Comedic inspiration for Robin Williams / MON 3-8-10 / Musical group with its own 1977-81 show / Vampire slayer of film and TV
Monday, March 8, 2010
Vega (α Lyr / α Lyrae / Alpha Lyrae) is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus. It is a relatively nearby star at only 25 light-years from Earth, and, together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the most luminous stars in the Sun's neighborhood. (wikipedia)
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Stan Newman takes a break from his normal Newsday crossword editing gig to offer a delightful little Monday puzzle in the NYT today. What is it with me and slow starts lately? I must have spun my wheel for 10 seconds ago (an eternity in Monday time) before I managed to get going in the NW. Looked at 1D: Show to be true — nothing. Looked at 2D: Watch with a flexible wristband — well, lots of watches have those ... nothing. 1A: Capitalized, as a noun — uh, yeah, nothing. Finally got ONO (3D: John Lennon's middle name) and things started to come together. Then I had COLORADO- at the beginning of 16A: Home of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and thought, "how the hell should I know?!" Then I realized that only one word could possibly follow COLORADO: SPRINGS. From there on out, I remember nothing, as I blazed through the puzzle at light speed. All that diddling around at the beginning and I *still* came in under 3. I figure one or two of the places or names are bound to cause people at least a little hesitation, so Easy-Medium. Oh, turns out the watch was a ROLEX and the capitalized noun was PROPER and of course [Show to be true] was PROVE. Never saw the theme. Noticed it only after I was done.
- 16A: Home of the U.S. Air Force Academy (COLORADO SPRINGS)
- 27A: Vampire slayer of film and TV (BUFFY SUMMERS) — didn't know her last name. Hardly mattered. Crosses made it easy to infer.
- 45A: City in 21-Across (WICHITA FALLS) — never looked to see what 21-Across was. Had -AFALLS and filled in WICHIT- from that.
- 60A: Comedic inspiration for Robin Williams (JONATHAN WINTERS) — WINTERS of course played Mork's son Mearth on "Mork & Mindy" (hatched as an adult, the idea being that he ages backwards, Benjamin Button-style). From wikipedia: "Although Robin Williams calls Jonathan Winters his greatest influence, the idea of Mearth didn't work, and the show was soon canceled, in 1982."
- 42D: Musical group with its own 1977-81 show (SHA NA NA) — Whoa, that's my pop culture sweet spot (or one of them). How'd I miss this show? Were they capitalizing on the '50s fad ushered in by Mr. Arthur Fonzerelli? Who knows? Enjoy:
[be sure to let the tape roll to experience the ... sketch comedy?]
- 25D: Path for a mole (TUNNEL) — Thought the "mole" might be figurative at first, i.e. an undercover operative. I liked all the 7-letter Downs in this one, esp. SURFEIT and SUITS ME (10D: "I have no problem with that")
- 53A: Chester Arthur's middle name (ALAN) — Learning something on a Monday! I like it. I've since forgotten it, but it was fun while it lasted. Wife, perusing the puzzle, just now: "... I thought Chester Arthur's middle name began with a "B." Why did I think that?" I give her the one second she needs to figure out her problem.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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