Spouse in 2009 headlines —THU 1-13-11— 1944 mystery play by Agatha Christie / Pegasus appeared in company's logo / Nickname Schumann's Symphony No. 3
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: NILE and its anagrams — five theme answers end or begin (in alternating fashion) with a word made out of the letters N, I, L, and E
Word of the Day: "OLEO" (30A: Miles Davis jazz number) —
Bags' Groove is a jazz album recorded by Miles Davis in 1954 for Prestige Records. Both takes of the title track come from a session on December 24, 1954 ("Bags" was vibraphonist Milt Jackson's nickname). The rest of the album was recorded earlier in the year, on 29 June. (The other tracks from the December session are found on the album Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants. All of the tracks from the December session are on Disc 3 of the Thelonious Monk Complete Prestige Recordings CD box set.) // The title composition and the three compositions on the album by the young Sonny Rollins all went on to become jazz standards. // The track "Oleo" was the first time that Davis used the Harmon mute on a studio recording. It would become an important part of his trumpet sound for the rest of his career. (wikipedia)
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This did not seem like a Thursday puzzle. Yesterday was the rebus, and today, a (relatively) straightforward anagram puzzle. That said, this one was slightly tougher, and I liked it quite a bit more, despite the surprising simplicity of the theme concept. I suspected yet another rebus of some sort with the first theme answer, as the first three words (MURDER ON THE) had me wanting ORIENT EXPRESS on the end—this despite having had to clue NILE very recently, and thus having seen and considered (and ultimately rejected) the Christie book as a possibility. No, wait ... her *book* was "Death on the Nile." This *play* (!?) was based on that book. Hmm. Strange.
Had a biggish hold-up with ELIN NORDEGREN, first because I had EL--NOR and I figured the woman's name would be ELEANOR, and second because I could not remember Anything about her last name except that it was Swedish. Or is it Norwegian? No, I was right the first time. Sweden. Needed almost all the crosses to get NORDEGREN. Only problems in the bottom half were "OLEO" (never seen that clue, that I can recall), and LUNK—a four-letter word that could easily have been DOLT or DODO (31D: Blockhead). I didn't know TWO IRONS hit "long shots." Do irons hit longer shots than woods? Use of "long" here seems really loose. More partials and short gunk than I'm used to seeing from Gorski, but enough lively stuff to be well worth the effort (especially like TAX LIEN, FREE REIN, and, oddly, RHENISH—27A: Nickname of Schumann's Symphony #3). First answer, aptly, was GIMME (1D: "I want it, and I want it now!").
- 17A: 1944 mystery play by Agatha Christie ("MURDER ON THE NILE")
- 21A: Spouse in 2009 headlines (ELIN NORDEGREN)
- 37A: Something that may be on a house (TAX LIEN)
- 50A: Who said "I put up my thumb and it blotted out the planet Earth" (NEIL ARMSTRONG) —I was expecting some comic book mad scientist...
- 57A: Takes things a bit too far (GOES OVER THE LINE)
- 20A: Fashion designer Tahari (ELIE) — your Wiesel alternative
- 3D: 1938 Physics Nobelist (FERMI) — helped me change ELEANOR to ELIN NOR-
- 25D: Weeper of Thebes (NIOBE) — a handy classical lady to know: 60% vowels, unusual "B" placement.
- 59D: Bygone Spanish queen (ENA) — I know of her existence *only* because of crosswords. She has the same name as Bambi's aunt ... which I also know *only* because of crosswords.
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