1986 Brad Davis film / SUN 10-31-10 / Jazz saxophonist/flutist Frank / 1987 Adrian Pasdar film / Athenian porch
Sunday, October 31, 2010
A hydrated sodium carbonate used as a general cleanser.
Lots of pretty damned obscure movies, but a delightful puzzle experience nonetheless. A thematic tour de force, with tons of theme answers are a child's place mat activity at the end. None of the connect-the-dot letters are inside theme answers *except" the first "R" in VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, which I'm kind of obsessed with now, from a constructor's point of view. That's 18 "dots" for the drawing—to land that last one right inside a long theme answer ... that impresses me, somehow. I might just be naive. I'm wicked tired from waaaaaaaaaaalllllking so much today at the Rally For Sanity, so I don't know how much sustained writing I can do. How far did we walk? Well, we parked at Arlington Cemetery and walked to rally, so you do the geographical math. Mob scene. Public transportation largely useless (for those of us who didn't bother getting there at the crack of dawn). So: walking. Fun, but exhausting. Maybe I'll just pick at this thing for a few minutes at a time for the rest of the night. Maybe I'll make PuzzleGirl alternate 10-minute shifts with me.
Well she's out getting ice cream or something, so I'll have to forge ahead. I had two errors in this puzzle—one a stupid oversight, the other ... actually, the other wasn't an error, but a flat-out guess that proved correct. So the error—I doubt I ever even looked at the clue for 26A: High-water mark; I just have seen most of it filled in and figured, because of the theme, that the answer was BLOODLINE. Why not? I'd buy a "Concerto in B" by Gershwin (the Down cross). But no: FLOODLINE is the only thing that fits the clue. And the guess? The NAYA / SAL crossing. Never seen NAYA brand water, never Ever heard of SAL soda, so that "A," pfft. Honestly, that's a terrible clue for SAL. Rest of the puzzle was mostly EASY AS PIE (120A: "Piece of cake!"), or at least easy enough to hack through without much trouble. Never heard of many of the vampire movies, but those titles weren't hard to get.
Who orders a BANANA SHAKE? (4D: Fruit-based fountain treat)—never heard of such a thing, though of course I can imagine it. ROCOCO STYLE feels redundant (12D: What Chippendale furniture was made in). ROCOCO *is* a STYLE. Clue makes the answer fit, but :(
- 23A: 1922 Max Schreck film (NOSFERATU)
- 56A: 1995 Eddie Murphy film (VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN)
- 68A: 1931 Bela Lugosi film (DRACULA)
- 97A: 1979 George Hamilton film (LOVE AT FIRST BITE)
- 113A: 1987 Adrian Pasdar film (NEAR DARK) — directed by Kathryn Bigelow (who directed "The Hurt Locker")
- 117A: 2008 Robert Pattinson film (TWILIGHT)
- 125A: 1986 Brad Davis film (BLOOD TIES) — this last one appears to be very obscure—listed at imdb as "Il cugino americano," and appears to have ZERO to do with vampires. I ... don't understand.
- 21A: Odd Fellows' meeting place (LODGE) — no idea what this means. Oddfellows are my wife's favorite candy from back home (New Zealand)
- 55A: Saturnalia participants (FEASTERS) — "Saturnalia" makes me think of orgies, not feasting.
- 61A: Athenian porch (STOA) — a crosswordy word that is just a reflex answer for me at this point, like STELE / STELA (which I would confuse STOA with if they weren't different letter counts)
- 95A: Bygone flightless bird (MOA) — like Oddfellows, also from New Zealand.
- 130A: Many visitors to Legoland (DANES) — Baffling. Aren't there Legolands of one kind or another all over the world? Is there some mother ship in Denmark?
- 119A: Bones also called cubiti (ULNAE) — hey, new ULNA knowledge! But, really? Someone calls them that?
- 118D: Jazz saxophonist/flutist Frank (WESS) — Uh ... OK, sure, why not? He needs a second "S," we'll give him a second "S."
- 60D: Epoch in which mammals arose (EOCENE) — Would never know this epoch existed were it not for crosswords ... so many vowels, such a weird opening pair of letters ...
- 72D: N.F.L. defensive lineman B.J. ___ (RAJI) — Uh ... OK, sure, why not? I wonder if there is anyone, anywhere in the world name WESS RAJI. Please write me if that is your name.
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