Cord material / TUE 6-8-10 / Old Testament prophet who married harlot / Bra insert / Word after does doesn't in old ad slogan
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "TWIST AND SHOUT" (39A: With 41- and 42-Across, 1964 Beatles hit) — two other bands who had hits with this song are also in the grid: THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS (24A: With 41- and 54-Across, group with a 1967 ballad version of 39-/41-/42-Across) and THE ISLEY BROTHERS (40D: With 9-Down, group with a 1962 hit version of 39-/41-/42-Across)
Word of the Day: PELÉE (56D: Martinique volcano)
Mount Pelée (pronounced /pəˈleɪ/; French: Montagne Pelée "Bald Mountain") is an active volcano on the northern tip of the French overseas department of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles island arc of the Caribbean. It is among the deadliest stratovolcanoes on Earth. Its volcanic cone is composed of layers of volcanic ash and hardened lava. // The volcano is now famous for its eruption in 1902 and the destruction that resulted, now dubbed the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. The eruption killed about 30,121 people. Most deaths came from the city of Saint-Pierre, at that time the largest city in Martinique, due to its pyroclastic flows. (wikipedia)
A puzzle that likely came into existence through sheer amazement that these answers fit symmetrically into the grid in such a way that a workable grid could actually be constructed around them. Impressive theme density and lay-out, but the theme itself is pretty straightforward — unless there's an anniversary or birthday or something that I'm missing. Also, where are THE TOP NOTES?! (first group to record the song, which was written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell). Beatles get center stage (in the main theme clue), I guess because their version is the most famous. What's most annoying about this type of theme is running into *this* type of clue, right off the bat: 24A: With 41- and 54-Across, group with a 1967 ballad version of 39-/41-/42-Across; my wife and I (independently) did same thing—thought "ugh, I'm not looking at all those clues to try to figure out what the hell's going on" and instead just pieced it all together from crosses, as we got them. As a result, this puzzle took me a bit longer than a normal Tuesday. [as for the advert on the right—pretty sure it's authentic, and pretty sure that the guy is TWISTing AND SHOUTing at the FAIR SEX]
Good news is that the dense theme didn't destroy the rest of the grid (i.e. necessitate a bunch of ugly, bad little words). Really enjoyed OUTER EAR (28A: Audio input location), FAIR SEX (59A: Women, quaintly, with "the"), and STONER (which I'm surprised I haven't seen before — such common letters, such a common concept) (36A: One who can't keep off the grass?). Was all prepared to say that I've never heard of BAST, only to find out (in one Google search) that it was the Word of the Day in late '09. So much for this job's making me smarter. Oddly high number of "?" clues today. Well, there are 4. That seems high for a Tuesday puzzle. There's the STONER clue, then the ECHO clue (11D: Repeated message?), then the SLATS clue (58D: Strips in front of a window?), then the XRAY clue (72A: Look inside?). The SLATS clue is particularly nice.
- 26A: Word after "does" and "doesn't" in an old ad slogan (SHE) — another interesting clue. Had to think about it for a few seconds, and then the "does she or doesn't she?" came to mind—I know it's an ad from before my time, and I feel like it's for hair dye. Let me check... Yes. Clairol. Next sentence in the ad copy: "Only her hairdresser knows for sure." Copy written by Shirley Polykoff, who also wrote "Is it true blondes have more fun?" "Her copy for Clairol built the hair-coloring industry."
["If I've only one life, let me live it as a blonde"—HA ha]
- 27A: Glass on a radio (IRA) — yuck. Should be "the" radio. "A" radio is TTH (Trying Too Hard, in this case, to be tricky).
- 45A: Join the staff (HIRE ON) — counterintuitive. If I'm joining, I'm *being* hired. Weird.
- 35D: Bra insert (WIRE) — so many other thoughts here, some practical (KLEENEX, CASH), some racier (HAND).
- 55D: Old Testament prophet who married a harlot (HOSEA) — that's a hell of a way to go down in history. It's not often you see "harlot" used in this kind of straightforward, simply descriptive way, i.e. not modified by "dirty" or followed up by "whore," etc.
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