Folk guitarist Leo / SUN 3-20-11 / Chick lit book / Conifer with durable wood / Ulster Norfolk / Locale for many a gondola
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Relative difficulty: medium
THEME: Chick Lit — Book titles that include a type of bird. I find it interesting that all of these books have also been made into movies, though I don't suppose that's relevant here.
Word of the Day: Leo KOTTKE (15D: Folk guitarist Leo) —
Leo Kottke (born 11 September 1945, Athens, Georgia, U.S.) is an acoustic guitarist. He is widely known for his innovative fingerpicking style, which draws on influences from blues, jazz, and folk music, and his syncopated, polyphonic melodies. Kottke has overcome a series of personal obstacles including partial loss of hearing and a nearly career-ending bout with tendon damage in his right hand to emerge as a widely-recognized master of his instrument. (wikipedia)
• • •treedweller here again. By now, scores are probably posted for all of today's puzzles from the ACPT, where Rex Parker appears to be in 36th place. There is one more puzzle today before the finals. I assume he will be back to his regular duties tomorrow.
BEQ in the byline. I panicked a little because he always seems to find my weak spots, especially in music and pop culture stuff (including sports). I dove in and found myself leaving a lot of blank spaces. A Lot. My confidence level on the first several answers I entered was low. As usual, he stumped me on several empirical facts that I just didn't know, such as GINO (37A ____ Franco (watch brand), KOTTKE, OWEN (44a: ___ D. Young (Time's Man of the Year in 1929), ODOM (71D: Lakers star Lamar), OIUDA (74A: "A Dog of Flanders" writer), and I would not be disappointed if I never again had to guess the name of a race horse (11D: First horse to compete in all three Triple Crown races --- WAR CLOUD). I got lucky on a few more; for example, the little sports I know comes largely from watching the hometown teams, like the Mavericks, for whom NASH played a few years (48A: Two-time N.B.A. M.V.P. Steve).
I was at least ten minutes into the thing before I caught on to the theme at LONESOME DOVE and started feeling hope again. Once I knew I was looking for titles, I started dropping in long answers and finished in about 30 minutes. On Sundays, I tend to get bored before finishing, but I think a good Sunday time for me is about 20, so I called this medium. I hasten to add this was not a Sunday that I was inclined to put down. Once I gained a little momentum, I steadily plowed through and was a little surprised to realize I was done. And this time, I really did finish with no mistakes.
- 23A: Chick lit book #1 (1992) THE PELICAN BRIEF --- John Grisham thriller--seen it, haven't read it.
- 33A: Chik lit book #2, with "The" (1843) UGLY DUCKLING --- Probably most of us heard this story as children. I'm still looking forward to the day I turn into a swan.
- 39A: Chick lit book #3 (1965) THE STERILE CUCKOO --- The title was reasonably familiar. I had to google to find out if it was a movie or not. I can't tell you anything else about it.
- 59A: Chick lit book #4 (1974) SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR --- The movie is just Three Days. You always have to edit them quite a bit to get the film under two hours, it seems.
- 69A: Chick lit book #5 (1960) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD --- One of my favorites, book and movie. It made me wish someone would leave secret gifts for me in a tree somewhere.
- 87A: Chick lit book #6 (1930) THE MALTESE FALCON ---- After seeing the movie several times, I finally read the book recently. The movie is good. The book is better.
- 95A: Chick lit book #7 (1985) LONESOME DOVE --- Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer winner, though I like some of his others at least as much. It was so long it had to be made into a miniseries.
- 109A: Chick lit book #8 (1967) WHERE EAGLES DARE --- See 33A above.
GNC / UIES / PAWER. GNC slowed me down because I was thinking CVS for a long time, but it was more or less familiar when I finally got it. GINO is a mystery. Though I have come to accept that I must wait for a cross or two to decide if it's TSAR (86A: Opponent of Napoleon), "tzar" or "czar", it still really bothers me to have to choose between UIES and "Ueys", since neither really seems right. PAWER isn't really in the same section, but I had to include it here on principle.
But, again, I'm cutting major slack. That's not much iffy fill and a lot of pretty nice stuff in addition to the theme answers.
- 116A: Spread, as rumors (BRUITED) --- This is one of those words I think I know but could never define without a dictionary. Throw in the deceptive past tense in the clue and you've got a real winner.
- 83D: Classic sandwich (HAM ON RYE) --- Three letters means BLT. Eight letters means WTF. And then it is just so plain and obvious when you get it.
- 15A: ____ Works (KRUPP)— The 'K' was my last letter. Once I finally got that corner done, I was fairly sure it was right, but I stared at _OTTKE for a lo-o-ong time wondering what I had missed.
- 88D: Shift's end / 92A: Start to production? (HEM / PRE) — Proudly caught the letteral clues here for PEE and TEE. Had a small internal debate about whether I liked the two of them crossing that way. Realized I had a problem and that the shift was a dress. Finally got to use the trick for real at
- 24D: Chess Opening? (CEE). Similarly, I wanted "glued" for 13D: Stuck (TREED), then found GLUES TO at 68A: Affixes on.
- 115A: Christmas or Yom Kippur (HOLY DAY) — I can't be the only one who started with "holiday".
- 30A: A nut might go on one (RAMPAGE) — After a little queasiness over yesterday's TREMOR, I find myself delighted by this RAMPAGE. Timing is everything.
on behalf of
Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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