Fritz the Cat's creator / TUE 4-12-11 / 1956 Fats Domino hit / Highest peak Northwest Territories / Seamen slangily / 1956 Fats Domino hit
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Constructor: Barry C. Silk
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: Idyllic places — theme answers end with words that describe a state of perfection
Word of the Day: MOUNT NIRVANA (42A: Highest peak in the Northwest Territories) —
Mount Nirvana, at 2,773 m (9,098 ft) is the unofficial name of the highest mountain in the Northwest Territories, Canada. [....] As of 2008, the Canadian Government continues to refer to the mountain as "unnamed peak", however, the name "Mount Nirvana" is commonly depicted in alpine literature. (wikipedia)
Seems like a theme that's been done before. And it has. Once very recently (Gail Grabowski, July of last year, LAT) — this puzzle was probably submitted before that puzzle ever saw print. But it was also done in '06 (Raymond Hamel, CrosSynergy). Always a good idea to check your theme answers against the cruciverb database—BARBARA EDEN comes up five times, always as a theme answer. Searching SAL PARADISE was what helped me find the Graboswki/LAT puzzle, which shares 3 of today's four theme answers. Like today's puzzle, that puzzle streeeeeeetched to get that fourth "sore thumb" answer. I mean, MOUNT NIRVANA? Really? What in the world. That thing doesn't even have an official name, and is Nowhere near as well known as the other three theme answers (early puzzle over-reached with a WWII aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. SHANGRI-LA). Best to do what the '06 CrosSynergy puzzle did: stick to three theme answers (in that case: BARBARA EDEN, FOOL'S PARADISE, SEVENTH HEAVEN).
- 18A: Portagonist in Kerouac's "On the Road" (SAL PARADISE)
- 27A: 1956 Fats Domino hit ("MY BLUE HEAVEN")
- 42A: Highest peak in the Northwest Territories (MOUNT NIRVANA)
- 54A: "I Dream of Jeannie" star (BARBARA EDEN)
Zero problems with this one outside of the NIRVANA part of MOUNT NIRVANA. I started writing in CRUMB before realizing I needed the initial R (4A: Fritz the Cat's creator). Wrote in RNS instead of DRS at 41D: O.R. personnel. Otherwise, no speed bumps, no troubles, nothing terribly memorable. I watched "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" for the first time yesterday, and as far as I know it's the only time I've seen BURL IVES act (he was good as the larger-than-life and terminally ill "Big Daddy") (9D: "A Holly Jolly Christmas" singer). I knew PLUTARCH wrote "Lives"; I did not know those Lives were "Parallel." Weird (36D: "Parallel Lives" author). There sure is a lot of slang out there for seamen. GOBS was not on my radar (sonar?), though I've certainly seen it before (10A: Seamen, slangily). After being smacked with it several times over the years, I seem finally to have made "MTA" stick in my brain somehow. Today is the first day I got it without hesitation (8D: Kingston Trio hit of 1959). Picked up a couple of cool old Ian Fleming paperbacks at the local library sale over the weekend, so JAMES BOND was on my mind (3D: Aston Martin-driving agent). Let's see, is that it? ... yes. Good day.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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