Sic et non theologian / SAT 4-3-10 / 1957 Tony winner Adams / Christian apologist who wrote Four Loves / Chief Powhatan's son-in-law
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Lost in Space is a science fiction television program created and produced by Irwin Allen, produced by 20th Century Fox Television, and broadcast on CBS. The show ran for three seasons, with 83 episodes airing between September 15, 1965 and March 6, 1968. The first season was shot with black and white film, the rest in color. In 1998, a film based on the series was released. The show focused primarily on Jonathan Harris as Dr. Zachary Smith, originally an utterly evil would-be killer who as the first season progressed became a sympathetic anti-hero, providing comic relief to the show (and causing most of the problems). (wikipedia)
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An enjoyable 70-word themeless that took me a while to get into, but then went down quickly. Things would have gone much faster if I simply could have tuned the radio in my head properly. 17A: When "you're gonna want me for your girl," in a 1963 hit had "gimme" written all over it — I know that lyric; I spent most of my junior and senior years of high school ignoring (most) contemporary popular music and listening almost exclusively to Motown, classic rock, and "oldies" stations. This should have proved a boon, but the problem with having so many Motown, classic rock, and "oldies" songs in your head is that they can start to blend together. Today, the song running interference on what turned out to be "ONE FINE DAY" was a minor hit by the O'Jays called "She Used to Be My Girl."
So I spent way more time than I would have liked just sitting there trying to push the O'Jays out of my head. And failing. Then I tried AQUINAS at 3D: "Sic et Non" theologian (ABELARD). Part of my "why not guess a "Q"" strategy for Fri/Sat puzzles. Didn't work here (though it did work in the SW at 39A: Putting to rest (QUIETING)). Erased AQUINAS when I thought 27A: Bat mitzvah, e.g. (GIRL) must be RITE. Then, off that "E," I wrote in EWER at 28D: One with a long neck and a rounded body (LUTE). Changed *that* when (finally) I hit an answer I knew definitively: 36A: "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" Oscar nominee (TATI). This is the foothold I used to (finally!) get into the puzzle — went TATI to IND (37D: Poll abbr.) to END RUN (48A: Attempt to bypass opposition) to ULTIMO (49D: Last, to Luigi). With another gimme, 'ENRY (58D: Eliza's mentor, to Eliza) sitting down there in the SE, I had enough to finally make serious headway.
At this point, the whole puzzle tipped and began feeling more like a Thursday or Friday. At one point I hit a slow patch (I forget where) and revisited the NW briefly, where, all of a sudden, the answer to 1A: Apparently floored came to me instantly: SLACK-JAWED. It fit!
And I got JAN (of JAN & Dean) off the "J" to confirm it (earlier, I'd had SAM, of SAM & Dave, there) (6D: Half of a popular 1960s singing duo).
Eventually got the DAY in "ONE FINE DAY" and between that and SLACK-JAWED was able to close out the NW. The smallish and secluded NE and SW corners almost felt like different puzzles. SW went down *fast*, but only because AHMET is a former "Word of the Day" (52D: Record producer Ertegun in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). Didn't know the HAMM brothers (Paul and Morgan, it turns out), but it didn't matter. Got them quickly from crosses (61A: Last name of twin gymnasts in the 2004 Olympics). Finished up in the NE, where another name I didn't know was lurking (DIAN — 18A: Longtime "The Price Is Right" model Parkinson), but again, as with HAMM, I handled it easily.
- 19A: Chief Powhatan's son-in-law (ROLFE) — my first guess, but I held off writing it in, as my knowledge of this ROLFE guy comes almost exclusively from crosswords, so I don't really trust it.
- 29A: Nut's offspring (OSIRIS) — One of those "WTF?" clues that eventually becomes at least semi-clear with crosses. Here, "Nut" is an Egyptian goddess and mother of OSIRIS.
- 38A: Plaza-to-plaza stretch: Abbr. (TPKE) — as with SLACK-JAWED, I had to think a few seconds, but then the answer leapt forth.
- 53A: Bit of rootless flora (ALGA) — I knew it was something green that grew on the sides of stuff. Considered MOSS, but the "bit" part seemed wrong. Also, maybe MOSS has "roots" in some sense I don't know about.
- 59A: Christian apologist who wrote "The Four Loves" (LEWIS) — Easy enough. I wanted A-LINE at 54D: Coat cut, and this answer's "L" helped me confirm it.
- 64A: 1957 Tony winner Adams (EDIE) — Ugh, Tonys. Good news — this woman stuck in my head from some earlier puzzle (though I couldn't decided between EDIE and EVIE at first).
- 4D: Copper bracelet? (CUFF) — annoyed I didn't get this sooner, since I guessed the "police" meaning of "copper" in the clue straight off.
- 13D: Bistro seen in "Manhattan" (ELAINE'S) — one of my favorite movies. Possibly my favorite movie. I know about ELAINE'S only from Woody Allen.
- 26D: Japanese for "large hill" (OSAKA) — Had no idea. TPKE's "K" helped a lot.
- 35D: NASA's Falcon and Intrepid (LEMS) — important crosswordese. As is NASA itself. LEMS isn't great fill, but it's redeemed slightly by being part of a mini NASA theme in the SE, along with ORBITER (45D: NASA vehicle).
- 42D: Family member (GRANNIE) — I object to the slangy, weirdly dated-sounding quality of the answer. Nothing in the clue suggests you're going to be getting something so nicknamey. I had GRANDPA / MA in mind. I guess those are somewhat slangy too, but they're common. Do people really call their grandmas "GRANNIE"? Outside of 100-yr-old novels?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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