TALK, DENZEL, and BANZAI (56A: Buckaroo ___ (movie character)) are all pretty good. Not much else to say here, so I'll cut it short.
- 17A: One word that precedes "pit," one that follows it (cock and bull)
- 27A: One word that precedes "key," one that follows it (room and board)
- 45A: One word that precedes "play," one that follows it (down and dirty)
- 61A: One word that precedes "hard," one that follows it (rock and roll) — this one threw me the most (when I was done), since I assumed the phrase involved was HARD ROCK, and then couldn't figure out what ROLL HARD meant. . . but no: ROCK HARD and HARD ROLL.
- 4D: Ringo's drummer son (Zak) — high-end crosswordese. He's an accomplished drummer, but would never appear in a puzzle if his name was, say, BEN. For more high-end crosswordese, see also KARNAK (65A: Egyptian temple site).
- 58D: Actress Lupino and others (Idas) — so many IDAs... if you are going to go with a plural name, I really prefer that you give me two examples. "And others" seems a cop-out.
- 56D: Gravy vessel (boat) — like to think of this as part of a greater nautical sub-theme, with SEAWORTHY and DECK (32D: What a swabbie swabs).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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