Concordia University locale / SAT 7-17-10 / British home of Cow Tower Dragon Hall / End of tile game's name / I.B.M. event 1915 / Visionary 1921 drama
Saturday, July 17, 2010
William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician, often known as the "Father of the Blues". // Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a not very well-known regional music style to one of the dominant forces in American music. // Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers. He loved this folk musical form and brought his own transforming touch to it. (wikipedia)
Soooo many question marks today. I find that when that total gets about, say, half a dozen, I start to get annoyed. Today: a full dozen "?" clues by my count, some good (7D: Shell collection? PUMPS — finished the puzzle before I understood that one); some just OK (39D: Way of the world? TAO); some obvious (51D: Runner given the boot? SKI); and at least one a crossword cliché (35A: Is for more than one? ARE). Kind of liked the odd double-Gymnastics school supply / supplies clues (CHALK / MATS), even though my go-to answer, TALC/S, was wrong in both cases. JIVEY is jive (30D: Swinging) and JONGG looks wrong, but isn't (30A: End of a tile game's name). Nursery stuff was new to me in both cases: TREE TAGS (10D: Nursery IDs) and ROSE LEAVES (13D: Bouquet greenery), though the latter wasn't unheard of, just ... not a coherent, crossworthy entity in my mind.
- 15A: Bauxite or cryolite (ALUMINUM ORE) — "-ITE" suffixes tell you ORE. A few crosses tell you the rest.
- 17A: One whose shots reveal lots (BIKINI MODEL) — was thumbing through a beautiful book of Gil Elvgren pin-ups before starting in on this puzzle. An American Treasure, that man. He and Rockwell are the yin/yang of mid-century American illustration. Fantastic.
- 25A: Concordia University locale (ST. PAUL) — see, once I finally got BUS, this answer leapt forth. Before I knew it ended -UL, I wanted ... ISRAEL. I know, Concordia is Latin, whatever.
- 32A: Hydroelectricity providers? (EELS) — kind of obvious. The "?" here reveals more than it conceals (anomalous).
- 45A: ___ Poke (candy on a stick) (SLO) — neeeeever heard of it. Before my time, but like much retro candy, available from online specialty shops.
- 48A: Visionary 1921 drama ("R.U.R.") — another short gimme. A 1920s play in three letters. I can think of only two plays in three letters, and TRU is much later.
- 22D: I.B.M. event of 1915 (IPO) — and another short gimme, though I did have the "I" before I saw the clue, so maybe that made it easier than it might have been otherwise.
- 26D: 2003 spy thriller starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell ("THE RECRUIT") — can't even remember seeing ads for this. "THE ... something FRUIT?"
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