Murray of silents / SAT 1-22-11 / Gothenburg's river / Glenn Miller's real first name / Storied Bronx station house / Spot follower
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Alexandra Elizabeth "Ally" Sheedy (born June 13, 1962) is an American film and stage actress, as well as the author of two books. She is best known for her roles in the Brat Pack films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. (wikipedia) ["... of New York City???" You can clue actors by where they live?]
• • •It's rare that I say this about a Saturday puzzle, or any puzzle, but this one was too easy. I'm sure my skills are improving, but I really shouldn't be able to do a Saturday puzzle in just over 6 minutes—without racing. A leisurely 6+ minutes. And that's with an initial wrong answer (LOANER for MASHER, 1D: Advance man?), a failure to turn the corner at 10D: Declaration of determination (I CAN — I had I'M IN), and a serious stall in the SE as I tried to figure out what was on the other side of AUDIO and MAIN — I had FILE and TOPIC instead of the correct CLIP and THEME at first. But the rest of it?—blew through it like it wasn't even there, esp. the SW and NE, which went down like Tuesday/Wednesday corners. I'll admit to having a slight edge over many of you because I happen to own the Blu CANTRELL song in the clue 13D: Singer Blu with the 2001 hit "Hit 'Em Up Style (Ooops!)," but besides that, there's nothing even slightly off-road here (except small stuff that you can blow right by).
Got "I'LL HAVE THE USUAL" off the "I'LL" and got WOMAN OF THE WORLD off the -OFTHEW-, which was there before I ever looked at the clue. OK, maybe Glenn Miller's real first name is weird, but I had ALT- and -ON seemed like (and was) the only way to complete it. And the "Die Fledermaus" maid? Once I had AD-, I knew she was ADELE or ADELA, and from context I could see it was ADELE. Overall, I love the intersecting 15s, and the FORT / APACHE team-up worked out nicely (25A: With 43-Down, storied Bronx station house), but the rest of it is a little dull. In particular, it's a little RLSTNE-heavy. "Wheel of Fortune" letters everywhere. Nothing too snazzy.
Not much else to say—straight to bullets, then.
- 27A: Like Russ., once (SOV.) — this "S" was a bit scary for me. Had no idea what -OV or the cross, -NO, could be (27D: ___ Mountain (Pennsylvania ski resort)—SNO). Then: "Ohhhh. SOViet. That's an abbrev??? OK."
- 28A: Eaves lounge chair feature (SWIVEL) — could've been tough, I guess, but I had the "SW-," which gives you just one option as far as I can tell.
- 11D: Murray of silents (MAE) — OK, this is kind of obscure, but I never even saw the clue. Tough stuff doesn't really matter when the crosses are super-breezy. This method of solving, where crosses do all the lifting in a potentially tough clue, happened again at ONO (55D: "Walking on Thin Ice" singer) and again at OTTOS (60A: Physics Nobelist Stern and others).
- 40A: "In My Own Words" missionary (TERESA) — I mean ... it's a missionary. You need only a cross or two, if that, to guess who it is.
- 53A: Gothenburg's river (PLATTE) — And again, tough, but I had the "P" and PLATTE was the very first, and only, thing that occurred to me.
- 24D: He was declared dead in absentia in 1982 (HOFFA) — guessed this one before I ever saw the clue. H-F-A? What else? Sorry, broken record, but it was one of those days.
- 25D: Spot follower, perhaps (FIDO) — well, they're both dog names. I guess one could "follow" the other...
- 31D: Neighbor of Loire and Ain (RHONE) — No idea what "Ain" is, but it doesn't matter because "Loire" provided the only context I needed. Too easy.
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