First blond Bond / FRI 9-24-10 / Jean Rhys opus / Dixie rival / Tip preceder / Firedome fireflite / Free cookie distributor / My little girl early TV
Friday, September 24, 2010
My Little Margie premiered on CBS as the summer replacement for I Love Lucy on June 16, 1952, under the sponsorship of Philip Morris cigarettes. Its success prompted NBC, at the sponsor's request, to give it a regular berth - Saturday at 7:30 pm(et) - on its fall schedule, where it lasted for two months. In January 1953, it returned to CBS [Thursdays, 10pm(et)], where it remained until July. Two months later, it was back on NBC (for new sponsor Scott Paper Company) on Wednesday nights at 8:30, where its final broadcast was on August 24, 1955. In an unusual move, the series—with the same leads—aired original episodes on CBS Radio, concurrently with the TV broadcasts, from December 1952 through August 1955. Only 23 radio broadcasts are known to exist in recorded form. // Set in New York City, the series stars Gale Storm as 21-year-old Margie Albright and former silent film star Charles Farrell as her widowed father, 50-year-old Vern Albright. They shared an apartment at the Carlton Arms Hotel. Vern Albright was the vice president of the investment firm of Honeywell and Todd, where his boss was George Honeywell (Clarence Kolb). Honeywell's partner in the firm was played by George Meader. Roberta (Hillary Brooke) was Vern's girlfriend, and Margie's boyfriend was Freddy Wilson (Don Hayden). Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoffman) was the Albrights' next-door neighbor and Margie's sidekick in madcap capers reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in I Love Lucy. When Margie realized she had blundered or got into trouble, she made an odd trilling sound. Also in the cast were Willie Best as the elevator operator and Dian Fauntelle. (wikipedia)
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Well, that was easy. ERECTS (2D: Puts up) to VETS (21A: Ones doing lab exams?) to ANAT (18A: Coroner's subj.) to WEAVE (14D: Hair extension) — then I saw the clue for WIDE SARGASSO SEA (14A: Jean Rhys opus) (which I would have gotten even without crosses), and the puzzle was very tractable from there on out. Toughest part was getting the long Downs to drop. Bah. Got the front halves without knowing what the back halves were (CORPORATE .... HONCHO? BIGWIG? SEASON ... ALALLERGIES?) until I got all the way down to ABIT. Then I dropped both long Downs and WEBSITE (35D: Free cookie distributor) into the middle of that bottom section, and cleaned everything up easily from there. Only slightly slower than yesterday's (pretty fast) time.
Not too fond of the fill in this one. The long Acrosses (the marquee answers in a grid like this) are OK but nothing very memorable, and WIDE SARGASSO SEA I've definitely seen as a grid-spanner before. GOOGLE CHROME, GOOGLE DOCS ... several other GOOGLE answers would have been interesting. GOOGLE DIRECTORY isn't (50A: Aid to researching 35-Downs by topic). Everything here just seems straightforward and dullish. On Fri. and Sat., I like fresh, contemporary answers and/or a good dose of Scrabbliness. Got neither today. Also, LUTED? That hurt a bit (20A: Performed as a minstrel, maybe). Never heard of SOLO brand ... paper cups? (24A: Dixie rival). Yep, that's what they make: cups. Huh. Marginal actors round out the didn't know / don't like list: BIRNEY (12D: David of St. Elsewhere") and RAE (30A: 1971 Tony-winning actress ___ Allen).
[No lutes, but good minstrelsy nonetheless]
- 16A: Psychoanalyst Fromm (ERICH) — I've heard of this guy, and yet I still wanted ETHAN. And then ENOCH (?)
- 34A: She quipped "I've been in more laps than a napkin" (MAE WEST) — way too obvious. Good quote, though.
- 41A: ___ de Noyaux (almond-flavored liqueur) (CRÈME) — seriously overthought this one. Tried to recall the French word for "almonds" (turns out, it's "amandes"—not that it's relevant here).
- 5D: Carl Ichan or T. Boone Pickens (CORPORATE RAIDER) — I learned who Both these men are via xwords. It's true. Clearly billionaires don't interest me much.
- 8D: Tip preceder, maybe (PSST) — if the tip is "you're fly's open," I guess...
- 11D: Firedome and Fireflite (DE SOTOS) — no way of knowing this, but I got it easily from crosses.
- 31D: First blond Bond (CRAIG) — Daniel CRAIG: the current incarnation.
- 48D: Invader of Rome in 390 B.C. (CELT) — I'm used to dealing with the CELTs as the invadED, not the invadERS.
- 49D: Credits date for "Cinderella" or "All About Eve" (MCML) — That's about as much as I'm ever going to like a Roman numeral clue. Major movies, nice round date. For whatever reason, I know that "All About Eve" is a 1950 movie, so this was a gimme.
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