King of Tartary in Turandot / SAT 3-12-11 / Marquand title character / Tiger's successor computerwise / Nickname Mahattan jail / Bathing resort Lahn
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Late George Apley is a 1937 novel by John Phillips Marquand. It is a satire of Boston's upper class. The title character is a Harvard-educated WASP living on Beacon Hill in downtown Boston. // The book was acclaimed as the first "serious" work by Marquand, who had previously been known for his Mr. Moto spy novels and other popular fiction. It was a bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1938. An article in The New Yorker decades later called the book the "best-wrought fictional monument to the nation's Protestant elite that we know of." (wikipedia)
I still can't believe I threw down HARPER LEE effortlessly ... and it did virtually Nothing for me in the NE (16A: Lifelong friend of Truman Capote).
Beginning was more auspicious, with LASER (1A: Kind of beam), EXILE (15A: What many are forced to live in), and AXL ROSE (2D: Frontman on the 2008 rock album "Chinese Democracy") coming straight away. Couldn't work across the top and so went down the coast. After changing SONS to SEED (31D: Progeny) and GETS AT IT to GETS IT ON (30A: Begins brawling), the SW was fairly easy to get into—but then again I own a Mac (that runs Snow LEOPARD) (35D: Tiger's successor, computerwise) and I follow the N.F.L. reasonably closely (got DREW BREES off the "W"). Stalled out trying to exit the SW, so went over and rebooted in the SE with the quick 1-2-3 of TIER / TE AMO (later changed to TI AMO) / AMPLE. Barely heard of TRIMSPA (39D: Big name in weight-loss supplements), but crosses were easy to come by, so no sweat. Changed HARD STOP to DEAD STOP (38A: Brake-slamming result), and ended up in the mean NE. Ugh, BAD EMS (32A: Bathing resort on the Lahn River), why did you have to be right under TIMUR?? And why did you have to abandon my mind completely? I think that when I'm tired / disoriented (as I seem to be when I solve just after waking), my proper noun recall is horrrrrrrible. That's my theory, anyway. Frustration aside, I enjoyed the challenge, and thought the grid had some really nice fill.
Embarrassed how long it took me to get "SILENT T," considering I watch "The Colbert Report" every night (or, rather, every morning, thanks to TiFaux, aka the DVR) (3D: "The Colbert Report" ends with one).
- 17A: Crazy, in rap slang (ILLIN') — uh ... wow. Yes. In precisely one song that can recall. From high school ("Today you won a ticket to see Dr. J!"):
- 33A: Issachar's uncle (ESAU) — now there's an ESAU clue I've never seen before...
- 42A: Exercise done while pedaling (ETUDE) — I had TRADE at first. See if you can figure out how I got there...
- 43A: Nickname for a Manhattan jail, with "the" (TOMBS) — no idea. Guessed it from the "T" and "M" (seemed a suitably depressing moniker)
- 1D: Battle of Nations site, 1813 (LEIPZIG) — again, no clue. Saw it only by entertaining the possibility of ZONE at 22A: Court area.
- 8D: Accessory popularized by Louis XIV (CRAVAT) — you know that lyric from Carly Simon's song "You're So Vain" that goes "you had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte?" I always thought it was "... you watched your silk CRAVAT," which would make for a suspiciously odd fixation on neckwear considering the song has already observed at that point that "your scarf it was apricot" ... but I heard what I heard.
And then there's this...
- 34D: Lands around mansions (DEMESNES) — DOMAINS... doesn't fit! I know this word, so I really should have gotten it sooner than I did.
- 43D: Capital whose central plaza is Skanderbeg Square (TIRANE) — got it of the -ANE, though to be honest I wrote in TISANE, which I believe is some kind of tea drink. Never saw the clue at 54D: 43-Down's place: Abbr. (ALB.).
- 36D: Lee who advised Reagan and Bush (ATWATER) — one of the first political operative names I ever remember learning. What I remember is that he died of a brain tumor, and that he played guitar.
- 47D: One going off on somebody? (PAGER) — not in this century. I had LUGER!
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
P.S. in case you missed it yesterday, Angela Halsted and I made yesterday's Guest Puzzle at BEQ's website—check it out. (It's a double-rejectee! Rejected once for not "tickling" the editor, and another time for having a theme answer that was simply deemed not famous enough)