1824 Vienna premiere / THU 6-17-10 / Tony-nominated choreographer White / Eponymous doctor with maneuver / Hit 2006 film banned every Arab country
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Constructor: Corey Rubin
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: ODE TO [JOY] (13D: Work incorporated in 33-Across ... or a description of this puzzle?) — a rebus puzzle with six "JOY" squares; BEETHOVEN'S NINTH runs across the middle of the grid (33A: 1824 Vienna premiere)
Word of the Day: ONNA White (35D: Tony-nominated choreographer White) —
Onna White (March 24, 1922 – April 8, 2005) was a Canadian choreographer and dancer nominated for eight Tony Awards. White was especially adept at choreographing dance numbers for actors with little or no dance training. [...] // She choreographed both the stage version and screen versions of The Music Man (1962), 1776 (1972) and Mame (1974) // The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Miss White an Academy Honorary Award for Oliver! (1968), one of the rare occasions that the Academy recognized choreography on film. Other recipients include Gene Kelly for "career achievements", Jerome Robbins for choreographic achievement on film", Michael Kidd (Ms. White's mentor) for "services to the art of dance in the art of the screen" and Stanley Donen for "body of work". Fred Astaire's was much earlier, and was for his body of work. Onna White's Oscar is the only one that states the name of a film, i.e. "To Onna White for her outstanding choreography achievement for "Oliver". (Ref. The Academy of Motion picture Arts and Sciences.) (wikipedia)
If you'd told me in January that by mid-year, my fastest Thursday time of the year would come on a *rebus* puzzle, I'd have told you you were nuts. But here we are. This is the easiest rebus puzzle you're ever likely to see, probably because you can't really hide "JOY." Every instance of "JOY" involves a meaning related to the word "JOY" (compare, say, "DOG," which can be hidden inside, say, "DO-GOODER" or "DOGMA"). Once I got through the (pretty obvious) trap at 1A: Poe poem, with "The" ("BELLS") ("RAVEN! Wait, that's too easy for Thursday!"), and completed the NW corner, BUNDLE OF [JOY] was quite obvious. Wrote out BUNDLE OF, saw there was just the one square left, and immediately wrote and circled "J" (to symbolize "JOY"). And I was off. Quickly. If it weren't for some fumbling in the areas surrounding ONNA (!?!?!) and POO (11A: Cutesy-___) (that clue/answer is my very least favorite thing about this puzzle), I'd have been under 5 minutes today. Instead, just a handful of seconds over.
As for POO—first, inherently, yuck. Second, I don't know the phrase "Cutesy-POO." Never heard anyone say it ever. Figured it had to be PIE, even though "Cutie PIE" is probably the phrase I was thinking of. 12D: Present was at least a little ambiguous. PIE led to IN HAND, which felt plausible, if not great. But ODE TO [JOY] was undeniable, so I was left with Cutesy-PIO (actually, at first, I think I had AT HAND and "Cutesy PAO!"). Eventually, ON HAND revealed itself to me, as did POO. But come on: In a very easy, otherwise ENJOYABLE puzzle, do you really want your solver bogged down in POO? I hope not. I also really hope I wasn't the only (fast) solver to have a POO problem. Look how much you're making me write POO!?! It's like a cruel joke.
- 20A: Newborn (BUNDLE OF [JOY])
- 8D: One way to jump (FOR [JOY])
- 30A: Hershey's brand (ALMOND [JOY])
- 13D: Work incorporated in 33-Across ... or a description of this puzzle? (ODE TO [JOY])
- 26A: Gratifying (EN[JOY]ABLE)
- 28D: "Dubliners" author ([JOY]CE)
- 47A: Euphoric (OVER[JOY]ED)
- 38D: What there was in Mudville (NO [JOY])
- 43A: Pastime for a car thief, perhaps ([JOY]RIDING)
- 53A: Best-selling novel of 1989, with "The" ("[JOY] LUCK CLUB")
- 53D: Al ___, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump ([JOY]NER)
- 50A: Region known as the Valley of the Moon (SONOMA) — Noooo idea. Thought the answer might actually be a place on the moon itself. According to Jack London, by way of the Miwok and/or Pomo tribes, SONOMA translates to "Valley of the Moon" (wikipedia).
- 59A: Top of a Roman candle? (IGNIS) — that is, the Latin ("Roman") word for "fire."
- 65A: Elizabethan dramatist Thomas (KYD) — author the hugely popular and fantastically violent "The Spanish Tragedy."
- 34D: Eponymous doctor with a maneuver (HEIMLICH) — "maneuver" part made this a gimme.
- 40D: Container on a pole (HOD) — which sends brain immediately reeling: "Pole? Which "pole"? The Poland pole or the North Pole or the stick kind of pole or ...?" A HOD is what bricklayers use to carry bricks and mortar.
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