1969 Peace Prize grp. / SAT 10-23-10 / "84 Charring Cross Road" author Hanff / 2008 book "How to Break a Terrorist" / "King Joe" composer
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Constructor: Will Nediger
Relative difficulty: Medium
Thank you and good night!
Hi! It's Andrea Carla Michaels again, held over one more night, because Rex is still gone (Because what happens in the Village of Hempstead, about 25 miles (40 km) east of New York City, stays in the Village of Hempstead, about 25 miles (40 km) east of New York City … especially if there is an LIRR strike!)
NO NO NO NO there is no strike. Where do you think he is, France? He just asked if PuzzleGirl and I would step in one more time. Because Angela is crazy busy with her new job, I will babble and PG will embed.
I am tempted to just have a one-word post … that word being SHATNERESQUE!!!!!!! And maybe throw in a video of Kevin Pollak doing William Shatner doing James T. Kirk doing Shakespeare … but then all our heads would implode and there may be a good puzzle coming up Sunday!
Plus Will Nediger who is fast becoming one of my favorite constructors deserves much more space and praise than one word! Glancing at the database, he seems to only have been making puzzles for about five years, and they are mostly Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays awash with Z's and Q's and J's. I mean REALLY awash!
Remember that Sunday that was all long phrases starting with Q and A like QUIET AMERICAN, QANTAS AIRWAYS? Or the one where he had like ten words that he added a QU to (SQUEAL OF APPROVAL, QUEASY RIDER)? Or that composer one (BIZET SIGNAL, PLAY LISZT). We are talking serious puzzle genius here!
This one is an X short of a pangram, but 27D "Shell Alternative" (ESSO) has been renamed EXXON, so I count that.
Where to begin? The NW corner overall had a slightly negative vibe, what with NO NO NO NO, I DARE NOT, NONE, and, if you speak franglais, I suppose IN ON can be parsed I, NON. But what fun, imagining all the possibilities for 1A "Couples' activities once considered scandalous." My first instinct was SWAPPING, but finally decided it may still be slightly scandalous … in parts of Fresno. WALTZING? Who knew? WALTZING must have been the Lambada of its day. But what day exactly was that?
Yesterday I posted a film clip of "I, ME, MINE" that featured John Lennon and Yoko Ono WALTZING … and just because I love him and that clip made me cry, I will post it again. Oh no? (Ono?) Who's gonna stop me?
My biggest dilemma was 43A "Athlete stripped of 1994 national title." I mean, which sport? It's a sad state of AFFAIRs that it could have been any sport. Like there was that Canadian runner who had his medals taken away, and what about Flo-Jo, and all the steroid baseball guys … and the ones that bet on their own teams … and that swimmer … and the Tour-de-France bicyclist … and that African runner who may be a man. I mean, who hasn't had their title stripped?
But in the end it was just that mean skater girl, TONYA HARDING. Though, I can't believe that was 1994 and I can still hear Nancy Kerrigan crying over and over again "Why me? Why meeee?" So many times that I started to feel a weird, misplaced temptation to break her other knee. (By the way, I will actually forgive TOO HARD crossing with HARDING, because I am Queen … for a Day!)
In a psychic (but wrong) moment, I actually had YA in the spaces above the YA in TONYA, because my initial entry for 38A "I'm gone" (ADIOS) was SEE YA. I didn't change SEE YA to ADIOS till I got the S from SAVANNA (39D "Zebra zone"). But what the heck are zebras doing in Georgia?!
Do you see how clever Will JKQXZ Nediger slipped the Z's into the Zebra zone clue even when they weren't in the answer? I actually considered Zambia and Tanzania first. Thank god they were both too short and too long, respectively.
JAI ALAI (53A Activity requiring three walls) all spelled out elevated it from crosswordese to fabulousness. Plus the little classical cluster of JUNO and ARGO was saved by making the former a film reference.
So other than little cleanups along the way, e.g. 58A Coo had to become CAW and 14D Cows transmogrified into EWES … (Damn, I keep trying to type transmoogrified as a little joke and spellcheck keeps correcting it.) Plus I had to change my STUFFED shirt to a more demure V-NECKED one.
HELENE/HEREIN gave me pause, as HELENo/HERoIN seemed more amusing.
30D "Fire man?" was clever. SAINT ELMO, patron saint of fire and being tickled.
My final entry was the last letter in AL ZARQAW- . So, what was the first letter of 42A "1969 Peace Prize grp."? I had – LO, so I had a choice: I was pretty sure the PLO hadn't won any peace prizes … yet. ELO seemed more likely to have orchestrated Electric Lights than a peace treaty … and J.LO would have been a very little Jenny from the Block in those days, if she were even alive. (Actually, Ms. Lopez coincidentally was born in 1969, but I don't think they give out peace prizes just for being born … yet). So, by process of elimination, it must be ILO, the International Labour Organization. (OK, I admit I googled that and J.Lo's bday post-solve).
And now, I must leave you .… I know I'm going to be up all night as it is, wondering what exactly is "discreet" about punishment meted out in the WOODSHED. Perhaps a couple is getting the strap for WALTZING??! Will Nediger, you naughty naughty boy! Thank you for this dance. ;)
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